Newcastle University Business School

Michael

Student Profile - Michael

MBA profile: Mikhail

Biography

Prior to my MBA, I studied Quantitative Finance and Law, obtaining a Diploma in Jurisprudence from Moscow State Law Academy, Russia, in 2008, after achieving a Diploma in Quantitative Finance (Hons) from Vologda State Technical University, Russia, in 2007.

I am a Project Manager with nine years banking and finance experience in large international companies, responsible for comprehensive treasury maintenance of business processes in areas of working capital optimisation, supply chain management, bank risks management and cost reduction. I developed and implemented financial schemes in international scale projects in the company’s marketing and supply areas.

Choosing Newcastle

While working in finance and management, I was always very keen to gain an international degree in management in the UK. I chose the Newcastle MBA for three reasons. Firstly, to become more credible in terms of having a recognisable qualification from a Business School with an undisputable reputation. Secondly, to enhance my expertise by expanding my knowledge and combining it with practice. Thirdly, to improve my business awareness and extend my network of contacts.

My course

What I enjoyed most about the MBA programme was being able to communicate, collaborate and continuously develop my personal capabilities and competencies with like-minded professionals. This also gave me the opportunity to improve my leadership, team work and management skills.

I believe the best way to develop skills and expertise is to learn from other experienced professionals in solving real practical cases. This was an important element of the MBA programme content, and this this problem-solving process provided a good opportunity for reflexivity.

We were able to attend many business engagement events during the course. The University created a number of great opportunities to understand local businesses better. For example, we had two management consultancy projects at the National Glass Centre and Port of Sunderland as part of the Business in Action module. In the second semester I successfully delivered a consultancy project in contract visualization for a London-based consultancy called Practicus and an international M&A consultancy project for Global Yachting Group in Mallorca.

In addition to this, I also chose to submit a WACC model as a solution for new market entry for Ford during the Zurich Enterprise Challenge and was given the opportunity to present this at the Global Risk Management Summit in Valencia which was given second place internationally. This was both an exciting and rewarding hands on experience which built on my expertise as well as broadening and diversifying my knowledge and skillset.

The most challenging aspect of the programme was teamwork, especially in terms of managing international teams. Managing a team of leaders taking into account their different backgrounds and cultural awareness is challenging indeed. It had a huge impact on my ability to improve my business awareness and extend my network of contacts. It also helped me to further develop my leadership skills.

The most useful elements of the programme which have prepared me to move further towards my career goals are leadership, team work, and cultural awareness. Basically the MBA programme is a whole year of self-development. Although it is a very intensive programme, requiring you to be very consistent in managing your time and workload, the benefits of the MBA are endless.

Funding

I received a Global Leadership Scholarship from Newcastle University which was great because it covered 30% of my costs, the remainder of which were self-funded.

Career aspirations

In five years I hope to be working with a large international company in an increasingly responsible position that enables me to utilise my talents and work closely with my colleagues in solving important problems. I see myself taking on new and exciting challenges in an enjoyable environment and my MBA experience will help this to happen.

I am Marketing Director of the UK software company, Geek Talent. We make digital products which solve the big issues in Education, Employment and the wider Economy. Our tech recruitment product of the same name (Geek Talent) allows companies to search for staff with ease by aggregating data from all over the internet to generate virtual profiles of staff who are the perfect match.

Our new product, Career Hacker, helps students make more informed decisions about their education and career steps by hacking their next career move through learning from what others have done. This continues to be a productive experience for both myself and the company and enables me to further improve my IT expertise.

Student experience

Before arriving into Newcastle, I ordered the arrival service from the University which was helpful, as this involved being met at the airport by University representatives. Induction week was awesome, full of wonderful content and lots of sightseeing. We visited many places including Alnwick Castle.

Studying at Newcastle University gave me a completely different experience of academic research. Good academic, language and critical thinking skills were essential to my success. Collaboration with other students helped and In-Sessional English was extremely useful. The postgraduate community is friendly, the School is very well equipped and my favourite facility was the MBA classroom. It is a nice, quiet place where you can work until late. I used the University Library a lot during team projects - I can say with confidence that it is great and the staff are hugely professional and always willing to help.

Spare time

I recommend visiting York and Alnwick Castle. It is also nice and easy to travel across the UK with a student discount card. Be proactive and visit everything – it will help you to have a great experience and enjoy many opportunities.

Advice for new students

You can save money by renting a flat or a room. I rent a house in Heaton which is a nice location because of the nearby shopping and sport facilities.

If you really want to improve you career and self-awareness, I advise you to communicate with the Careers Service as much as possible, and try out all the options offered on the Careers Service website. Apply for jobs as often as possible as this helps you to develop your presentation skills.

Attend all the activities of interest to you. Many event notifications will come directly to your University email account. Check your email regularly as many really good events are highlighted there. Try to attend clubs and career fairs – you never know which benefits each event will give you.

Don’t be shy – engage as much as you can, be as proactive as possible, and interact with everyone you know, academically and socially. From the very beginning I attended the University Gym and made a lot of friends there.

My MBA experience in three words

Challenging, productive and self-development.