Meet Washington Olin’s MBA Class Of 2020

Lizaveta Miadzvedskaya

Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis

School: Olin Business School

“A bookworm, curious traveler, and connoisseur of gluten free foods.”    

Hometown: Krichev, Belarus

Fun Fact About Yourself: I ran my first 5K last spring, here in St. Louis— the Color Run!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Texas at Dallas, Chemistry

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Baker Botts LLP, Summer Associate

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment so far is getting to where I am today: being a part of the joint JD/MBA program at Olin and having had the opportunity to spend two summers working with talented professionals at a world-class international law firm.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diverse – My classmates come from many different walks of life and from all over the world. I am honored to have the opportunity to learn from them over the next two years.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The approach to teaching from a global perspective led me to apply to the Olin MBA program. As a first-generation immigrant, I have first-hand experience navigating two different cultures and have found that understanding a culture can completely change the world of opportunities for an individual or a company. I chose Olin because its programs, diverse student body, and study abroad opportunities will allow me to gain the cultural competency that I need to succeed in my career.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I hope to join Olin Cares Club, which allows students to engage more closely with both Washington University and the St. Louis community through donation drives mentorship programs, and other volunteer activities.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Both my experiences as a summer associate and as an InSITE Fellow consulting for St. Louis companies showed me it is very important to understand the client’s business to effectively identify and present the best options to the client. I know that going through the MBA program in addition to my JD will allow me to not only help clients access the risks associated with various legal alternatives but also to help craft creative solutions to accomplishing their objectives within the existing legal and regulatory frameworks.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment?I spent a lot of time working with Olin students over the past two years, speaking with JD/MBA students, and consulting professionals regarding the value of taking an extra year to complete both programs. In the end, everyone I spoke with indicated it was a phenomenal opportunity and that the skills I would gain through the program would open more doors for me down the road.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied only to Olin.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Prior applying to Olin, I had worked closely with several MBA and JD/MBA students from Olin. This gave me a great deal of insight into the culture and types of learning experiences available at the business school. I did additional research on my own and decided that the combined JD/MBA program at WashU, which allows me to get both degrees in four years, is the best fit for me.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Life is full of defining moments, which are equal parts action and reaction: many of the pivotal moments in life are difficult ones, yet they are also the moments that are the most conducive to personal growth and transformation. These types of moments have helped me to become more resourceful, patient, and persistent in working towards my goals. They have also taught me that mistakes and failure are often the early stepping stones to success.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I plan to continue my legal training after I complete the JD/MBA program, practicing intellectual property law.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I expect to be a much more accomplished attorney, runner, and yogi.

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