Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine
Fun Fact About Yourself: I never skipped a football game during my student years. My classmates and I played in any conditions – snow, ice, rain, cold, heat. We won the Kyiv University championship in the end!
Undergraduate School and Major: National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ph.D. in Surface Chemistry and Physics
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: SCA Forest Products AB, R&D Engineer
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have been privileged to work in science for more than a decade. My discipline, chemistry, is fundamental at its core, yet it remains to be particularly applicable. For this reason, I want to split my most significant accomplishment into two parts – a basic one and a practical one. The fundamental one is related to the discovery of the physicochemical mechanisms responsible for the growth of large carbon molecules in the interstellar space. This discovery was made at Stockholm University and I was in the team conducting the experiments. This work extended the understanding of nature. My practical accomplishment is also related to the Swedish part of my career. I have been working in the Northern part of the country for a company developing the largest second-generation biofuel production project in Scandinavia. I used all of my previous expertise in different sub-disciplines of chemistry to help to solve a few crucial technological problems we faced in the development process. The environmental implications of this project are huge, and I am honoured I was able to contribute.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My MBA classmates are efficient beyond belief! It would have been difficult for them to survive the programme without this quality.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this programme for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The geographic location of the RSM played an essential role in my choice. The chemical industry of the Netherlands is an integrated part of the Northwestern European chemical cluster – the leading chemical manufacturing region in the world. Four-fifths of the world’s top chemical companies are present in the country. I considered the possibility to build a professional network in the Dutch chemical industry to be a highly valuable experience offered by the school. Another feature which made the MBA programme at RSM uniquely appealing to me was its focus on innovation and sustainability, which aligned ideally with my science background.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school?All of the club activities are new to me, and all are appealing. However, I am looking forward the most to the events of the Strategy & Consulting Club.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After ten years in science, I switched my career to business. Engagement on the commercial side of the innovation process made me understand that things happen faster in the business world. Also, I realised that the potential to drive the translation of good ideas into practical commercially-viable applications is higher in this domain. I didn’t want to finish my transition to the business world half-way. Now I am doing an MBA at the RSM to facilitate my career progression within the new field.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Being a Ph.D. degree holder, I already knew from experience that education is always enriching and always pays off.
What other MBA programmes did you apply to? RSM has been my number one and the only choice – the most fitting option. I didn’t even consider applying to other schools.
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I have considered various criteria – rankings, specialisation, faculty strengths, and geographic location. RSM fitted my educational goals best.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncle were active research chemists, physicists, geophysicists, and toxicologists. Already at a young age, their backgrounds inspired me to pursue a career in science and defined my personality to a large extent. Childhood environment determined my path. A scientific career has been the most significant commitment I have made in my life, and I established myself in this domain. Even though I have transitioned to the business world and now pursuing MBA degree, I still consider myself to be a scientist to some extent.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I have been conducting research work in the field of renewables for the last eleven years. It made me a well-rounded specialist capable of coming up with creative ideas and solving problems that emerge during the implementation of any given technology. I think that staying within my domain of competence is a proper strategy for making an impact on society and that’s what I want to do. For this reason, my post-MBA plan is to continue working with renewables. It is an area where I have competence, things are worthwhile, and the timing for making a change is unique. Newly-acquired MBA skills and business perspective will help me to make a profound impact in the field.
Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I want to be leading my own company.