Meet London Business School’s MBA Class Of 2021

Natalia Fomichenko

London Business School

“I am an international professional passionate about helping women overcome their challenges.”

Hometown: Moscow, Russia

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love learning about different cultures; for example, I’ve discovered Latin culture through dance. I have connected to soulmates around the globe through salsa events and learned Spanish on my own.

Undergraduate School and Major: Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Associate, Oliver Wyman

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have managed to position myself as a well-connected female professional in Saudi Arabia, a region with a distinct and male-dominated culture.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Extremely accomplished but humble at the same time. Speaking to many of my classmates, I found it very easy to connect; people are very open and genuinely friendly. It is an extremely valuable quality to me given how accomplished they are.

What is the best part of coming to London to earn your MBA? It is being in the centre of business, which will allow me to build an international network, access potential investors and partners, and learn from the best practice ventures in the health and wellness industry here.

Aside from your classmate and location, 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? To me, it was about the flexibility that London Business School provides. According to the current students’ feedback, you can fit a lot of things into 15 months to diversify your experience, including The Entrepreneurship Summer School, additional internships, Global Business Experiences, and exchange programs. It was extremely important to me, as I would like to have diverse perspectives on women’s needs in various geographies and understand how I can better serve them.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking forward to joining the Women in Business Club to get exposure to women who are my role models in how they translated their passions into businesses.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Why do I need an MBA instead of starting a business straight away?

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I would like to change both my industry and function and become an entrepreneur to have a direct impact on people’s lives. My experience in consulting has shown how important health is and how little attention is sometimes paid to enabling women to improve their lifestyles.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? LBS, Kellogg, INSEAD, and IESE. I got admitted to all of them.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized three areas: an international network and diversity of classmates’ background, opportunities to learn as much as I can about running a business while studying, and flexibility of the program. I believe the best research one can do about a school is to talk to as many people as possible and just feel it. I think I talked to over 30 people from the schools I applied to, as well as to many other candidates while attending schools’ events; they also shared their research points. I realised that LBS’s program is very international compared to American schools and offers more diversity in the class in terms of professional background than others do. Located in the heart of business, LBS provides plenty of opportunities to learn and connect to people. Finally, the school’s flexibility will enable me to build in as many practical experiences as I can, including Entrepreneurship Summer School and professional internships.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? When I started a project in Saudi Arabia, I was astonished at how unhealthy the lifestyle is there. Women not only have limited access to fitness facilities, but also cannot walk outside due to conservative culture, undeveloped pedestrian infrastructure, and severe climate. Furthermore, locals tend to substitute scarce entertainment options with food that results in overeating. This, coupled with an abundance of fast food, has contributed to obesity and diabetes, especially among women. I felt these challenges for women as my own and even persuaded the hotel to repurpose a spare room into the women’s gym, and several local ladies joined me there. That is how I started thinking that I could do more to help people become healthier.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I envision myself running health and wellness centres in different countries to help women all over the world achieve their full potential, not only in how healthy they can be, but in what they can do when they feel healthy.

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