Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Victoria Mitrofanova, National University of Singapore Business School

Victoria Mitrofanova

National University of Singapore, NUS Business School

The more dire the situation, the more likely I am to get through it.”

Hometown: Odintsovo, Russia

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have a certification in hand-to-hand combat and can speak 4 languages with varying degrees of fluency.

Undergraduate School and Major: Undergrad: National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Faculty of World Economic and International Affairs, Majoring in World Economics (Russia)

Postgrad: University of Hong Kong, School of Economics and Finance, Master of Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Tax Manager at PwC Russia

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the MBA curriculum or activities that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I was eyeing NUS for quite long time – I daresay even before my Master’s degree. I was interested in Asian cultures ever since my undergrad so going to Singapore felt like natural choice. I had a friend at NUS (other school), and she spoke very highly of the University, so I knew that if I were to pursue an MBA in Singapore, that would be NUS.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Buoyant! With the COVID restrictions and everything, our coming to Singapore was really difficult. We’re also facing schedule changes. However, everyone seems dead-intent to get through everything!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I managed to win my battle for work-life balance and was getting only double promotions for all 5 years that I’ve been in the company (getting “above expectations” ratings). The expectations towards fresh consultants at PwC are usually pretty tough. They are expected to take on additional projects, which leads to quite a lot of overtime hours, and basically to never say “no” – no surprise that quite a lot of them just burn out. I was a step away from the complete burnout when I decided that I’ve had quite enough and dared to get out of the office at precisely 6 p.m. (the end of the work day if you assume no overtime work).

Needless to say, people were furious. But then they checked the productivity metrics, and somehow I was doing more within the standard 8 hours than others managed to churn out in 14 hours. So even though their initial response was “let’s give her more projects” (this was met by a flat-out “NO” from my side), in the end they let me get away with this. So I got my free time (which I dedicated to hand-to-hand combat) and they got their highly-productive and well-rested employee. Somehow that ended in a win-win!

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? People somehow assume I know everything – and we didn’t even have a chance to cooperate on a lot of stuff!

What has been the biggest surprise in your first months of business school? No surprises so far! But I feel like I came in really prepared.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? A number of factors. I was just promoted into a managerial position, so I felt like I needed to work on my leadership skills. The NUS MBA offers a lot of modules I felt I had to take before but never had the chance to. So, it’s now or never.

I am not sure if I would want to proceed with the same career path. I want to have a look around while doing my MBA to decide if I go back into consulting or switch into something else. But that is the value of an MBA, I believe – to be able to evaluate such things for yourself and to adapt quickly, should it be necessary.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? NTU, that’s it. I’ve never been a person to send out a lot of applications. I had my target (The NUS MBA) in sight, and I was going to get there, no matter what.


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