St Petersburg attracts melting pot of talent

International news - Russia

This year’s Executive MBA in St Petersburg has just got under way, with some 38 professionals embarking on the 20-month modular programme. “We have an excellent mix of participants,” says Anastasia Korshunova, Head of Marketing and Sales at the St Petersburg campus. “Our students include corporate partners, owners of Russian businesses, mid-level managers of global companies, civil servants, doctors and designers. And there’s a good balance of sectors with people representing the pharmaceutical industry, retail, manufacturing, consulting and banking. It’s a real melting pot of talent. We believe that our MBA has more scope if there’s a wide mix of industries represented.”

Almost head-hunting

The success of the programme starts with the application process. “Because we want to have a good mix of industries and backgrounds, we’re very particular about admission, almost head-hunting each candidate,” says Anastasia. “We try to create a unique atmosphere of creativity, out-of-the-box design thinking and leadership development within a group.” This year, recruitment was over by the end of August, some two months before the start of the programme. “And we now have a waiting list, which means we’ve already got around 25% of next year’s group.”

Relevant and challenging

One of the programme’s main selling points is its relevance to the Russian and international market. “Our triple crown with accreditations in the European EQUIS, the British AMBA and the American AACSB reflects the quality we offer, and this is important to our Russian students. But just as important is our relevance to the market. We work hard to put theory into practice with the help of our participants and professors through the development of case studies and consultancy projects. One of the most fascinating aspects so far this year has been establishing relationships with our new students and meeting clients who have volunteered to help make the MBA programme more relevant to the emerging Russian market. This network of clients is providing us with access to the unique practices of the most successful businesses in Moscow and St Petersburg.”

Stimulating speakers

The programme is also enriched by guest speakers, both local and international, talking about their experiences. Anastasia: “It could be a sportsman such as Belgian footballer Axel Witsel, or a talented director of one of the Russian theatres coming to tell us how he manages artists. It could even be a successful or unsuccessful entrepreneur analysing his or her own experiences. The idea is that group discussion is stimulated, becoming more vibrant and relevant and extending beyond the classroom.”

Maria Stupakova“Develop as a person”

“An Executive MBA is the best way of obtaining the information you need to understand all areas of business. It can help increase your ability to influence your company, add value to the business by giving you new insights into your work, and enable you to develop as a person and gain confidence. I chose Vlerick, basically because it was the only school offering quality, international teachers and a modular format that I could fit around my work schedule.”
Maria Stupakova, Accounting and Reporting Director, LENTA, St Petersburg

Kirill Koshkin“Friendly but professional atmosphere”

“The friendly but professional atmosphere during the application process took away the stress and made it enjoyable. Vlerick has a strong reputation and I expect the MBA programme will help me develop a better understanding and management of the processes in which I’m involved.”
Dr Kirill Koshkin, owner of a psychotherapy clinic, Moscow

“More practical and fun”

Petr Korotkov“I was already familiar with Vlerick as they give corporate education programmes at 3M, but I was still very conscientious when I looked into possible MBA courses. The School’s reputation, the programme modules, the professional staff and the atmosphere were all weighed carefully before I decided to go for Vlerick. Now we’ve had our first few sessions, I can say I’m already pleased with my choice. Our class on Managerial Economics, a subject I found rather tedious at university, involved lively discussion and case studies that we worked on in teams. It made the learning process far more practical and fun.”
Petr Korotkov, Head of Business Development, 3M, St Petersburg

Yana Deryugina“A change of direction”

“There is no other business school in Russia that can compare to Vlerick with its excellent quality of western education. The application procedure was very structured and efficient and the information session gave me a good impression of the School and what to expect. With the first module now completed, I can safely say I’m enjoying everything. The sessions have confirmed my expectations in terms of new contacts, experiences and knowledge. I’m sure I’ll be able to quickly apply this knowledge in my work but I’m also confident it will enable me to give my career a boost.”
Yana Deryugina, Head of Internal Audit, Rosvodokanal, Moscow

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