Interview with SSE Russia EMBA alumna

What does a foreign business school give to a female manager? Tatiana Dolyakova, general director of Penny Lane Personnel, is ready to share her experience with you.

Tatiana Dolyakova, general director of recruiting company Penny Lane Personnel, graduated from Executive MBA program of Stockholm School of Economics in 2014. In the framework of educational show QS World MBA Tour in Moscow together with representative of foreign business schools she will take part in roundtable meeting "Career and professional trajectories for female managers" and will answer questions of visitors. On the eve of the event, Tatiana told about her experience of learning in the framework of MBA program. Why was MBA necessary for your career?

Tatiana Dolyakova: I was looking for a Western school, with Western lecturers and standards of education MBA of European and American schools implies a possibility of search for job abroad. If there is such need, it is possible to go there because you have education that is recognized there. So, you entered MBA for the purpose of emigration?

T.D.: There was no task to emigrate as such. But availability of MBA broadens capabilities. This is like English language: if you know it, additional options are opened for development of career and work on foreign projects. We look for staff for big foreign clients, we know structure of companies, we understand how business processes are arranged in Western companies and they often differ from Russian companies. Possibility to use knowledge in Europe is a kind of bonus of MBA education. Some HR specialists say that they get MBA to speak the same language with candidates. Did you pursue this goal too?

T.D.: MBA in top schools is a fairly expensive education to get it only for the sake of acquaintances, presence in the medium of other specialists and studying of their terminology. Students, especially in an adult age, know what they want, this is an understood and well-considered choice. Students come for development of their competences, for improvement of managerial skills and for personal growth. Searching people who try to find an answer how to fulfill this or that task in business study MBA. Percentage of companies that work on development of top managers and offer educational programs to employees is fairly big now. For employees this is a possibility of vertical growth inside of a company. Which tasks of your company did MBA program help you to fulfill?

T.D.: Graduation work and all tasks deal with your company. If we study the module of marketing and advertising you work it out at the example of your company. If we study finance you compose a balance sheet and do financial planning. It turns out that in two years you fully analyze the entire chain of creation of a product or a service in your company. What did you change in your company? What did you start doing in a different way?

T.D.: We managed to understand who our competitors were, how they positioned themselves and where we were relatively to competitors. We understood what somewhere we lacked additional services but somewhere they could not be because we occupied a different niche. We changed the price policy and started offering some services cheaper and some more expensively. In theory, everything seemed to be clear but we sorted this out, drew this illustratively, made a presentation so to speak. After this it is already possible to develop further. Is there special attitude to girls during enlistment to MBA program?

T.D.: I did not feel any prejudice during entrance. On the contrary, business schools like girls: this is good for diversity of profession and specialties in the group, for the balance and general atmosphere. Practice of asking personal gender questions exists during hiring interviews. On the contrary, they enlist girls for learning with pleasure. Did attitude to you in the company change after completion of education?

T.D.: My education was not a task of the business owner. This was my own task and I fulfilled it fully. But for many people this is a career step to plus one level, it is preferred regardless of the sex of the employee. How did you combine work and learning?

T.D.: It is necessary to be ready for the fact that MBA is not easy. This means monetary and temporal costs. It is necessary to understand that work non-stop without days off will last for two years. This will be difficult but this will teach you time management and will give you pleasure like in an institute when you are young. Only in a higher educational institution we have worked without knowing for what but here you work for a certain goal. How long will the effect from MBA learning will remain?

T.D.: The years of learning plus a year or two after graduation will be the brightest: there is material with which it is possible to work and there is something to implement. You are in the atmosphere of this drive.

Partner material

QS World MBA Tour show will take place on February 20 of 2016 in Moscow in Swissotel Red Hills. Alumni and representatives of the best business schools of the world like Imperial, Cass, IE, Cambridge, Chicago, ESMT, Westminster, Hult etc will speak about nuances of enlistment to MBA and Executive MBA programs and about possible prospects for career development.

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