Over the years, Voronezh State University has gained a reputation as an institution that provides high quality training and pays a lot of attention to its graduates’ employment and cooperation with employers. A graduate of the Faculty of Economics, Maria Bulavina, tells us how to find a job to one’s liking and how she became a business administration deputy director at OAO EFKO.
‘When I was choosing my future profession I followed some very simple logic. We did not have to choose our speciality until the second year. And the choice was quite limited. We could go for: “Company management”, “Human Resource Management”, “State and Municipal Management”, or “Marketing”. At that time I did not find marketing and advertising very useful for me, and as for the three other specialities I had the following reasoning: if a person is good at state and municipal management they will also be able to manage a company and human resources.’
Studying at university
‘I have a lot of positive memories of the time when I was a student. This time was one of the most memorable periods of my life. It was a carefree life – student activism, the First Year Student festival, meetings at tourist camps, writing papers, and getting ready for seminars. This might be one of the reasons why I am so fond of my job: when we were preparing for various events we became a team and grew more confident about our abilities. It is very similar to working on a project for a company. I believe that every person we meet on our way through life is not accidental. They all influence us in some way and change our life, and our views. Especially when we are young. I am very grateful to the head of our department, Igor Risin, who nurtured our interest in learning and to Professor Elena Mishon, who is brilliant at explaining complicated things using words which are simple and understandable. I have warm memories of Pavel Kanapukhin, who taught Economics – I had to retake the exam several times. I was mad at myself, I knew the textbook almost by heart and still could not pass the exam. Later my knowledge of Economics turned out to be very useful. It is amazing how much better we remember the things that used to trouble us.’
First job and career development
‘A person from the recruitment department at EFKO called me and said that I was recommended for a position in their company. I found out later that the recruitment department worked in cooperation with the Dean of our faculty who provided them with information about students who were expected to get diplomas with honours. I was one of them. At first I was offered an accounting position, but after the interviews and tests they decided that I would be more useful in the branding division. That was exactly where I wanted to work. As a result, in 2013, I got my first job as a marketing specialist at the marketing management department at EFKO. A few months later, I completed a training course in the Management School “Biruch” and was promoted to manager at the product development department, and in 2015, I was was offered the position of business administration deputy director. I should say that EFKO pays a lot of attention to the personal qualities and preferences of each employee. And that is quite understandable – if you are interested in what you are doing you will try to do your best and will enjoy doing it.’
How to become successful in your career
‘I cannot give an answer that will suit every person. What helped me was my willpower. Unfortunately, in Russia there is a stereotype that as soon as you get a job you can fold your hands and just do what is within your responsibilities. This is not the case at EFKO – here you should never stop to develop and should constantly challenge yourself, you should be ready to leave your comfort zone, you should be flexible and ready to travel, be eager to study and to take responsibility, and to create new things. However, it is very important not to go against your wishes and interests. You have to like your job and enjoy doing it because you can only be successful when you are happy.’
Employment advise to graduates
‘Believe in yourself but do not think you know everything. Unfortunately, it happens quite often that your confidence in your knowledges and your irreconcilability stop you from developing, learning, and moving ahead – the things you need to be successful.