Irina Starikova is one of those engaging, warm young
women who attract and ease one into a pleasant conversation instantly.
Being from Russia's Far East, reputed for its unusually harsh conditions
likely to harden any soul that ever lived long enough in those confines,
this is rather remarkable. Irina moved to Moscow two years ago after
graduating from one of the top Russian scientific institutions, the
Novosibirsk Physics and Mathematics Institute, to conquer the "ultimate"
Russian city. By that time, this young women already had under her belt
some solid experience as a professional in private finance; she had
worked at one of the first Russian private equity funds, set up by the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in the Far East city
of Novosibirsk. Subsequently, she was to contribute to the development
of the company's Moscow office, before moving to Seattle with her husband
who landed a job with Microsoft. This winter, she took her GMAT, after
preparing with Pericles, and scored an impressive 760 (top 1%!). Her
satisfaction was immense when she related the news to us. Among her
dearest plans is attending one of the top B-schools in America and becoming,
as she puts it, "one of the best professionals in the field of
private equity finance in Russia." For that purpose, she has just
sent off her application to Stanford. Irina Confesses that her extra
professional interests and hobbies are a bit conservative. She says
she enjoys learning new languages and fluently speaks German and French.
Living in Moscow has also given her the opportunity to amply satisfy
her other hobbies: theater and the arts. We have no doubt whatever that
Irina will be more than able to fulfill her dreams.