Update: Alex joined Wharton's MBA Class of 2009.
Our March 2006 Student of the Month is Alex Kormschikov, who managed an impressive 720 on the GMAT. Alex is a Senior Investment Analyst at URALSIB Moscow, where he has worked since 2004, but he has worked in finance for much longer than that, including a year and a half at Merrill Lynch, one of the leading broker dealer firms in the U.S. You see, although Alex started out in the small town of Yoshkar-Ola, Russia (in the Mari El Republic), where he got a degree in Business Administration, he took a second bachelor's degree in finance and accounting at Methodist College, in North Carolina, and parlayed that into U.S. work experience.
What impressed us about Alex is that he is the kind of guy who works hare and really gets things done. He realizes what he needs to do and works to make it happen. For example, he originally went to the U.S. on a one year U.S. government sponsored scholarship to study in Iowa . His timing, however, was not good, as the end of his year abroad neatly overlapped the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Clearly Alex needed to find himself other opportunities, as a job back in Russia was not likely to be forthcoming. So Alex managed to make the most of the post-crisis period by obtaining a full tuition scholarship from Methodist College so that he could complete their degree program. He wasn't the kind of guy who was satisfied with just riding out the crisis in a laid back North Carolina college however. Alex worked hard and managed to graduate magna cum laude with an impressive 3.88 grade point average, which would place him somewhere in the top 10-15% of students at the college. He then parlayed those high grades into an internship in a Washington D.C. investment firm, and then into the job at Merrill Lynch. Upon his return to Russia , Alex put his experience and qualifications to work for URALSIB and was instrumental in improving the institutional investors' ranking of the energy team from unrated to 6 th.
Now Alex is planning to head back to the U.S. for his MBA. He plans to stay in finance and develop more in the area of investment banking and asset management, and so is targeting the top ranked finance schools such as Wharton, Columbia , Chicago and NYU. Alex is also currently preparing for his Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) Level III exam. Whew! Lots of hard work still ahead. Best of luck Alex, both on the CFA exam and on admission to the B-school of your choice!