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Alyona Osipova
Student of the Month
September 2003



Our September Student of the Month is Alyona Osipova who was admitted to ESCP-EAP, Ecole Superior du Commerce de Paris, one of the top business schools in France. Alyona is celebrating her admission outside Moscow. Some of our readers might be surprised of our choice of Alyona, as we usually pick students with high test scores. But our faculty unanimously picked Alyona as our student of the month to demonstrate that, with determination and hard work, you can realize your MBA dream even when your test scores aren’t top 10%.

You see, Alyona wisely examined her skills and realistic school options and chose a program that matched her skills and experience. She says she chose ESCP-EAP as her first choice of schools because it offers the right combination for her: a well-structured, balanced, and optimally stretched in time program that focuses on “general international management disciplines while, at the same time, gives the opportunity to design a program of electives, which are necessary for her career development in venture capital.”

To secure admission in this prestigious business school, Alyona’s TOEFL and GMAT scores, (267 and 570, respectively), were not key. ESCP-EAP is not a highly number conscious school, and Alyona’s working and life experiences were the defining factors. Alyona has achieved enormous success in her career as a young investment professional since her debut in 1993 at the time of the formation of the Russian market economy. She worked with the likes of Boris Nemtsov (one of the members of Yeltsin’s young reformist team of the ‘90s) in her hometown of Nizhny Novgorod, building one of its first commercial bank. In 1997, she joined the “Volga” Balakhna Paper Mill Company, in which the IFC had made one of its first equity investments in Russia, rising quickly to become Deputy CFO by 1998.

Her departure to join her current employer, Quadriga Capital Investment, followed her promotion at “Volga” Balakhna Paper Mill. Alyona says her decision to quit her stable job was dictated by her understanding of the potential for personal growth that her new company offered. Today, she is a member of the EBRD’s Russian Regional Venture Fund Program, where she has developed and implemented investment programs worth more than $ U.S. 20 million in promising young Russian companies.

Now that she has been admitted to ESCP-EAP and is about to embark in her MBA dream in the City of Lights, Olyona remembers how Pericles has been instrumental in holding on to her dreams and now realizing them. At Pericles, Alyona says she not only received invaluable help in improving her TOEFL and GMAT skills but also had the opportunity to meet people who encouraged and secured her in the belief that she was on the right path.

Alyona plans to return to Quadriga Capital after her MBA to, as she puts it, “…bring this knowledge and experience back to Russia and use this to help properly develop our economy.”
Well, congratulation Alyona!!! We have the feeling it won’t be long before Alyona starts making headlines…

and we expect to be able to give you more information about her very soon. Please check back next week.