Alumni Stories

Say the "Leaders of Russia": a sense of the ability to unlimited further development

Anton Zhdanov, winner of the Leaders of Russia 2020 competition, graduate of the Kingston/RANEPA program in 2016, shares his impressions about studying at the joint Kingston University London and RANEPA program and about the role of the program in the development of his career and leadership qualities.

Anton, how did you come to the Kingston/RANEPA Executive MBA program? What was important to you when choosing a program?

In 2014, after many years of working as a senior associate at the largest law firm in Ukraine, in Kiev, I naturally formed a request for career changes, lacked progress and development. I decided that these changes could be implemented through getting a business education, and after a long study of the market, the choice fell on the Executive MBA Kingston /RANEPA. I have scrupulously studied the available options, including European schools, and focused primarily on ratings and reviews. I was also very attracted by the opportunity to study in the English program, but in a more familiar environment, it was very captivating.

What important changes have taken place in your life and career after graduating from the EMBA program?

Fortunately, I am exactly the graduate of the program who has had a lot of positive changes in his life and career, which are certainly related to his education. I moved from Kiev to Moscow, changed my citizenship, and, of course, my job. In principle, the big goal that I set for myself before starting my training was even slightly exceeded, since I managed to head the Moscow office of an international legal group, in the position of General Director. Objectively, it is extremely difficult to carry out such a career transformation in the legal market, but fortunately I managed to do it, although this path was not easy, to put it mildly.

What are your most vivid impressions during the period of study at the program?

For me, the most vivid impression was getting to know my classmates. It was a wonderful experience of constructive discussions, knowledge exchange, understanding of different worldviews and points of view in one audience. And, of course, it is very difficult to forget the visiting module in Kingston, it was very bright and long-forgotten emotions, just like in my student years. The learning process in Kingston is also quite unusual and interesting, of course we have gained a very useful experience there.

Anton, you were at the top, became the winner of the management competition "Leaders of Russia". Did the EMBA Kingston/RANEPA program contribute to this remarkable victory?

Yes, the emotions from this victory have not subsided yet, but I want to say that participation in the face-to-face stages of the competition is one of the most serious challenges I have ever faced in my life. It is difficult to assess what exactly played a decisive role, but it is rather a combination of factors that certainly includes EMBA Kingston/RANEPA. At a minimum, I would not have ended up in Moscow without the program, and would not have acquired management competencies that are extremely important for participation in the competition. Probably, it is also worth emphasizing the importance of experience in mixed teams, which gives considerable confidence and the ability to work effectively in any conditions.

What is the essence of the Executive MBA program for you? Continue the sentence: "Kingston EMBA is..." (the use of associations is welcome).

An internal constructor that allows you to add any shapes from the parts available in you. Personally, I definitely felt that the program allows us to finally bring together many disparate internal processes, to become more organized and structured, capable of essentially limitless further development.