Maxim Ruzanov

Country of origin: Russia

Strategic management at Tyazhpromelectromet, Russia

After completing a study abroad programme in Switzerland as part of his MBA, Maxim has rejoined his original employer, one of Russia's leading electrical engineering companies.

My Lancaster MBA was a great opportunity to work with managers from many industries and professional domains, originating from various business cultures around the world. Our joint work during the three MBA consulting projects, cracking real problems of real companies and working within such diverse teams, increased my managerial and people skills.

The full-time MBA was also a unique opportunity to clarify and balance my goals for the future as I was analysing all the information I received from a new perspective.

I shortlisted LUMS for my MBA based on the advice of one of my professors from the Ural State University of Economics in Ekaterinburg, Russia, where I had received my first degree. Not long before my inquiry, a faculty team from my former university had toured a number of top-ranked UK universities, searching for a partner university. During this tour my professor was positively impressed by the advanced faculty and by the excellent educational facilities at Lancaster University. I myself contacted several Lancaster MBA alumni, whose answers to my questions confirmed that LUMS was indeed the right place to do my MBA.

Exchange experiences

The Lancaster MBA offered the opportunity to do part of the programme studying at one of the MBA's partner universities. I did my MBA exchange at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland.

Alongside a range of other courses, this study abroad programme had two courses of primary interest to me – European Corporate Governance and European Business Law. These were topics not available at LUMS although highly important for me as I plan to work on the board of directors in the future, and I had always been interested in knowing more about law as a factor influencing business. So these two courses complemented my Lancaster MBA and allowed me to tailor my study in accordance with my needs.

Apart from traditional seminars and lectures, on the International Study Programme at St Gallen we had a number of company visits. For me these visits were amazing opportunities to learn from high-flying managers and allowed me to observe how Swiss business practices differ from those in the UK.

The highlight was a visit to Sunrise, a Swiss telecoms company. Initially we had a presentation on the company and then lunch with the whole team of C-level managers, including the CEO, CFO, Chief of Personnel, Chief of IT and other executives. After the lunch each MBA student group carried out four structured interviews with four managers from different levels of hierarchy, focusing on their experience of leading change. Later in the course, the findings of all the MBA student groups were presented to the class and the company’s management.

Before the MBA I worked as a finance director at one of the leading Russian electrical engineering companies, Tyazhpromelectromet in Ekaterinburg. When applying for the MBA, I planned to resume my work at the same company and aimed to re-structure and develop it in accordance with world-class managerial practices. During the Lancaster MBA programme I clarified my aims and significantly strengthened the means of achieving them.

In addition to these gains, I have worked out with my MBA colleagues a number of business projects worth developing straightaway after my return to the workplace. Now I am working at my previous company in a more strategic role and implementing my MBA findings in practice.