Country of origin: Russia
Acquisition Sales Operations Manager, IBM (UK)
I have always had a keen interest in technology and IT but never considered myself an overly technical person, which is why my undergraduate degree was in BSc Business Economics with Marketing. After I graduated, I spent 20 months working in retail banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland where I had the opportunity to observe a number of change management activities linked to IT projects.
My experience at RBS helped me to re-discover my passion for technology and how it can improve business performance. I decided to further my education to a Masters level and choose a course that will let me expand my knowledge on different aspects of technology, business and management.
After careful research, MSc ITMOC at Lancaster University Management School was a clear choice.
The quality of teaching at LUMS is outstanding and is considered to be one of the best management schools in the UK. Also, Lancaster University is consistently ranked within the top 10 universities in the UK. All the ITMOC lecturers have solid and extensive professional backgrounds in the industries of their speciality and are always ready to put their professional experience into study material.
Before joining the programme I thought that I would be one of the few students who worked after their undergraduate degrees. However, I discovered that that the majority of my ITMOC colleagues started the programme having some sort of work experience in IT, business or other industries. In fact, this was one of the big strengths of the course as the students were able to share a huge magnitude of views and experiences amongst themselves in both academic and social settings. This was particularly important for the challenging group projects that ITMOC students had to do.
I thoroughly enjoyed the MSc ITMOC as it was very intense and challenging, especially because I ended up doing a company-based dissertation project with Accenture on the topic of business continuity. Studying ITMOC at Lancaster was one of the best things that happened to me, both personally and professionally.
Having finished MSc ITMOC, I noticed that a lot more companies were interested in me and in what aspects of my Masters education I can bring to their organisations. I spent ten weeks working at Centrica on its Summer Placement scheme as Group Business Continuity Analyst. The dissertation I wrote as part of the ITMOC programme was instrumental in succeeding in my role (and, most likely, getting it in the first place).
Shortly after Centrica, I joined a graduate scheme with IBM in a business operations role. Now I am a Contract Delivery Manager at IBM Collaboration Solutions for UK and Ireland. In this role, I utilise a number of aspects that I picked up from the ITMOC programme, such as business process improvement, project management and change management to name a few. I am almost certain that without the MSc ITMOC I would not be able to progress my career to this level in such a short space of time.
In June 2013, Alexei took on a new role at IBM as Acquisition Sales Operations Manager.