great opportunity for my education and career
This Monday I participated in a team meeting for the major debates on which startup our Venture Fund Grishin Robotics should invest in next. We had three great companies on our radar, and after almost four hours of heated discussion, it was decided that we would lead an investment round in one company but would pass on two others. As a marketing and PR Manager, I collaborated with founders of these startups regularly. All of them were talented, passionate leaders with a clear vision for the future of their companies. Yet, their startups were missing one or another important element that we would find essential for a business to succeed. I left that meeting downcast, realizing how extremely hard it is for entrepreneurs to stay motivated and build companies, especially in Silicon Valley, the area of fierce competition. Yet my main objective for the next couple years is to become an entrepreneur and build a successful company of my own. Spurred by this dream, I am applying for an MBA program in your greatly respected university.
The reason I chose to apply for an MBA at Sofia University is due to its course selection. It perfectly combines the basis of business analytics with the foundational knowledge of motivation and human psychology that are pertinent to contemporary business strategy. The course selection on Entrepreneurship Specialization is ambitious including Organizational Leadership and Management and Decision Science. I am drawn to the prospect of applying this knowledge in my future career as a founder of my own startup. An MBA program in Sofia University will be my stepping stone into the entrepreneurial world, where I hope to be able to successfully launch and develop my own company. Theoretical knowledge is crucial to my understanding of the business field as a whole, as well as providing me with extensive hands-on experience with industry professionals. I also believe that my entrepreneurial experience will enable me to succeed in the program and help further advance my skills in building a company.
Although, I have never received a degree in Business Administration, my job has always been related to it in one way or another. Whether it was holding a position of Chief of Staff in the largest IT Company in Russian-speaking countries Mail.ru Group or driving marketing and business development strategy for my own small project in Sochi. I have always enjoyed creating and delivering value for customers, partners and society at large. In Mail.ru Group my role included duties of Executive Assistant to the President of the Company at the time. He is a famous Russian businessman, whose drive for entrepreneurship led him to win the nomination "The best entrepreneur in Russia" according to GQ Magazine. Inspired by his example, I started seeking an opportunity to launch my own startup.
In 2015, while still being full time employed in Moscow, I saw a business opportunity in creating "Escape the room" quests in my hometown of Sochi. The game that translates the idea of computer quests into physical reality already gained popularity in Moscow but had not made it to Sochi yet. For two years, I was juggling my full-time job and my new role as a co-founder of the startup. I was responsible for the business functions of the company such as our business strategy, marketing plan and budgeting, team expansion etc. My partner had moved to Sochi to find a venue and control the design process of the game room. Over time we have become the number one rated business of its type in Sochi, according to Tripadvisor. We were selling more tickets than our competitors but every month we were losing money. The revenue we made was never enough to pay off the rent and the loan we had taken to start the company. We had passion and ability to work hard but lacked basic entrepreneurial knowledge. After two years of struggle, I had to sell my part of the venture and focus on my main job. This valuable hands-on experience left me eager to broaden my knowledge in complex long-term entrepreneurship strategy development.
In pursuit of that dream, in 2017, I moved to California, gained a Certificate in Marketing and ROI from Berkeley Extension and started working in a Venture Capital firm Grishin Robotics. My choice to work there was simple: I wanted to learn entrepreneurship from other entrepreneurs. Over the last year I've met hundreds of founders who started their own companies. The energy and drive of these people inspire me, they make me believe that all boundaries can be overcome with enough perseverance and knowledge.
I have always sought the most challenging yet rewarding opportunities for my education and career. Due to this drive I have been awarded the "Gold Medal" for outstanding academic performance in high school, achieved the same academic excellence in my Bachelor degree, and mastered two foreign languages. I am confident that an MBA degree from Sofia University will will take me several steps closer to my professional education, and allow me to launch my own successful startup. I also consider it an unparalleled benefit to be a part of the MBA Program and Sofia University communities.