...Objective – To create more...
The first question that everyone asks about SKOLKOVO: “How could you pay such money?” And then they start comparing it with other business schools. There are probably other institutions where you can spend your time in an interesting and beneficial way. However, for me it was more important, believing in the idea of the founders, to make a contribution to the actual establishment of the school, the birth of something new. We, the first group of students, perceive ourselves more as partners than customers of the school. Money was not the decisive issue. At the same time, however, each one of us personally paid for the education, rather than the company where we work.
There is a vast amount of interesting information. The very first module, General Management read by Keith Goodall, was simply mind-blowing. My first degree was in languages – I am an Arabist and graduated from the Institute of Asian and African Studies. And I obtained most of my knowledge in business from my own personal mistakes. However, here you come away with the feeling that everything is stacked up brick by brick, systematically. Even when painfully familiar topics are expressed by someone else, they are classified, and you understand them in a new way. Once every 20 years, you need to “upgrade” yourself in this way.
Understandably, the teachers don’t teach us everything. None of them run a business - at most they have consulted other people. However, there is a second important component – a team of individuals who are completely unique. For me people are the most valuable asset here. In the past I would also escape routine regularly – I have my own wine business, so I spend five-seven months a year travelling both in Russian regions and abroad – Argentina, Chile, South America, Europe. However, business trips are a completely different matter, there my comfort zone is far greater than at a business school: here I had to get used to a completely new environment during the first few modules. I don't mean becoming a student again, but rather the fact that most of the group are younger and each individual has ambitions and is trying to show what he or she is worth. Here it is irrelevant who is an owner, who is a CEO and who simply works for a company
Communicating with intelligent and engaged individuals is a rare opportunity. Each one of us has personal objectives, but many of them coincide. The key objective is to create more. It goes without saying that it is important where you go after the business school, what position you have and how much you subsequently earn. However, it is gratifying to see that there are so many individuals here who have not come simply to take, but rather want to give back.
We help each other, in words and deeds. We are constantly creating something. Several new business projects are already being discussed by just our group. And all these projects, which originated without the assistance of the founding fathers – we understand that we will have to do everything on our own and cannot rely on anyone.
It is quite another matter that any idea should be facilitated by opportunities. At present, however, they are limited. In our country, business is blocked from the outset, and in the case of the wine business, legislation changes once every three months. For example, we woke up on 3 January and discovered that we needed new licences, but nobody knew where to get them. Before that was 2006 and the introduction of the Unified State Automated Information System … We cannot expect stability.
On the other hand, it is easier to study, as there is a certain lull in work. You take one step back and see what you have done all these years. It is as if you are in another hemisphere. And then the breakthrough happens, some new idea appears and some new drive.
I have come up with a new project. I want to return to the knowledge to which I dedicated ten years of my past life and apply this experience and these connections in a new direction. However, for the time being it is too early to talk about this – let everything work out first.