Natalja Avramenko once worked behind the scenes. Now, she’s center stage.
For five years at big beer giant Heineken, she worked in finance roles in the Netherlands, Russia, Austria and Spain. But she was stuck behind a screen, analyzing sales figures on Excel spreadsheets.
Now, at Lyon-based Euronews, she’s rarely at her desk. Instead, she spends her days in meeting rooms, strategizing and coordinating initiatives to keep the multilingual news media firm at the cutting-edge of a rapidly changing industry.
Natalja joined EMLYON Business School’s triple-accredited MBA program as a career switcher last year. She started her hands-on project management role in August, making the career triple jump – changing country, role and industry – after her MBA. Here’s how:
How did your post-MBA job at Euronews come about?
I came across the opportunity through my school career platform. And, during my MBA, I met an EMLYON alumnus who was working for the company.
We also did a business case study for Euronews in our digital marketing class. We presented our solutions to a Euronews representative and it was he who supported me during the recruitment process.
How else were you supported by the career service at EMLYON?
The career services did all they could to help us achieve our professional goals. Throughout the year we were taken on a career discovery journey. We had practical workshops on building resumes and motivation letters, networking, and storytelling.
We also had a chance to meet alumni and representatives of different companies. Having this network that you can reach out to any day is a powerful thing.
What stands out the most from your MBA experience at EMLYON?
EMLYON was a truly multicultural environment, and the level of collaboration with people from different professional and personal backgrounds is unique.
During the MBA, I discovered my entrepreneurial potential. In the “New Venture” course, we built a feasibility study for our business ideas, and it was the first time I saw clear steps on how to evolve my ideas into feasible concepts.
I really took the time to learn French. Now, half of my working time is spent in business meetings held in French. And I also managed to find more time for my favorite sport; running. I did a running challenge with my fellow MBAs, competing for the first person to run 100 kilometers in a month!
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at EMLYON?
I wanted a change in my career. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be on a finance path forever, so I decided to try something else before it was too late.
The name of your school can open doors to the corporate world in France and, as I aimed to stay in Lyon after my MBA, going to EMLYON was a strategic choice. EMLYON also gives you really good value for money. Other schools' tuitions were almost double of EMLYON and were based in more expensive locations.
What makes Lyon an attractive destination for MBAs?
From the beautiful old town with narrow cobblestone streets to local specialty restaurants on the banks of the Saône and the Rhone, for me, Lyon was love at first sight.
It’s at the very heart of France, close to Paris, Geneva and even London or Barcelona by plane. There’s big pharma and video-gaming companies here, and the city is also very entrepreneur-friendly. Living costs are relatively low giving entrepreneurs the space to experiment and grow.
What should applicants think about when deciding to do an MBA?
It’s important to have your priorities straight and to be very clear on your objectives. Do you want a career, location, industry change?
And be realistic. Business school doesn’t give you a magic wand to make all your wishes come true. An MBA is a hard work and what you get out of it is the result of your own efforts.
One thing’s for sure; the MBA will be one of the best years of your life. The people you meet will become part of your story and you’ll become part of theirs, both personally and professionally. That’s what makes the MBA different to all the other academic programs, and absolutely worth doing.