MGIMO School of Business and International Proficiency

Interview with Daria Longley-Sinitsyna, a 2008 graduate of our Business School

Interview with Daria Longley-Sinitsyna, a 2008 graduate of our Business School

18 November 2017

Interview with Daria Longley-Sinitsyna, a 2008 graduate of our Business School

Daria Longley-Sinitsyna, a 2008 graduate of our Business School, kindly agreed to talk with us.

Daria Longley-Sinitsyna, a 2008 graduate of our Business School, kindly agreed to talk with us.

Daria, why did you choose to study at the MBA programme at MGIMO?

- This happened for several reasons. The first reason was the presence of a unique specialization at the MGIMO School of Business, which I needed. I considered many MBA options, including American ones, but MGIMO stood out as the best option enhanced by the presence of a specialised “International Oil and Gas Business” directive. Secondly, MGIMO traditionally has an emphasis on face to face interaction with professors and lecturers, which is currently not available in most Western universities. The fact is that in obtaining modern Western MBA diplomas, preference is now given to the concept of supervised self-study. I believe that an MBA student needs direct face to face help. It is necessary to send impulses that will give students the desire to improve themselves after the end of the course. The MGIMO Business School faculty provided these options which I saw as paramount to a solid programme. During the passage of the MBA programme, I attended the modules in Moscow while commuting from professional consulting services in Australia, and never regretted it.

Daria, how getting an MBA degree affected your future career?

- As a wonderful Australian politician, Tim Fisher (Deputy Prime Minister to John Howard and head of the National Party of Australia) said: “I have learned to say ‘no’ gracefully.” This saves a lot of time and increases business efficiency. Also, the analytical skills obtained as a result of training at the MGIMO School of Business make it necessary to look at everyday events differently — read signals that are invisible at first glance, predict their economic consequences, and make decisions quickly. And finally, my fear of making mistakes somewhat disappeared. Translating all of the above into a practical example, our company opened a fundamentally new World Class Iron Ore province in Africa (the Republic of Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo).

You are the most vivid example of the close cooperation between the graduate and the School of Business, which has led to such close cooperation, please tell us.

- I began to lecture at the School of Business on "Hydrogen Energy". The theme is new, not only for Russia but also for the global community. It is symbolic that this happens at MGIMO, in its essence, in an innovative university. I must say that I am a supporter of the revolutionary theory of the “Hydride Earth” by Professor V.N. Larin and I think that this new paradigm of geology is not well known. In the future, I hope Russia will occupy a worthy place among the countries exporting hydrogen. This will undoubtedly give Russia a tremendous competitive advantage in the modern world, undergoing systemic reformatting with the scrapping of social structure, social transit, in a world with a changing coordinate system.

In addition, I lecture "International management in modern conditions." The course is complex, intensive, but necessary for enhancing the competitive advantage of MBA students - in the ranking of the best American business schools and study areas in the "US. News & World Report" discipline "International Management" steadily occupies a leading position. Mastering the knowledge in this area will help improve the so-called dynamic capabilities - the dynamic capabilities of the companies in which the MBA students will work. This is also a relatively new concept in strategic management, developed by Professor David Teece, conversations and discussions with whom give me a lot as a specialist.

Have you already heard that in the summer of 2017, the MGIMO School of Business was accredited by the International MBA Association (AMBA)? What did it give you as a graduate?

- Yes, of course.  All the programmes of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations meet requirements and standards of the International Association of AMBA (Association of MBA’s). This accreditation is a confirmation of the high quality of the MBA programmes implemented at MGIMO, their compliance with international standards.

The benefits for graduates of an accredited MBA programme are diverse, but I would like to note that the major advantage is an access to network structures, such as (1) an AMBA closed network for storing professional data of MBA students, (2) a closed network with information about employers who need employees who completed MBA course, (3) global closed database describing vacancies for graduates of Business Schools. All this undoubtedly makes future employment easier and more efficient. Thus, MGIMO has again become one of the first Russian universities that has made the leap to the future post-industrial structure of society.

We know that you are a member of the MGIMO Alumni Association. Tell us about the last event organized by this Association.

- The MGIMO Alumni Association was founded in 1991 and is the oldest in Russia. Today it includes about 13,000 members. Residing in Paris for the last five years, I actively communicated both personally and professionally with our French brunch of the MGIMO Association.

Most recently, from 5th to 7th October 5 2018, the fourth International Forum of MGIMO Alumni was held in Astana. This event brought together more than 450 participants - graduates, associates, professors, lecturers and employees of MGIMO. Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan K.-Zh.K.Tokayev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia S.V. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan K.K.Abdrakhmanov and rector of MGIMO A.V.Torkunov made notable speeches at the Forum.

The Forum sessions were dedicated to the problems of the world trade, new protectionism, integration processes, issues of cooperation in the field of education and culture and were held at the highest level.

A special part of the event was the informal programme of the Forum. On the first evening, a reception was held on behalf of Foreign Minister Abdrakhmanov at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and at the end of the Forum, a reception was held on behalf of the Chairman of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament K.-Zh.K.Tokayev and a concert at Astana Opera. The Forum was truly extraordinary, and I give many thanks to all those who made this wonderful event a reality.

What do you wish the School of Business and its future students?

- I would like to wish the business school to remain the deserved leader in the field of making world-class specialists.

To the future graduates, first of all, I would like to wish be susceptible to changes - at all times, power and glory fell not to those who are stronger, but to those who are susceptible to changes. I would also like to wish the audience to be open. There is such a thing as “tacit knowledge” - implicit knowledge that cannot be easily transferred to others. Implicit knowledge is transmitted only through training or through personal experience. That is why the approach of the MGIMO School of Business is unique when the Professor enriches the process of learning with their own experiences and insights.

In the process of learning, you need to allow yourself to be somewhat ‘carried away’, as in letting yourself to be intrigued. Economics is, in essence, an incredibly interesting science. It's like an adventure novel, if you approach the subject correctly.  It is also a tremendous accelerator of consciousness, process of thought, attitude. There are universal economic laws, and neglecting those might lead to disastrous results.

Paraphrasing Brodsky, one can say that a person pays for it with his whole life, and if a nation does that, it pays for it with its history.

Or, as Alvin Toffler said: "Even in what seems to be chaos, there is a system that can be recognized." This is what the MGIMO School of Business attempts to teach.