Interview with our MBA student Elena Berezka

RUSSIA_Elena Berezka_309774

Why did you choose IMI for you MBA study?

After graduating from Military University under the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow, Russia, with Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, I decided to take my time and work in a different industry but related with my knowledge of foreign languages – English and German, so I got a job at Crowne Plaza Moscow. After a few months I realized that Hospitality industry is something that I really like and have talent to be part of. It brings you a feeling that you are involved in something big and it also relates to my personal intention to work with people, to serve customers and to put all my problems back. Therefore, I made a research in the Internet and since the Swiss schools have leadership in Hospitality and Tourism sector, I made up my mind to try my best and to apply for the MBA program in IMI. The University has a very good reputation worldwide as well as its students and graduates.

The main advantage of the program for me was that theoretical part lasts only 6 months, and after it you can apply either for internship or for job position in the best hotels around the globe.


What was your impression of Switzerland before you arrived?

Before I arrived, I did not know much about Switzerland. All I knew was based on products Switzerland exports like chocolate, cheese and watches. I also knew that the country has been keeping neutral policy for a long time and did not support any conflicts which happened in Europe. Therefore, Switzerland is also famous for its stable banking system.


What was your first impression of IMI?

When I first came to IMI, I was pleasantly surprised with friendly and family atmosphere on campus. I also like the way rooms are furnished, and the window views are breathtaking. The best part is that relationship between students and lecturers are very simple, everyone is understanding and supportive. It is very convenient that classrooms are close to students’ living area so you do not have to spend much time getting to class, and it is very important for me as I am from a big city – Moscow – where you are used to always be lack of time. The food is also good and what is amazing to my mind is that you can taste something cooked by your friends from culinary classes.


How does it feel to live and study in such a multi-cultural environment?

I find it good experience to live and study in multi-cultural environment as you always learn something new from people of different nationalities, mentalities and cultures. International atmosphere inspires you to broaden your horizons and not to be narrow-minded, as we all have certain preconceptions about certain nationalities but more often they do not meet reality. This knowledge is of great value as it gives you experience how to work and get along with people from all over the world.


Have you made friends with students from other nationalities?


In my MBA class there is a great mixture of nationalities. We are eleven students in total, and apart from me, there are a few people from Europe and Asia, therefore, we can share our opinions on different matters and provide various points of view on the same subject.

It was easier to get along with European students first, as Asian people are a bit estranged but after a while we learned each other better, and now we all are good friends and colleagues. One of my best friends here, in IMI, is a girl from Indonesia. We find it interesting and exciting to teach one another to speak in our mother tongues. During the term break, we planned our holidays together and made a tour around Europe; best experience ever.




How have you found the MBA programme at IMI?


The main advantage of the MBA programme at IMI is that theory is delivered together with practical examples and exercises; it takes an MBA student half a year to cover it, and then every student is able to apply for internship or job position either in Switzerland or in any other part of the globe.

The toughest thing to my mind is that the course is very intense and you have to go through a great number of subjects and assignments in quite a small period of time. It sounds like it is not hard but apart from studies, there are a lot of school events and they are very interesting and creative so you also want to participate in them. Therefore, you have to be really good in managing your time and priorities.


What are you plans for the future? Do you feel your time at IMI has helped with these plans?


One cannot predict future as the world is changing very fast and even a year ago I did not expect I would be involved in Hospitality sphere. What I am sure about now is that my MBA in Hospitality could be of great importance for me later on, as I am really enjoying things I am learning and doing now. This knowledge could help me to achieve success not only in Hotel business but in Hospitality sphere as a whole as it is a great segment of business.


I have a feeling that in IMI I have grown in my own estimation even in comparison with the person I was a few months ago. Here I learn to be more flexible and understanding thanks to my classmates, I see examples of my lecturers as professionals with great experience and look up to be more competent in what I do.


Would you recommend IMI to other students? If so, why?

I would surely recommend IMI to those students who want to have a mixture of theoretical and practical classes and who are looking forward to becoming a success in Hospitality business. It may sound a bit advertising but the fact is that MBA programme at IMI does meet my expectations and I am satisfied with subjects taught and the way they are taught. The university gives you various possibilities when it comes to finding a job position or internship and it is also very important in terms of working experience, especially for those ones who want to complete MBA course and either start or continue career in the sphere.

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