Graduate School of Business Student Anastasia Aksenova Talked to Career Centre about her Internship at Lamoda and Plans to Launch a Startup
One of the objectives of GSB Career Centre is to help students create a network of useful connections. We asked our students to share their experience and tell us about their impressions of working at major companies.
The first hero of our interview series is Anastasia Aksenova, student of the ‘Business Administration’ Bachelor’s programme. She talked to us about her internship at Lamoda and plans to launch a startup.
— When you applied to the programme, what did you think your future career would be?
To be honest, I did not fully understand what my future profession would be. I chose the programme because I felt like it could give me a wide range of skills and competencies.
I based my expectations on the name of the progarmme – ‘Business Administration’: I hoped to receive skills in management in the first place. Everything worked out as I planned.
— During the first year, you worked at Business Incubator. How did you manage to get the job and what experience did this workplace give you?
At Business Incubator, I worked as an account manager. An employee in this position monitors startup’s activity, sets meetings with experts, and assesses the success of the startup in general.
There, I had an opportunity to learn about the Business Incubator’s operations, found out what stages I need to go through to launch my startup or company, broadened my network of connections in this field.
— Now you are doing an internship in Lamoda?
Yes, I started collaborating with this company in September, and now we hold meetings every two weeks. I do research for the company in the sphere of forming and studying brand-communities in the framework of my thesis.
— How did you get into this company? What do recruiters pay attention to while selecting interns?
Elena Panteleeva, my academic advisor, introduced me to the representatives of the company.
I advise using personal connections to get into a company instead of applying on your own. Networking is a power: your classmate or professor might introduce you and your CV in the most favourable light to a company you are interested in. Do not be afraid to ask them if they have connections in certain companies. There are no guarantees but it will increase your chances of employment.
Recommendations still work in our world. An employer will prefer a candidate with a great CV and a personal recommendation to a candidate who only has a great CV.
— What are your responsibilities at Lamoda?
I work on determining motivation of Lamoda customers to join the brand community. Based on the findings of this research, we will create a community for the brand.
— What are your impressions of your new job? Was the previous experience useful?
I like that we are working on a practical project. I will be able to see if our hypotheses work out in practice.
The experience was very useful as I implement my knowledge about forming communities in my projects.
— What do you prefer - working with startups or working for a major company?
I enjoy adaptability. My experience at Lamoda proved that one of the biggest problems of big companies is weak communication between departments and long negotiations on projects.
Startups are adaptable and it is possible to change a product or a business model in just a few days. Nowadays it is crucial for the development of businesses on the market.
— What are you planning to do in the future? Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
I am already implementing my projects in the EdTech and Fashion fields. Those are startups that will soon enter the global market. I have a strong strategic vision and belief in those projects, in 3-5 years I hope to become a CEO of a strong project.
— What advice can you give to first-year students of HSE Graduate School of Business?
Do not be afraid to try different things because without practical experience it is impossible to understand what you like to do. Networking will help you broaden your horizons and receive useful advice or a recommendation if necessary.
Try to find out what are you strengths and use them to become a demanded high-class specialist.