Students of Ukrainian MBA programs can apply the acquired knowledge directly in the learning process.

Five years ago, Wharton launched a very good program that allows students who want to learn more about the technology sector and entrepreneurship to spend a semester not in Philadelphia, but on the West Coast in San Francisco and fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of Silicon Valley … The program here is very rich and includes visits to dozens of startups and global technology leaders, participation in a key conference of the technology industry TechCrunch Disrupt, as well as the opportunity to develop projects or internships in parallel with studies. This kind of short time allows you to understand the sector much more deeply and feel which of the companies is closer to you – for example, “engineering” Google or “product” Amazon. At the same time, Philadelphia has more resources and opportunities for students who plan to go on to investment banks, asset management or consulting.Free online programs are now popular all over the world, but when applying for such programs, you need to understand that the main thing in MBA programs is not the academic part. The main thing is who you meet on the program and how you interact with people, how your career idea develops. Snatched academic courses do not add up to any holistic puzzle. They are good for closing gaps in individual items.On the business school campus, all of these issues are synergistically linked. There is no substitute for six months in Silicon Valley, daily meetings with entrepreneurs, an understanding of what they live for, and their personal experiences, especially if the goal is to start your own startup or get a job at a technology company.This strongly echoes networking and teamwork. In Wharton, in fact, when you are hired, it’s not an interview, it’s a team-based assignment, and you watch how you work in a team. People who cannot work in a team are not hired. And we have a third of the course for 70-80 percent consists of teamwork. We create startups, develop joint projects. Teams are divided on the principle of “diversity”, ie the formation of a balanced team of students with different experiences and different strengths. In this case, the team can cope with any task, at the same time, all participants have the opportunity to learn from each other. This experience will not be replaced by any online program or series of lectures.Leadership developmentAs I said, MBA programs and Wharton in particular focus on leadership development – through teamwork, meetings with political and business leaders, personal and professional mentoring programs. I would also like to mention the innovative leadership skills programs I have participated in at Wharton.The first such program is the Wharton Leadership Venture, a 10-day expedition tour in very harsh and physically difficult natural conditions. I took part in such a tour through the Atacama Desert in Chile with a climb to the Lascar volcano, which is five and a half thousand meters high. The main work takes place in small teams of 5-6 people under the guidance of mentors and guides. The team has very ambitious goals for daily transitions, and all the preparatory work (from setting up tents to cooking) was also done by us. In conditions of lack of sleep, lack of air due to the highlands, frosty nights in tents and chronic fatigue to keep the team spirit is not so simple. For example, less than 50% of the participants were able to reach the crater while climbing the volcano. This experience allows you to take a new look at yourself, other students and teamwork.The second such program is a dedication to the leadership system of American Marines at their base in Virginia, from barracks physically and emotionally exhausting drills to passing the obstacle course, simulating combat operations and solving logistics problems. I couldn’t believe it was all one-on-one, like in the movies: the screaming sergeants, the straightening and making of the beds, and crawling across the swamp under the barbed wire. I have never felt so exhausted after two days of the program. But the most amazing thing was the discovery of a completely new model of leadership, which first disassembles you into bolts and screws, and then creates a military professional and leader according to the high requirements of the US Marines. And it’s really a terrific life experience. This is a completely different system of leadership. And this is just one of the many unique elements of learning that transform you as a person and as a professional in two years.Prepared by Pavel Petrichenko,

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INSEAD graduate Oleg Goncharenko told about his learning experience

Oleg Goncharenko: the year at INSEAD is the best in my life

Oleg, please tell us about your background before joining INSEAD, what was your first education and where?

I am an information technology engineer by education, I studied at the Cherkasy Institute of Engineering and Technology, which I graduated in 1997. After that I had ten years of experience in management and marketing at the international company McDonalds Ukraine.

Ie before entering INSEAD you already had solid business experience behind you. How did you come to realize the need for business education?

After ten years of working in an international company in Ukraine, I have formed a certain ceiling in functionality, so in order to move forward, I decided to develop in the direction of consulting, where a more interesting and dynamic environment. Therefore, there was a clear need to obtain an MBA.

And why did you choose full-time MBA training at INSEAD?

In order to work in consulting, you need to choose the business school where on-campus recruitment takes place, when consulting companies come to universities and recruit right there. Accordingly, it gives the graduate a much better chance to get a job in the desired industry, in the desired company.

Chose between two regions – the United States and Europe. At the time of admission, I was already 30 years old. He clearly understood that he wanted to be closer to home regionally, and secondly, he wanted to study for a program lasting one, not two years, as is customary in US business schools.

He analyzed and created his short-list of four business schools. He met with graduates of these schools and defined for himself three selection criteria. The first is a focus on consulting and case-study training. The second is the opportunity to get an entrepreneurial background. And the third is diversity, when no more than 10% of representatives of one country come to school.

This creates the conditions for training in a stream of 500 people, who are representatives of 70 countries of all industries and professions, including non-profit organizations, and military organizations, and business. The INSEAD business school was the most suitable for these three criteria.

Was it difficult to enter this business school and pass the competition?

Admission to INSEAD consists of several stages. The first stage would be called self-preparation, when the prospective student takes several exams and prepares a package of documents: a resume, GMAT exams, TOEFL and a package of essays that describe you as a professional, individual and a person seeking to be useful to society. Plus, upon admission, they want to know some national feature of the person, the country where he lives. At these stages, candidates are selected for two interviews, which are conducted by two business school graduates on four criteria: “Why MBA?”, “Why you?”, “Why now?” and “Why INSEAD?”

After these two interviews, the final decision is made whether to accept a person to study the program or not, and six months later the study begins.

Depending on the year, the competition in INSEAD is 4-7 people per place. The cost of training this year, as far as I know, is about 62,000 euros, and when I studied, it was about 50,000 euros per year of study.

Please tell us about the peculiarities of studying at this leading business school.

I would like to highlight three main features. The first is the case-study method. You are not told the theory, but given specific cases with descriptions of specific companies and industries. The second is a pool of teachers who create a certain atmosphere. And the third is the students themselves, because what the professor says is only 10-15% of the material learned.

Learning in a group gives the maximum effect, because in a year students have to absorb an incredibly large amount of information, and therefore there is a division: everyone takes on a certain part of the work and after it tells the whole group what they learned , and a general case-study which is provided to the professor for assessment. And so on each course. And in each course there is a certain set of cases.

The structure of training in INSEAD is structured as follows: it is divided into five periods of two months. The first two periods are mandatory courses, and the other three periods are courses that you choose yourself.

What courses have you chosen for yourself?

Filled in those areas that I did not have in practice. In marketing, I partially encountered finance, but I did not have a global vision of finance. The second point is strategy: I saw it from the inside, but I didn’t know how the global company’s strategy was built from the beginning. He paid special attention to these two sides while studying at INSEAD.

Students of Ukrainian MBA programs can apply the acquired knowledge directly in the learning process. Where did you first apply the knowledge and skills gained in the full-time MBA?