The Public Administration program of the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU) includes a wide range of disciplines: from the basics of financial literacy and philosophy to public procurement and anti-corruption policy. Its graduates work in public and private companies, create their own business.
Marina Tretyakova is a 2019 graduate of the program. During her studies, she completed several internships in large Russian and international companies, and now she works for Gazpromneft-Regional Sales and develops her own business. We conducted a blitz interview with Marina and found out what was memorable for studying at GSOM and how to combine a startup and work in a corporation.
Did you choose the Public Administration program because you were interested in politics and the theory of government?
I was not so interested in politics, but once at school, in one of the lessons, we had to come up with a party and develop its political program. I came up with a name, drew a logo, drew up a party program (it was called the Progress Party), and later the class elected me to the post of president of the country ...
In high school, I was the president of a children's public association: we participated in debates and were engaged in social work. But this is more likely not about politics, but about society. Well, social studies have always been one of the most beloved school subjects.
Tell us about your studies at GSOM SPbU. What courses did you like and why?
The first and second years at GSOM there were more general disciplines closely related to management. Of the subjects in the specialty, basically, there were those that introduced us to the theory of state and municipal management and public management.
Later we had many specialized subjects: e-government, public procurement, public-private partnership. The most interesting and useful for me was "State purchases", which was led by Andrew Ivanov. He always approached the preparation of lectures and seminars with great enthusiasm: we had case studies, quizzes, and even voting took place like in the State Duma.
The most important non-core subjects, in my opinion, were Econometrics with Evgeny Gilenko and Measurement of Efficiency with Yury Fedotov. Sometimes I even regret that I did not study these subjects so hard. They are not just useful, but necessary in work.
Where did you do your internship?
During my studies, I tried to work in different areas and industries in order to understand what I would like the most. So, I trained in large Russian and international companies Schneider Electric, PwC in Russia and Gazprom Neft.
The first and probably the most memorable experience was at Schneider Electric. I worked in the shipbuilding division of the Partners business unit: I needed to immerse in the field of energy management and understand how the shipbuilding industry works. My tasks included reviews of the activities of key clients in the field of civil and military shipbuilding, systematization of the product certification process within the company, participation in the preparation of a strategic development plan in the shipbuilding segment (I was personally responsible for collecting data on the segment and analyzing development prospects).
I was also preparing for Schneider Electric's participation in the Neva international exhibition, during which I was able to communicate with the French top management of the company. The result of participation in the exhibition was an invitation for an internship in France at the head office of the company.
Now you are working and developing your startup in parallel. Tell us what do you do in a corporation and what is your business dedicated to? How do you manage to combine projects?
A little over a year ago, I started my own consulting company. Together with my team, we are engaged in strategic consulting and market research for large companies as well as for startups and small businesses. Now the company is growing and entering international markets.
Not long ago I was invited to work at Gazpromneft-Regional Sales at the Sales Strategy Center. This is a great chance for me to improve my skills. The acquired competencies, I am sure, will be useful in work on my own business and will help to improve the quality of services.
My tasks in the company include two main areas: development of a portfolio strategy in the retail market and a project for the development of the Avangard hockey club.
It turns out to combine. Sometimes it's very hard, but I try, and I really like every direction. I try to do my best. I think that in the future I will be able to use gained experience to the maximum.