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Real Humans of the IESE MBA Class of 2024

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Yurii Sukhonos, IESE MBA Class of 2024

Age: 28
Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine 
Undergraduate Institution and Major: International Law, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years in agriculture, 4 years in Public Service (Central Bank).

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I have a broad spectrum of work and life experience. I used to work in fields that some people would consider irreconcilable. It gave me an invaluable opportunity to approach issues from very different angles and to see the bigger picture. At some point, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began feeling a strive for a new challenge. I was quite certain that I accumulated enough knowledge and experience to switch from the public side and start creating an impact on the corporate side. A business school, in my opinion, is the ideal setting since it will be challenging enough to help me develop new skills, put my expertise on the right track, and equip me with the network and tools I need to further my professional and personal objectives.

Why did you choose IESE? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
During the last two years – before the war started – I was involved in sustainability and green finance projects. I was fascinated by the potential of sustainability projects and the goals that could be reached through them. When I learned that IESE has a strong focus on sustainability, I thought that it would be a perfect fit for me. 

Another crucial factor is the location – Barcelona. I always admired Spain for its moderate pace, relaxed attitude to life, soft climate, and scrumptious cuisine. Therefore, the IESE MBA program in Barcelona is a perfect fit for my lifestyle.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
Having played on both sides, public and private, I try to analyze issues from different approaches, assessing the broader picture. Also, not every day you can meet and study with the former central banker.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I remember the Charter of the United Nations by heart.

Post-MBA career interests:

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Reach out to current students. That will help you understand the culture and vision of the business school. Additionally, travel to schools in person – the atmosphere could be a key driver of your decision.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Do not focus so hard on your scores. Spend extra time and effort on understanding if you and the selected business school(s) are a good match.  Actually, it applies to each of your target schools.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Waiting for the decision of the admission committee. I wish the result can be shown in a couple of minutes

What is your initial impression of the IESE students/culture/community?
I feel that IESE has strong people who share their culture and make this community so unique and supportive. Since day one – everyone has been super caring. We support each other, spend a lot of time together, and that means a lot because these people will become your new family.

What is one thing you have learned about IESE that has surprised you?
How busy we will be from the very first day and how quickly we have to pick the priorities. It could be tough for people who do not know exactly what they want. But in some way, it forces you to set your focus, because it is simply impossible to do everything.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Time. You do not have time for everything; therefore the MBA program is the perfect time to polish your time management skills.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Sharing my experience and expertise with the class.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Not really, but it was hard to schedule the GMAT. Also, there was no available opportunity to travel to the school and meet students in person.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.