New Challenge, new Life

June 23, 2023

Artem Vystorobets shares his story

MBA Finance alumnus Artem Vystorobets shares his career and MBA story.
MBA Finance alumnus Artem Vystorobets shares his career and MBA story.

We live in a complex and changing world. The Covid-19 pandemic and the outbreak of war between two former Soviet Union members, left our world more unstable. My family is half Russian, half Ukrainian and gave me a good basis and shaped my values of responsibility, integrity, respect for others and hard work. Even so, it has become hard to prosper for an average person born in the former USSR.

Back in the 1990s my family didn't have much, so I used various opportunities to earn cash: I sold newspapers or helped my handicraft teacher to build and sell furniture. During my first year at Moscow State University of Railway Engineering, I worked part time fixing IBM PC compatible computers. Later, using our first used 9-year-old Opel Vectra, I worked as an unofficial taxi driver. No smartphones or Uber in those days!

After graduation I joined Moscow Railways as part of their IT department. Just a year later, a joint project with Ernst & Young was a first important career turning point. It helped me to join Ernst & Young, not an easy thing to do for an average person back in early 2000s Russia. I enjoyed working there for seven years with great people on very interesting, challenging local and international projects.

In 2007, I joined UniCredit and in 2010 the newly established Department for Management of Private Banking Business in CEE countries. Due to my past consulting experience and a good record of accomplishment, I was able to secure a secondment contract as PMO: I moved to Austria and started enjoying Vienna.

I spent three years with an international team of colleagues, further challenging myself by starting CFA training, initially just to see if it was as difficult as I had heard. To my astonishment I passed all 3 CFA exams in the shortest possible time and became CFA charter holder.

In 2013, my first son was four years old, we faced a decision, whether to stay in Austria or return to Russia. I saw better career opportunities there. We decided to return closer to our parents when in 2014, our second son was born. This year also marked the start of the Ukraine crisis, changed my understanding of what to do next. I was lucky to be contacted by headhunters with an international opportunity and accepted a job offer at RCB Bank. We moved to Cyprus in 2015.

It was a tough challenge to get used to the different corporate culture, a demanding position, and a new country at the same time. Looking back, I see that working in this systemic bank environment, under direct ECB supervision boosted my professional and personal skills.

The MBA Finance was the best choice for Artem.
The MBA Finance was the best choice for Artem.

While working for RCB I was finally able to afford an MBA education. The MBA Finance at the WU Executive Academy was the optimal choice for me. Initially I was a bit worried about studying once COVID19 emerged, but the WU Executive Academy did a great job in adapting the program to an online and hybrid format. Bravo!

In 2022 RCB Bank ceased banking operations and surrendered its banking license. No other bank in the EU ever achieved such a smooth exit and yet this was a challenging project. Plans to continue transactional business as EMI were not supported by shareholders. It was time to move on.

Thanks to the network built during my MBA time, I recently started a professional services company with good friends. Not only my extensive career experience, but also my MBA helped me, to obtain a consulting contract with the International Finance Corporation - part of the Wold Bank. Not a bad move: to start consulting with the first project being for the IFC. I can use all of my experience to help to improve the banking system of the Central Asian region.

I see a lot of new challenges and hard work in the future, however good friends, a high-quality education and, of course, the WU EA Community are strong pillars to support a bright and prosper future. Especially people pushed to relocate and re-start every aspect of their life in a new country.

Read more interesting career stories of our students and graduates here.

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