Russia Native Chose Point Park M.B.A. Program From Abroad, Now Working in Pittsburgh Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Meet Daria Opekunova
Job title: Staffing Manager
Employer: Robert Half International
Degrees earned: M.B.A. with a concentration in International Business, Point Park University, 2013; B.S. in Economics and Finance, Kemerovo State University, 2011; and A.S. in Education with a concentration in Teaching Languages, Novokuznetsk Pedagogical College #1, 2009
Grad school activities: Graduate assistant for the School of Business and vice president of the Graduate Student Association
Scholarships from Point Park: Academic Merit Scholarship
Hometown: Novokuznetsk, Russia
High school: Municipal Educational Institution #59, Novokuznetsk, Russia
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Traveling, skiing, snowboarding, backpacking, camping, ballroom/Latin dancing and reading
LinkedIn: Daria Opekunova
As an international student from Russia, why did Point Park appeal to you?
While working on a class project when I was in college in Russia, I came across an online advertisement promoting a master's degree abroad. It seemed interesting so I did some research. Pittsburgh happened to be a sister city of my hometown in Russia. Among all the universities in Pittsburgh, I chose Point Park because I loved its thriving campus in the heart of Downtown and its student body, which has so much diversity and culture. I was looking for a university with a variety of interesting programs and flexible class schedules.
For what reasons did you choose to pursue an M.B.A. degree?
An M.B.A. degree is a key that can open many doors. I wanted to have options in my career and Point Park provided me with that. The Point Park M.B.A program opens your mind to new ideas and challenges you to think outside of the box, which is increasingly important in today's competitive economic environment and fast-paced business world. This program really prepared me to enter the current marketplace as well as set me up with the skills to succeed throughout my career.
How have your M.B.A. classes helped you in your new position as a staffing manager?
In my current position at Robert Half International, I have to be extremely conscious of what is going on in the finance and accounting world. My classes taught me how to stay informed on the industry as well as how to use that information to read economic trends and analyze new developments.
Tell us about your experiences as an international grad student on Point Park's campus.
As soon as I arrived on campus and went to my first class, it felt like home. I truly enjoyed every single class I had and every activity in which I participated. I made good friends in the M.B.A. program and still keep in touch with most of them since leaving Point Park. The work at Point Park is rigorous but the professors are top notch. Dr. Kraniou, Dr. Maharaja, Dr. Sidky and Dr. Mannella were all very supportive and helped guide me during my time at Point Park. Also, the International Student Services and Enrollment Office is a place where everyone is happy to help and always on your side. My experience at Point Park couldn't have been better!
What advice do you have for our current international students?
The M.B.A. program at Point Park is amazing so be sure to take advantage of everything it has to offer. For a truly rich experience, seize every opportunity to participate in campus events, attend conferences, volunteer your time and engage in discussion with your classmates and professors. Give 110 percent toward everything you do and you will never regret it.
What are your career goals?
I'd like to continue developing my career with Robert Half International. The company has a lot to offer and is in so many locations around the world! Two of my personal goals are (and have always been) to obtain a Ph.D. in the near future and to master a few more foreign languages (Spanish, Arabic and French).
Photo by Victoria A. Mikula, junior mass communication major