Perfect Set: How UVA Darden Sets Up Former Russian Volleyball Pro for Future in Business


(Upbeat music) – I was born in Azerbaijan
and when USSR split, my family had to emigrate to Russia, where I eventually grew up. I earned my Bachelor in
Automotive Engineering and for the most part of my career I played Volleyball professionally (Crowd cheering) I was a number of the Junior National team, European champion among students. Played for various
Russian professional clubs. And then in 2012 I got seriously injured and my shoulder was literally torn apart. Even though I managed
eventually to recover and get back to high level, I realized that I won’t ever
advance to the Olympic Games, and that’s where I lost
my inner motivation. That’s when I started to
think about what to do next. I took a bunch of Coursera
courses and came up with a great course
called Grow to Greatness, led by Professor Hess. I was absolutely astonished
with the experience and that’s how I learn about what an
MBA was and about Darden. During that period I also
started my first company. I had three retail stores, one online store and a beauty salon. Last year I decided
that, it’s time to apply to business school. Got admitted to a bunch of them and then straight away made my decision that I want to go to Darden
and that was the single best decision that I’ve ever made. Because of the case method
I could bring my experience of a professional athlete
and an entrepreneur to class. And I also developed a new set of skills of leadership skills. Thanks to my professors and classmates. I’m sure that after Darden, I will be well prepared for
the challenges in my career.

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