December 15, 2013 11:11 pm

Women at business school – Gulshoda Mirsagatova, MBA student

Gulshoda Mirsagatova for Business School Challenge / FT.com

Gulshoda Mirsagatova is an MBA student at IAE Aix Graduate School of Management in France.

Born in Uzbekistan, Ms Mirsagatova has worked as an intermediary between companies in Uzbekistan and those with their headquarters in Europe, such as British Airways. She has also worked in Shanghai as a project development manager.

In her spare time, Ms Mirsagatova is learning how to fly small private jets.

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IN Women at Business School

1. What academic achievement are you most proud of to date?

My MBA. For women from my country, it is very rare.

2. Which classes have you found most useful?

The Change seminar. We were discussing how the same decisions could be successful from one side (ie marketing) and complete failures from another (ie financial, accounting, etc).

3. What is the best piece of advice given to you by a teacher?

Try not to judge everything that comes my way. Or maybe not to label things based on the experience I have had. It is something which is very difficult for me, because when you are a manager and you make decisions you have to decide, and very often decide very quickly, on what is right and what is wrong. Moreover, you have to be able to defend your position, otherwise you may be perceived as a hesitant and weak leader.

4. What is your biggest lesson learnt?

Change is always painful – accept it.

5. What is the strangest thing you have ever done when studying?

It was during a modern dance class at IAE-AIX. We had to find a connection with our intuition through movement. It was really unusual, but extremely important and useful. I loved it.

6. What would you do if you were dean of a business school for the day?

I’d organise a dinner with the professors from the school in order to enjoy an interesting discussion and maybe, if I’m lucky, even a debate.

7. What advice would you give to women in business?

To answer this question, I’d use the Nike slogan: “Just do it”. Find out what you want to do and work in that direction.

8. What is your life philosophy?

Continuous development. There is nothing more precious than knowledge, education. We have to study and learn something new every day of our life. It can be music, science, literature, physical development, or a combination. Life is movement. If you stay in one place (physically, intellectually, spiritually), you are simply existing but not living.

9. What is your favourite business book?

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.

10. What are your future plans?

I’ll continue to explore and work in international business, as I believe it will be the future of every developed society.

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