Svitlana Surodina

Svitlana Surodina

Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? 
The MSc International Marketing Management programme appealed to me as it uniquely combined three areas that attracted me - marketing communication; management of commercial activities and the global reach; and international perspectives of business. It is hard to image any business now that in one form or another is not involved with, or influenced by, the cross-border processes and relationships. My focus in diving into this field was to have a holistic understanding of elements critical for business success.

What was the best part of your studies here? 
What I enjoyed the most was the amazing international community. Our course brought together people from all over the world, and each one had something unique to share. Secondly, the committed and inspiring faculty members, who combined academic rigour with happy, energising dispositions of people who truly enjoy what they do.

How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School?Have there been any notable highlights?
After graduating I worked in digital media for several years, most recently as a Media Director within one of the largest agency groups, and subsequently completed an MBA degree course at the Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Where are you currently working, and what is your role?
I work in London and for the last few years I have run Skein Group, an international technology company. As the CEO, I work with all aspects of corporate strategy, including long-term vision, client relationships and business development, as well as oversee the activities on an operational level. Our team build and launch innovative web and mobile technology solutions with a focus on data and analytics. Our client list includes companies such as TP-Link, University of Geneva, as well as many high-growth tech start-ups.

What are your ambitions for the future?
My aim is to support active knowledge exploration and human development. Data technologies are instrumental for building efficient and transparent infrastructures for governments, the economy, education, health and finance. By creating tools that collect, process and give direct access to the relevant information, we enable educated and rational decisions that, at a larger scale, have a positive impact on the whole of humankind and its future progress. I plan to expand the business globally, bringing more talented people on board to tackle complex global challenges.

Do you think your experience and skills gained here will help you in your future career plans? 
The international focus that the course had was very useful for understanding global business, and not only from the theoretical point of view, but also in the environment of daily communication, group course work, and friendship within the multinational student community. It has been very helpful as a basis for maintaining a multicultural perspective.

Secondly, a number of classes, such as Marketing Research, had very rigorous quantitative data orientation, which is fundamental for understanding scientific methods in general, and in particular how it is applicable to measuring and modifying often abstract attitudes and behavioural triggers of your target audience.

What was your impression of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself? 
Leeds has a great night life; the relaxed and friendly attitude of a laid-back student town. At the same time it hosts offices, with some of the largest multinationals, offering ample opportunities for internships and employment. My best advice to a new student is that it is important to immerse oneself into the student life - get enrolled in a few student societies, get a part-time job on campus, attend the parties, not forgetting of course to express your opinion during the classes, ask questions, debate with the lecturers and fellow classmates and mix with the students from the rest of the University.

What would you say is your defining memory of studying here?
I would definitely encourage all who consider studying at the University of Leeds to make this choice, as student life is one of the best experiences one can have, and studying in Leeds is a way to make this time even more exciting.