From partner to co-founder: Q&A with QS scholarship winner & Chicago Booth MBA graduate |

From partner to co-founder: Q&A with QS scholarship winner & Chicago Booth MBA graduate

By Aisha K

Updated November 1, 2023 Updated November 1, 2023

When TopMBA last spoke to Konstantin Magaletskyi, a recipient of a QS scholarship and graduate of the MBA programme at Chicago Booth, he was working for a leading private equity firm – an interest he pursued during his MBA. Ten years later, we caught up with him to learn how his career has evolved and his top tips for students considering an MBA.  

Transition to co-founder 

In addition to becoming the vice-president of international co-operation at IT Ukraine Association (the country’s largest national association of IT companies), Konstantin also launched his own private equity fund in 2021.  

He said: “After 13 years working in the industry, I decided to start up the Green Recovery Fund along with other high-profile bankers and investment professionals in Ukraine. I’m a big believer in green investments, so the goal of the fund is to aid Ukraine’s recovery by investing in renewable energy, logistics and construction, such as solar energy projects. 

“As we all know, Ukraine has sustained a lot of damage over the last year, so we’re keen to build new, efficient energy sources instead of re-building Soviet infrastructure.” 

Konstantin said he’s had an interest in green investments since he was a student. “In my application for the QS scholarship, I wrote about green projects and renewable energy for my essay question. During my MBA, I was discussing launching a green recovery fund in Ukraine with a classmate of mine. 16 years later, that classmate became my business partner, so it’s been interesting to see how that interest has come to fruition in the long term.” 

The MBA experience 

Konstantin’s MBA at Chicago Booth played a huge role in shaping his career trajectory. “Not only was it my first time in the US studying at a top-ranked business school, but prior to my MBA, opportunities for Ukrainian professionals were limited, particularly as I was looking to move from consulting into private equity.” 

Konstantin secured two internships during his MBA, his first at Deutsche Bank in London and the second at Horizon Capital in Ukraine. After completing his internship at Horizon, he was then offered a full-time role where he chose to specialise in private equity and eventually progressed to managing partner.  

“The internships were useful in helping me understand the different facets of finance. I gained an in-depth understanding of investment banking and private equity, and, more importantly, what I wanted to do long-term. I also met lots of great people on my course, who were very ambitious and hard-working. It was an eye-opening experience as a non-American.” 

The importance of scholarships 

Konstantin acknowledges that applying for several business schools and scholarships at the same time can be an exhausting and time-consuming process. “It’s difficult but I think it’s worth putting in the extra effort when it comes to applying for scholarships.”  

Having received both the QS scholarship and a fellowship from Chicago Booth, he said: “Scholarships give you freedom in a financial sense because you’ll graduate with less student debt. In terms of non-financial reasons, both of my scholarships heavily subsidised my study costs which was extremely important in allowing me to develop the expertise I needed to succeed in my career.”  

His advice for MBA candidates 

Having awareness of current trends is essential but it’s important not to lose sight of your long-term goals, Konstantin says. “When I was applying to Chicago Booth, the only career I could imagine was working in big consulting firms such as McKinsey, because that was seen as the ultimate goal. 

“During my MBA, investment banking then became a trending topic in terms of careers. This was right before the 2008 financial crisis, and so I decided to go along with everyone else and try to get into investment banking. I didn’t get an internship and at that point I realised it was actually private equity that I wanted to pursue. 

“It’s easy to get stuck in a herd mentality mindset and copy what other students are doing, but you need to talk to your inner self and understand what you want to achieve. That also means thinking about how you can play to your strengths in your chosen career.” 

But what about students who are unsure of what they want to do? “What’s great about the MBA is that there are so many different projects and modules which gives you the opportunity to work out what you enjoy. 

“Internships are also a good way of finding out what you would like to specialise in. Companies often come to campus where you can learn more about potential opportunities. It’s also worth speaking to second year students who have already done internships in various industries.” 

Connect with alumni at a QS event  

Konstantin attended a QS event twice, which helped him decide where he wanted to apply and to also secure funding through the QS scholarship. 

“It’s a great opportunity to meet different business schools and I would recommend speaking to as many alumni as possible. They’re well-positioned to give you good advice because they’ve been in your shoes and will understand what you’re going through.”  

This article was originally published in March 2023 . It was last updated in November 2023

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