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Alumni Stories: Vusal Karimov, Yale School of Management

Alumni Stories: Vusal Karimov, Yale School of Management main image

At Yale School of Management (SOM), over 93 percent of the full-time MBA class of 2017 received job offers within three months of graduation. 81 percent landed jobs in the US; 36 percent went into consulting.

One of these people is Vusal Karimov. When Vusal decided to relocate from Azerbaijan to pursue an MBA at Yale SOM, he did so with a future consulting career in mind. For most MBA grads like Vusal, consulting remains the gold-standard career destination.

According to BusinessBecause — a leading business school and MBA news website — the majority of MBA applicants still want to work in consulting post-graduation, followed by finance and technology. After McKinsey, Ernst & Young (EY) is one of the most popular consulting firms among MBAs, and this is where Vusal now works.

Previously, Vusal served as an economic advisor for Azerbaijan’s ministry of foreign affairs in Baku before a three-year stint at the Azerbaijan embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At Yale, Vusal was able to build up the business network he needed to land his dream job, and now he’s a senior strategy consultant at EY based in New York. Vusal actually got the job after Yale’s senior associate dean introduced him to Mark Weinberger, EY’s chairman and CEO.

BusinessBecause caught up with Vusal to find out more.

How did the job at EY come about?

The Yale SOM Career Development Office supported me to shape my future in the US. I received invaluable coaching and consulting services. Furthermore, the school explicitly helped me connect with variety of businesses to seek post-MBA opportunities.

The most impactful person for me was Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the school’s senior associate dean. Jeff introduced me to Mark Weinberger, chairman and CEO of EY, while he was in our class. The following year, I started the recruiting process with EY Advisory Services.

How are you applying your MBA learnings in your current role?

I’m helping transnational companies build and implement their growth, sales and marketing strategies.The business cases at Yale prepared me for the real business challenges that our clients in the telecom and software technology industries are facing.

Theanalytical skills that I developed through my quantitative classes have become handy in conducting analysis for major global bank and pharmaceutical companies.Plus, the classes and extracurricular activities at Yale helped me improve my communication abilities, which help me improve my business relationships.

What advice do you have for international MBA students looking to start new careers in the US?

The major challenges for international MBA students are related to confidence, communication, and cultural adaptation. I would encourage students to leverage the school resources and alumni network to effectively connect with industry and develop lifelong relationships in the school.

Follow your passion, not the crowd. Identify your core focus area and customize your curriculum and career search activities accordingly. From my time at Yale, I’ve gained access to the top-tier US and global companies andbuilta strong personal and professional network—those people are irreplaceable assets for me.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at Yale SOM?

I wanted to continue my career in either an international economic organization or a professional service firm. I picked the US because my target companies focus on this market. The US would provide a compelling environment for my professional progression.

Yale SOM is a mission-driven school connected to leading business and public entities. I chose Yale despite three other offers from the top US business schools.

How useful are websites like BusinessBecause for MBA applicants?

They’re very helpful because they publicize information and data to enable MBA applicants to make informed decisions.

BusinessBecause provides general and specific-to-school tips for admission, shares insights and key updates from different business schools, and highlights key issues and challenges in the application process to urge applicants prepare compelling packages.

Marco De Novellis
Written by Marco De Novellis

Marco De Novellis is a business journalist and editor of BusinessBecause. BusinessBecause is a trusted source of business school news, with punchy daily editorial about the lives of MBAs and the career paths they choose, as well as practical resources for b-school applicants.

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