I started thinking about MBA more than a year ago. At the time, I was working for a bank.
I had a very good job and lovely colleagues. But after working for the bank more than 3 years (first, at the customer service department, then at the back office), I understood that I needed something more. I loved my job, but I wanted to move to a broader leadership role. And I also wanted to make a contribution to my country’s development.
After the Soviet Union collapsed, Armenia's economy experienced a great shock, and currently the country is in its developing stage. There are still many poor people, and I believe that one of the ways to accelerate the development of the country is to have more educated people and more creative brains to move the country into the right direction.
My thoughts brought me to the idea of doing an MBA. If I choose the right MBA, I can receive a good quality education, develop myself as a future leader, and take challenges in the real world.
Choosing the right MBA is very important. By right, I mean an effective match of your interests, your abilities and the characteristics of the program. You have to take every detail into account when choosing a country, a city and a university.
For example, I wanted to find a university where education would be closely connected to the real world, and where I could learn and enhance my leadership abilities. In addition, I wanted to study in an international environment where I could share my experience with a diverse group of people and get their insights on various issues. Some other important factors to consider were the language of study, the safety of the country where I wanted to study, and future career plans. As a very well-organized, safe and developed country, Germany was on my priority list.
I searched the web and came across many universities. ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) attracted my attention at first sight. I started exploring ESMT’s website and Facebook page. The more I explored, the more I liked it. Responsibility, ambition, development, European values, leadership, practical and innovative education -- these were the core associations I received through my observation of the school. I thought “Well, this school is so ambitious; it was founded in 2002, but it managed to grow and achieve high results and recognition.” I was inspired by the quickly growing business school, and wanted to be part of it.
This may come as a surprise, but I was following ESMT for almost a year until I applied to the school. This may seem a long period to some people, but in this one year I took my IELTS and GMAT tests. I was analyzing myself, my interests and thinking about how I fit into ESMT’s MBA program.
I was also looking for ways of financing my MBA. For many students, how to finance an MBA is one of the most important questions. In a developing country like Armenia, very few people can afford to get a high-quality MBA education through their own means. Many others rely on different scholarship funds. ESMT has many scholarship opportunities, among them the Kofi Annan Scholarship, which is provided to motivated students from developing countries. I knew that Kofi Annan Scholarship could be open the door to my dream university. So, I applied for the Kofi Annan Scholarship, and was one of the happy students to be selected as a Kofi Annan Fellow.
About Sona Rostomyan
Sona Rostomyan is a full-time MBA student at ESMT who was nominated as one of the Kofi Annan Fellows this year. Prior to joining ESMT as an MBA student, she started her career at one of the most rapidly growing banks in Armenia (Ameriabank CJSC) working first in the customer service department and then in the back office. She has more than 4 years experience in the banking industry (including customer transactions formalization, and account management). She enjoys solving mathematical puzzles, reading books and has a passion for photography.