Name: Elena Shabrova
When, where & what did you study in Sweden:
I did my master studies in Business Administration: Strategy and Management in International Organizations at Linköping University in 2010-2012. After graduation I also took a one year full-time program Qualifying Course in Swedish.
What do you do now?
I moved to Dublin in the summer of 2013 as I got a unique chance to work at the European HQ of Google as Account Strategist. I provide strategic advice and help Google advertisers get the best return on their advertising investment by working closely in a consultative role with customers. I manage a portfolio of large advertisers from various industries, including retail, travel, auto and tech.
Apart from my core role, I am facilitating onboarding trainings for Nooglers (new Googlers) and lead the community of Googlers-to-Googlers (G2G) in the Dublin office, who volunteer to teach and share learnings with Googlers. I also drive Google culture by volunteering at Women@Google, Start Up Grind, Barretstown Camp and Dragon Boat International Racing Competition.
What are you hopes for the SI Alumni Network for the future?
SI Alumni Network is a unique platform for SI Alumni to build relationships and stay connected to Sweden. I believe that more frequent meetings in Sweden and different parts of the world strengthen our long-term relationships and share experience. For example, SI Gender Equality Event Malmö in April 2016 will be a notable place to learn about Swedish experience in gender equality. Sweden has the first feminist government in the world and there is a strong focus on gender equality in public and private sector. For the future, I am especially interested in visiting different organizations in Sweden to learn and share experience regarding various topics, including gender equality, technology and leadership.
Please describe what impact the SI scholarship has had on your life:
Getting a scholarship from the SI has truly changed my life! I would really like to thank the Swedish Institute for giving me a chance to study in the beautiful aviation capital of Sweden Linköping, get a Master’s degree in Business Administration, learn a new language, make friends from all over the world, travel with SI Scholarship holders in Sweden and gain experience for my current position at Google.
What I miss about Sweden:
- My classmates from 30+ countries (Mexico, the US, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Iran, Lithuania, China, Belarus, Ukraine … to name just a few); our hiking trips and international dinners (where else would I try home made dishes from Georgia or Bangladesh?),
- My professors at Linköping University, including Jörgen Ljung and Marie Bengtsson who motivated, inspired and supported me during all three years in Sweden,
- Cycling in any weather conditions, white nights, seeing deer on the way to University, Julfikas in Gamla Linköping, Kalles kaviar and snow!
What I won’t miss about Sweden
- Dark winters, surströmming and expensive transportation.
What’s your best recommendation to new students in Sweden?
Start learning Swedish as soon as possible. Even though Swedes are widely rated as world number two at English as a second language, you will definitely need it to integrate with groups of Swedish friends and to fully take part in society.
Our success depends only upon us. Be proactive, setting clear goals and make things happen!