Master's student in business
Natalia Bogdanova's passion for basketball and business has taken her from her native Russia to Purdue and nearly everywhere in between.
Now, after spending two years playing professional basketball in France and Spain, Bogdanova has returned to the University to pursue a master's degree in business.
What led you to pursue graduate studies following your basketball career?
After I graduated, a former teammate opened the Agency of Sports Psychology in Russia. She was very passionate about it, and she convinced me that with my degree I could help her. So, upon graduation, I returned to my native St. Petersburg to join her agency as head of international development. I was responsible for expanding the agency and partnering with similar agencies in Europe and the U.S. It was an amazing and eye-opening experience! I realized that although I learned a lot in school, I still had a gap in knowledge in certain areas of business, such as operations and finance. That's when I first got the idea of going back to graduate school, but it was not until I finished two basketball seasons in Europe that the idea became reality.
How has your experience as a basketball player affected your graduate student experience?
Playing at the top collegiate level and professionally impacted me greatly. It made me the person I am today. Going to France and Spain to play professional basketball was an amazing experience that allowed me to dive into new cultures, meet fascinating people and learn different languages. It really opened up my eyes about the world. I think that these experiences also made me a strong candidate for business school. To be a successful business leader in this age of globalization, one has to be able to understand, embrace, appreciate and learn how to cross the cultural borders. Living abroad for two years has allowed me to learn that.
How has your graduate school experience influenced your career so far?
So far, the experience has surpassed all of my expectations. I was extremely fortunate to get several summer internship offers. The internship I accepted is with Cummins, an international Fortune 500 corporation that designs, manufactures, distributes and services engines and related technologies. I will be working in Human Relations, in particular in talent management.
Graduate work in business at Purdue is much tougher and more in-depth than undergraduate work, but it's more interesting and business applicable. Purdue's MBA has exceeded all of my expectations and not only provided me with extensive knowledge of all aspects of business, but also with tremendous career opportunities.
What are your career goals?
My dream job as of right now is to be the head of human relations in a global organization that would allow me to travel, use my language skills and help businesses at an international level.