Athina Skoupnevskagia

Tuesday, 18/11/2014

Graduation Year: 2010 (MBA 18)

Regional Sales Leader Asia-Pacific & China at  Schlumberger, Singapore

LinkedIn Profile here

You recently moved to Singapore on a company post and have already worked in Dubai. Could you update us on your latest professional developments and share some advice with your fellow alums on how to penetrate the international job market?

I have been working and living in Dubai for more than three years. I recently got a great opportunity to move to Singapore and become a Regional Sales Leader. It is a very big turn in my career as from handling sales into one country I was asked to start handling fourteen. It will be challenging and exhausting, but there is nothing more rewarding than the feeling you get when you accomplish something that you and others considered impossible for you to achieve. 

Note to fellow students: do not wait for the perfect offer to come from abroad. Accept the one with which you can survive and get the perfect one once you are there. If you are not willing to do that, then you are not willing to get out of your comfort zone. In which case, an international career won’t work for you. You have to love the adventure and have an explorer spirit, ready for a new challenge every day, because that is what an international career is all about. You might change one or two jobs within the first 6 months in a new country until you find the right one, but it is better than staying unemployed for a year or two waiting for the perfect offer to land in your mail box. Or even worse, spend years doing the job that you hate. It took me 12 months to realize that, only then I was ready to accept my ‘imperfect’ offer.

What made you choose ALBA for your graduate studies?

There were a lot of factors. I wanted to get the best MBA available in Greece, the timing was right and the personal challenge was there (I was only 19 when I started the course).

Share with us your fondest memory while studying at ALBA

It is the brainstorming sessions we had with the team for the group assignments. At that time I was getting very frustrated about it, but only now I realize how much fun we had in the meantime.

 

PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE

  • What is your greatest fear? I have some minor fears, but fortunately I don’t have any major ones… Wait a second! Snakes… Sea-snakes!!!
  • Which historical figure do you most identify with? I have never thought about it to be honest.
  • Which living person do you most admire? I really admire my mom, she is the most optimistic person I’ve ever met. Optimism is something magical: it helps you, but most importantly it improves the lives of others around you.
  • What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I’m very impatient… I know it and everybody around me knows it!
  • What is the trait you most deplore in others? I really can’t stand when people lie.
  • What is your greatest extravagance? Travelling and food tasting.
  • What is your favorite journey? I love travelling. I’ve been in 25 counties so far and every journey was unique.
  • On what occasion do you lie? I don’t lie, but sometimes I have to give people the truth in small portions instead of just presenting it all at once.
  • What is your greatest regret? I should have taken golf classes when I was still in Dubai, because it seems to be a must for my current assignment and I have no time to learn.
  • What or who is the greatest love of your life? My parents and my family.
  • When and where were you happiest? I feel the happiest when I get what I want.
  • Which talent would you most like to have? I would love to have a photographic memory; this would really help me with remembering all the financial reports.
  • What is your current state of mind? I feel excited, a bit anxious and very ambitious... Does this even make sense?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would be more patient with people and processes.
  • If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? I admire it the way it is. I wouldn’t change a thing about it!
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement? It has yet to come
  • What is your most treasured possession? My ambition.
  • Where would you like to live? Definitely not in one place for a lifetime.
  • What is your favorite occupation? I love meeting people from different countries with different cultures and backgrounds and hearing their stories. It is a life changing experience.
  • What is your most marked characteristic? I’m extremely adaptable to different environments and I’m good with finding a common language with different people.
  • What do you most value in your friends? Their ability to handle me when I get too anxious or restless about something.
  • What are your favorite names? I don’t have any special preferences.
  • What is your motto? “You can become anybody you want to be, but only when you are ready to bear what comes with it.”