After graduating in the top one per cent of my Economics class at Tbilisi State University in Georgia, I received a British Council scholarship (Chevening) to study for a Masters degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of Birmingham Business School. Prior to receiving the BP scholarship, which enabled me to do my MBA in Oxford, I worked for nine years in Georgia, in both the public and private sectors. I worked for the Georgian Ministry of Finance as a tax specialist, going on to become a finance manager for Grandi Molini Italiana SpA.
I have also worked as a senior financial officer on a $4 billion project implemented by Petrofac and Amec Spie to build the second longest oil pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) in the world and as a consultant with KPMG and Booz Allen Hamilton on various development projects in Georgia.
The Saïd Business School has been a bridge for me between working in a small emerging market and London, the world’s financial centre. After completing my MBA, I am now an associate at Citigroup EMEA regional office in London. I learned about this job opportunity through a fellow Georgian in my network who gave me an HR contact at Citigroup. After several rounds of interviews and a case presentation I was offered the position. Knowledge acquired in Oxford in strategy, finance and marketing, to name but a few, as well as the sector consultant’s valuable advice greatly contributed to the success in my interviewing process.
During my first two years in the company, I am currently doing four six-month rotations across different functions. At the end of that time I can decide what role I would like to take up. It’s an outstanding learning and development opportunity, and the environment is truly international. This is my first ever professional experience in financial services industry outside my home country and I am enjoying it a lot.