Monday, May 27, 2024

2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Vladyslav Bandrovsky, Warwick Business School

Must read

“Optimistic corporate attorney, leader, and entrepreneur blending legal expertise with a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit.”

Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine

Fun fact about yourself: At 21, I ran for city council and scored third in my constituency, igniting my passion for public service alongside my law career. This led to serving on the International Law Committee at the Ukrainian Bar Association, and a collaboration with United States Agency for International Development on commercial dispute resolution reform in Ukraine, shaping my commitment to civic engagement and professional development.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Warwick Business Scholl, UK – MBA
  • Stockholm University, Sweden – LL.M. in International Commercial Arbitration
  • Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine – Master of Business Law

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Sayenko Kharenko law firm, Attorney-at-law, Associate with International Disputes Group

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? N/A – I was working full-time with my previous employer. WBS MBA is a one-year program.

Where will you be working after graduation? I hope my experience with WBS will help me attain a Senior Associate position at Sayenko Kharenko law firm in Ukraine.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Warwick Ukrainian Society – Organized a commemoration event for the 10 years of the Russian war in Ukraine and the 2 years since the full-scale invasion in 2022. The event attracted people from the WBS MBA program, Birmingham, Coventry, and Warwick Ukrainian societies, as well as students from several Russell Group Universities.
  • Ukrainian Bar Association – As Vice Head of the International Law Committee of the Ukrainian Bar Association, I held three webinars on contemporary practical legal issues for in-house lawyers and international corporations, especially focusing on overcoming challenges posed by the volatile and uncertain world we currently live in, be it COVID, war, or supply chain disruptions caused by terrorism. I also spearheaded a mentorship program for young Ukrainian lawyers.
  • WBS Public Speaking Society – As VP for Corporate Relations, relying on my broad international experience and networks built in my previous business roles, I am responsible for connecting members of the Club to representatives of various international corporations (like PwC, DLA Piper, General Electric) in the UK and abroad. I aim to help our community identify and seize opportunities to network with such corporations, and potentially secure employment opportunities or client-supplied projects for dissertations.
  • WBS Mentorship Program – As a mentor, I coach and mentor students at Warwick Business School who study Finance or Law to help them take their first steps into the consultancy career.
  • Warwick Business School Merits-Based Scholarship for MBA – This was an incredible blessing that made my studies with WBS possible, and for which I hope to repay by being a committed ambassador for the school and ensuring it attracts the best applicants from Ukraine and rest of the Europe.
  • WBS Negotiations Club Society – Aside of participating in workshops and competitions to learn and practice negotiation skills, I also share my perspective on oral presentation which I developed as an attorney, as well as some negotiations tips and tricks.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? One of my proudest extracurricular achievements during business school was my role as the VP for Corporate Relations at the WBS Public Speaking Society. In this capacity, I spearheaded the organization of the annual Dublin Tech Trek, a flagship event at WBS. Leveraging my connections from a previous employer, DLA Piper (one of the world’s largest law firms), I orchestrated a significant event at the DLA Piper Dublin office. This event aimed to introduce fresh MBAs to the realm of law consultancy and demonstrate its relevance and value to their future careers.

The event garnered immense interest among the student body, highlighting a strong appetite for legal matters within WBS. Recognizing the mutual interest from both WBS and DLA Piper, we decided to incorporate this event into the regular WBS curriculum, bridging the gap between finance and legal knowledge. This initiative marked a significant contribution to fostering interdisciplinary understanding and enriching the educational experience at WBS.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I took the lead in a project to document the damage caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, aiming to seek compensation through legal means like litigation or arbitration. I began by documenting the losses experienced by my family and friends. This included homes and workplaces destroyed or damaged in rocket attacks. For instance, while my flat in my hometown was fortunately only damaged by a very nearby rocket explosion and the resulting blast wave and shrapnel, my best friend’s home in the same city was completely demolished, along with five other floors in the apartment building. Thankfully, her parents were not at home during the attack that night. Soon after, some companies approached me to document the damage and attempt to claim compensation for them as well. Some businesses were not only shelled, but also looted and vandalized by the Russian army. Consequently, I enlisted the help of volunteers from the Bar Association and my colleagues. Documenting these damages required understanding the operations of the affected businesses and knowledge of accounting principles. This is where courses from WBS on Financial Management and Corporate Finance proved invaluable in filling my knowledge gaps.

As a result of our efforts, my team has documented damages totaling 10.3 million Euros suffered by both businesses and individuals, and this figure continues to rise. These documents are valuable evidence that can be used in courts. I believe our efforts will help bring justice to those affected by the war by pursuing litigation and holding responsible parties accountable for the damages they caused.

Why did you choose this business school? After researching different business schools, I only applied to one – WBS. I specifically chose WBS for its MBA, as it is a general management program with a strong emphasis on finance and technology, which are essential areas of knowledge for my career advancement in Ukraine. Additionally, I sought a one-year MBA program with connections to Europe, which WBS provided. Another critical factor for me was the opportunity for business and networking trips offered by the school, including the chance to win a placement with another top business school through the Partnership in International Management program.

In my case, I secured a placement with ESADE in Barcelona, one of the best options in Europe, which will further enhance my network and allow me to focus on finance and technology through its electives.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I really enjoyed Professor John Colley’s classes. He is a Professor of Practice at WBS, specializing in Strategy and Leadership. John has extensive business experience; before entering academia, he served as Group Managing Director at a FTSE 100 business and Executive Managing Director at a French CAC 40 business. Throughout his career, he has held various leadership roles, including CFO, MD, Chair, and non-executive director roles, providing him with diverse perspectives on managing businesses.

With his wealth of experience spanning different parts of the world, John is the go-to person for reliable and smart advice. This is a quality he instills in his students, and one I aspire to emulate in my career. I also admire John’s ability to distinguish between what matters and what doesn’t, and his straightforwardness in addressing issues. Thus, I am eagerly anticipating Professor Colley’s M&A elective.

What was your favorite course as an MBA?

As a corporate lawyer aiming for senior management roles, I need to enhance my skills and knowledge of finance. Thus, my favourite course was Corporate Reporting and Decision Making, which was structured into two distinct parts.

The first part focused on Corporate Reporting, covering aspects of bookkeeping and audit. This section provided a solid foundation for understanding financial statements and corporate annual reports, essential for effective decision-making within organizations. The second part, Management Finance, shifted the focus to cash flows rather than profit, recognizing that “businesses survive on cash”.

What I found most valuable about this course was its highly practical nature. It equipped students with a diverse arsenal of instruments to make business decisions based on both quantitative and qualitative data.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Looking back on my MBA experience, if I could change one thing, it would be to prioritize my MBA studies from the outset by letting go of all my previous work commitments. While I had successfully balanced work and studies before, having obtained an LL.M. from a respected school during my law career, the intensity of the WBS MBA program demanded my full attention with a jam-packed schedule spanning five, and sometimes six, days a week. At the same time, I am grateful for WBS’s flexibility and support in allowing me to maintain my relationships with my employer and continue working on my projects part-time.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? One of the reasons I applied to WBS was its dual locations – the spectacular and iconic Shard in London, and an industry-rooted innovative campus in Warwickshire (near Birmingham and Coventry).

The Shard is perfect for networking with consultancy companies and corporations located in London. It also offers an incredibly spectacular view of the London landscape from the 17th floor, which, I must admit, sometimes even distracts attention from the liveliest lectures.

On the other hand, the campus, due to its location between two of the largest English cities, is best suited for building connections with industrial corporations such as car giants Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, and Aston Martin, confectionary multinational Cadbury, and leading pharmacy chain Boots. The WBS campus also benefits from connections with the Warwick Manufacturing Group, the University of Warwick’s applied science, technology and engineering department, which partners with industries like aerospace and electric vehicles on research, and tight connections to Birmingham venture capital funds.

What surprised you the most about business school?

Time is the most limited resource at WBS. The school offers an inconceivably wide range of opportunities such as various modules, additional on-demand courses, soft skills intensive workshops, networking events, business trips, club events, and more. It is simply impossible to participate in everything, even with exceptional time management skills.

Therefore, the Business School teaches the importance of prioritizing and learning to decline opportunities – even ones you would love to pursue – when other commitments require your focus or take precedence. This skill is crucial in our careers. It is not just about saying yes to good ideas; it is also about saying no to equally tempting ones that might distract us from our main objectives. WBS teaches us to evaluate opportunities both quantitatively and qualitatively and make challenging decisions accordingly.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I would like to nominate Kieran Boland for his dedication to both noble causes and diligence in his pursuits, whether it be work or studies. Similar to myself, Kieran is educated as a lawyer. Before joining WBS, Kieran spent nine years with the British Army, attaining the rank of Major within the Royal Tank Regiment. Throughout his career, he held roles that demanded skills in strategy, logistics, operations, and people management, all of which he executed under immense stress—a crucial attribute in today’s volatile world. At one point, Kieran commanded the British tank Challenger 2. And this is who Kieran is in the business environment – a true challenger who spearheads advancement and leads his people.

On a personal note, I am grateful to Kieran for his deployment to Ukraine in 2017, where he assisted with tactics, planning, and the training of battalions. Subsequently, Kieran was deployed once more, as part of the UK contingent, to Eastern Europe in support of Ukrainian defence efforts.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

Scaling the project on documenting war damages in Ukraine. Following my MBA, I aim to expand my project on documenting damages inflicted by war. I envision establishing a larger organization under the auspices of the Bar Association, with distinct branches dedicated to valuation and documentation, litigation and claiming damages from Russia, and negotiations and lobbying for regulatory reforms in Ukraine. Having already assembled a proficient team that has documented over EUR 10.3 million in damages, I anticipate that this project will require significant leadership, management, and negotiation skills.

Transitioning to Senior Management. Another key goal is to ascend to a senior management position. My plan involves assembling a team, developing a compelling business case, and acquiring expertise in the construction and infrastructure sectors, which are among the most adversely affected areas of the Ukrainian economy. This transition will enable me to contribute at a higher level and make a broader impact in shaping organizational strategies and initiatives.

What made Vladyslav such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Vladyslav is an extremely capable person and a shining light of positivity in the class. Having lived through the war in Ukraine, it is incredible to see Vladyslav’s spirit undimmed and his determination to make a difference for his country.

To hear about the work he has done in documenting the damage in his homeland from the Russian Army is truly inspiring. His modesty and maturity of approach and ambitions to play a central role in helping to re-build Ukraine stood out in our admissions interview. His country and its people have suffered so much over the 10 years of Russian attacks, not to mention the attempted full-scale invasion two years ago that affected Vladyslav greatly.

I was so impressed by Vladyslav’s attitude and his desire to improve his leadership skills so he can continue his valuable work in gaining justice for the people of Ukraine. It has been heartbreaking to watch the destruction of so many beautiful towns and cities, let alone the needless lives lost, from afar, so it is difficult to comprehend how it must be for Vladyslav.

The University of Warwick has done a lot to support students, researchers and the education system in the Ukraine through its twinning with the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics (NURE) and working with the country in rebuilding its education system.

Vladyslav had a very impressive track record as a lawyer and mentoring before he came to Warwick, and was already demonstrating impact in his efforts to use his legal arbitration experience to help address the impact of the war in Ukraine. We can see that those mentoring skills are really evident on the course and he is already helping others, not just in the cohort, but across the school.

He is one of the best examples of our Change Maker values – of curiosity, openness, restlessness and excellence. Vladyslav is certainly restless, his boundless energy and determination make him a stand-out performer and he displays all the attributes of a future leader of an organization. Vladyslav is the epitome of engagement, energy, and curiosity both in the classroom and during events organized by the careers team.

His proactive nature shines through as he consistently seeks ways to assist and add value. This was evident on the Full-time MBA’s trip to Dublin where they met a number of companies. Vladyslav contributed significantly during the Dublin trek by leveraging his personal contacts to enhance the experience for the entire group. His actions speak volumes of his willingness to go above and beyond.

He has been a wonderful ambassador for the school and is a worthy nomination for Poets & Quants’ Brightest and Best. I can’t recommend Vladyslav enough, and I have no doubt he will return to Ukraine and make a real difference with the leadership skills he is learning on the course combined with his considerable legal expertise. The country will need bright young and intelligent people like Vladyslav when the war is over and it rebuilds its shattered communities.

I only hope that rebuilding process starts soon for Ukraine and its people like Vladyslav can once again feel safe and free from fear.”

Philippa Perry-French
WBS Recruitment and Admissions Manager


Latest article