What Alumni Say About IPA

photo of Anastasia KuzminaAnastasia Kuzmina

Take a look at what Russian native Anastasia Kuzmina said in an interview about her career and her experiences at IPA looking back, now that she’s been in the workforce for more than five years.

current position: Human Resources Manager, General Electric Co., Barcelona
UD degree: MPA, University of Delaware 2002, State and Local Government

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Q.What is your current position?

A.I am the HR manager for two profit-and-loss units of the GE Consumer & Industrial Business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Q.What experiences have you had that helped qualify you for this position?

A.After I graduated from University of Delaware, I returned to Russia, where I worked for two years for the International Republican Institute (IRI), an American nonprofit organization. At IRI I was a program officer in charge of youth program, political party–building, and other training programs. In 2005 I was selected for GE’s Human Resources Leadership Program (HRLP), a two-year accelerated management-development program. I became the first HRLP candidate from Russia in the 20-year program’s history at GE.

Q.What challenges are unique to you in this very global job?

A.Some of the unique challenges in my position are due to the organization’s matrix structure and the spread of employees throughout 14 countries. I spend a lot of time on the phone, not only interviewing but also providing coaching and resolving employee issues. Unfortunately, I haven’t actually met some of my client group employees, and it’s always a challenge to help someone grow within the organization when you don’t interact with them on a daily basis. Another challenge is diversity. I need to work to increase the number of women in product management, as it’s uncommon for women to study electrical engineering in Europe.

Q.What excites you about your job?

A.I love my role; the ability to hire new professionals and help them grow and develop in GE and realize their career aspirations is the most rewarding experience. To see the person whom you hired get promoted gives me great satisfaction. I also try to connect with most of the employees one-on-one; it makes a big difference to them and motivates them to do their job better, which in the end is a win-win, for the company and the employee.

Q.How did your experiences at UD and through IPA help prepare you for what you’re doing now?

A.I truly believe that the master’s program at the University of Delaware was my first big step to an international career. It was my first experience living in the United States, and I’m still enjoying my international working/living lifestyle that started at UD. The two-year program was a great learning and maturing experience for me. There were courses that were relevant to my current role—Management Decision Making, an HR class, as well as Finance and Economics.

Working in IPA was a great learning experience as well. It gave me an opportunity to work and participate in activities in the Women’s Leadership Development Program and Conflict Resolution Program.

Q.Looking back, what is the most important thing you learned at IPA that has helped you the most?

A.Having learned about leadership concepts and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator through the Women’s Leadership Development Program and having worked with the Conflict Resolution Program doing mediation, facilitation, and networking helps me tremendously in my everyday work today.