KALAMAZOO, Mich.—With graduate degrees in engineering, business and leadership, Pavel Kolyvanov, MBA’19, is no stranger to pursuing a challenge. His latest goal is earning a Master of Science in finance from Western Michigan University.
“Initially the program seemed a bit overwhelming, since it is very comprehensive, challenging and fast-paced,” says Kolyvanov. “But it is also full of talented peers and knowledgeable, attentive professors who are willing to help and are invested in your success. The opportunities for personal growth and business networking are endless. Western itself is a hub of multicultural openness. I feel grateful for this opportunity.”
Kolyvanov chose the program in the Haworth College of Business to enhance the skills he needs to properly drive strategic change—especially for his employer, Quick Sav Food Stores in Flint, Michigan, where he works as a strategic planning specialist. In particular, he hopes to learn to better predict and forecast how companies will perform in the future and to communicate that information effectively.
“Finance is an exciting field, and I am looking forward to making the most of my time at WMU,” says Kolyvanov.
His path to a finance career began in engineering. He earned two master’s degrees: one from ENSEA, a graduate school in electrical and computer engineering, computer science and telecommunications in France; another from the State University of Aerospace Instrumentation in St. Petersburg, Russia. As a graduate student, Kolyvanov completed multiple internships in Michigan with Eastman Outdoors.
Following graduation, he spent six years in various managerial positions but soon returned to Michigan, earning an MBA at WMU Haworth in 2019 and again working for his mentor, Robert Eastman, founder of Eastman Outdoors, which also owns Quick Sav Food Stores. While working in his current role he earned another master’s degree in leadership and organization dynamics from University of Michigan-Flint.
And as busy as he is now pursuing his M.S. in finance, raising a family and working full time, Kolyvanov still enjoys his time at WMU and in Kalamazoo.
“Kalamazoo is a very diverse, vibrant town. There is always something to do. The downtown is inviting with choices of wonderful restaurants, different cuisines,” says Kolyvanov. “During my MBA years, I made many friends here, and it is such a joy to be back.”
The expert, welcoming faculty members who support his studies and the chance to work with other students who are professionals in varied fields also strengthen Kolyvanov’s academic experience.
“Getting to meet and work with people from many different backgrounds is quite beneficial,” says Kolyvanov. “Students are given every opportunity to find success at WMU. I am so happy to be a part of the Bronco family.”
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