Category Archives: PMBA GSU

Full Circle

This Saturday is our two last finals. As we will be taking a 4-hour test for Strategy Analysis, our professor Dr. Bogner will be doing Orientation for new PMBA students at Buckhead campus… What does it mean? It means we’ve come a full circle: from beginning to end. Frankly speaking, there’s still a lot I could share with you, but this is my last blog (there will be one more later in August when I receive the images from our PMBA graduation at Magiano’s on the 31st of this month). I wanted to use this last opportunity to share with you how I feel about the PMBA at Robinson.

Where I Started:

  • Being from Russia, I was concerned that my English would not be good enough, but I had no problem performing at my best while on the program, so you shall never hesitate if English is not your native language.
  • Being new to the country, I thought maybe I won’t adjust and won’t handle graduate studies well enough, yet it was actually not impossible to get through the program, and I was able to even maintain GPA of 3.72
  • Being a busy business owner and a wife with two stepsons, I was afraid there would be no time for me to keep us with homework and classes as well as frequent team interactions and meetings; however, it was very manageable I’d say.
  • Being from a different culture, I was puzzled about the new systems and processes, yet PMBA administrative staff did a great job making us feel taken care of, and today I can honestly say that it is a premium program for a reason – it provides high-end, premium service to make the PMBA experience a very pleasant one for you.

Where I’m Finishing:

  • I’ve learned many great concepts, frameworks, tools, and mindsets that helped me in my own business and now are applied on my new job as a Marketing Manager
  • I’ve developed essential critical thinking habits to stay open-minded and available to new opportunities whenever those come (so that I can actually recognize them and take advantage of them)
  • I’ve met so many amazing people and expanded my LinkedIn network by 2,066 people while being a PMBA student; these connections are priceless, and many of them would have never been possible had it not been for the PMBA
  • I’ve gained a strong competitive advantage which will always help me stand out among other professionals as long as I’m able to communicate the value of my credentials and knowledge.
  • I’ve obtained a very unique approach to problem-solving that assists me in my daily personal and professional life, and most of all I have perfected my negotiation skills that have already been utilized in a variety of situations to my benefit.

I loved it and I truly believe that no matter how busy you are, you should just go for it! PMBA is your instant ticket to success!



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Pictures from the Commencement Brunch

It’s Saturday! As promised, here is a series of very cool commencement brunch pictures for you. LIKE / comment if enjoy those!


Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens Commencement Brunch GSU 2013 Anna Stevens



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How to Figure Out if PMBA is a Good Fit for You

To figure out if PMBA at Robinson is a good fit for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I want to connect and build relationships with thousands of like-minded professionals?
  • Do I want to create a strong competitive advantage on the job market for myself?
  • Do I want to secure a sustainable future for my career?
  • Do I want to advance my knowledge and develop essential for the modern market work competencies?

If your answer to these questions is “Yes”, PMBA is a perfect fit for you. Click here to learn more and take action!

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Negotiation Elective

I just love our negotiation class, which I have chosen as an elective!

 What we learn there is so valuable!

  • How to understand your own objectives and interests as well as your own negotiation style.
  • How to discover the opposite party’s interests, values, motives, underlying assumptions and goals.
  • How to find as many win-win solutions as possible and how to properly evaluate each of them.
  • How to prepare for negotiation, so it’s a success.
  • How to ensure that the agreement will not be breached.
  • And many-many other essential how-tos.

Not only that, the style of this class is very engaging – we hardly sit and take notes, in fact, we only do during movies-watching. Yes, we watch movies with Roger Fisher an his team – it’s a real-life negotiation in action that we can observe and assess to make our own conclusions about the pros and the cons of each negotiation.

We also negotiate with our peers different agreements from case-studies. We prepare a plan for each exercise and then practice. Practice is the most interesting part as you literally live your role while negotiating, even though it’s just a class 🙂 People get stressed, too 🙂 I love it!

What it helped me to accomplish is that we moved to a new place with my family and had no microwave. I was able to negotiate with the office here, so that we are getting a microwave this week!


I will share with you more about this elective in the future posts. Stay with me!

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A woman was cleaning her attic and found a saving bond, which was issued in 1863. The original value, or the present value of the bond was $100. The percent was 7%. So… this 149 years old saving bond was now worth $2,388,816!!!!!!!!! The lady went to cash it, but, unfortunately, the Government that issued it was no longer in existence….

Isn’t it an interesting story? Yes, I think so. That is just one example of what we learn during our Corporate Finance classes this semester. From saving to investing money – you’re going to learn it all, and all the knowledge our professor shares is relevant and applicable to our personal wealth-building strategies and professional ones.

A great example was this. A couple has a new-born baby. If the baby is to retire with a million dollars, how much money should the couple put in a bank as a one-time payment? The answer is $1,132.42 🙂 By investing a little over $1,000 into your baby’s account under 11% for 65 hers, you can help the baby get a million at the retirement age 🙂

Is it cool? Despite me hating numbers, I now am so excited about Corporate Finance!

Will share more soon, so check back often!

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Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Get Your MBA for Success!

You are a professional who has been working for at least 4  years. You’re at the point where you, probably, want more – you want to significantly increase your chances to build a dream-career and achieve success. Do you have a strong strategy? What exactly do you need to do to become successful? Why this? How will you accomplish it? All these questions can be answered with a simple method of goal-setting called S.M.A.R.T. goals, and obtaining your MBA can be a big part of advancing your career.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-­oriented, Realistic and Time-­bound. 

Specific answers the questions What, Why and How? Identify what it is that you need to accomplish to get where you want to be in your career. Outline the purpose and the benefits of achieving the goal. Focus on the tools and strategies you’ll need to achieve your career-goal (joining PMBA, for example). Don’t just ask yourself what job you want. Dig deep and discover where you want to end up in 5-­‐10 years. Start with the end in mind.

Measurable answers the questions such as How much? How many? How will I know when I progress?

Action‐oriented. Every time you set a goal, it has to start with a verb to identify the specific action that’s needed to be taken in order to successfully achieve your goal. Examples include: “obtain”, ”change”, ”create”, and “increase”.

Realistic helps you check with your reality-testing. The goal “Become the President of the US in two weeks and change the healthcare system” is very specific, measurable, action-­oriented and time-­bound, however it is not realistic. If a goal fails to be realistic, there is no chance it will be achieved. If you set unrealistic goals too often, that creates disappointment and frustration and discourages you from trying. It is essential for a goal to be realistic.

Time­‐bound. You have to set the time frame for accomplishing your goal (for example, “Join PMBA at GA State for Fall 2012, graduate within 24 months and land the dream-job within 6 months after graduation”). If you don’t, it may take forever and you will get tired and change your focus. Set a deadline by which the goal has to be achieved.

As you try to set your goal, remember to ask yourself: “On a scale from 1 to 10, how committed will I be to achieving this goal?” If the answer is lower than 8, you need a different goal with a different WHY, perhaps a more meaningful WHY.

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Overview of the first year on the PMBA program

Well, well, well…. One years has almost past since all of us entered the PMBA program. How has it been? What have I learned? How do I like it so far? What are my expectations of the next year? All of these questions will be answered in today’s overview of the first year on the PMBA program.

How has it been? The program itself has been a fun experience – nothing like I’d imagined a year ago 🙂 It’s not just boring staff you hear while sitting in your class for hours taking notes all day while listening to your professor. The classes for us are organized in a very interactive manner that is much more beneficial for our learning and expansion of out professional views. Professors only there to guide a discussion. The discussion happened between all the classmates, opinions are being supported by real-life examples, and at the end of each class you feel like WOW – that’s how much you learn in a very unique way.

What have I learned? I have learned more than was expected 🙂 Not only did I learn and was reminded some essential general business and other concepts that lay a foundation for success and sustainability in a business-world, but also I’ve learned diverse variety of subject-specific real-life concepts to grow my own business.

How do I like it so far? I like being on the program overall, and I like a few particular things, too, such as the location (only 8 min away from my home and so close to everywhere I go!), the latest technology available to us (such as printers for our i-Pads, video-conferencing, Tagrity to participate in a class remote when you travel or sick etc.), clean and modern environment to help us relax and concentrate on learning and many other little things that make a big difference.

What are my expectations of the next year? Next year I expect to be more challenging as we will take electives and be separates from our cohort partly, but also it should be very interesting. I am taking some great electives like Social Media Marketing, Negotiations etc. Of course, I expect to apply what I’ll learn in my business right away (I sure will tell you about it as we go).

This Summer I realized that in my mind I was still in May last year, when we just started enrolling on the PMBA program. Time fli

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Break! Break! Break!

Ok, ladies and gentlemen! The second semester is over! You can see me jumping on the left 🙂

It was a very interesting time during which I personally learned a lot about social media for customer relationship management, lead-generation and overall business success; I’ve discovered modern principles of innovation and creativity; I’ve explored the trademark and copyright law, and based on the new information I made a few changes to my own website and those of my clients’; I’ve practiced tools and techniques of Managerial Accounting and applied them to making my own business-desicions; I’ve met so many interesting people and heard so many stories of success! It was fabulous!

Now it is time to rest and go back to writing my book. I will keep you up to date with happenings in the next semester which starts in June.

Have a great time in May!

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Legal Issues of Modern Society

After the midterm, our law professor Perry Binder (I’ll tell you some funny stuff about him later) gave us an opportunity to write a paper on any legal issue of our interest to earn extra-credit. I sure did use the opportunity to add to my grade. The legal issue I care for is Domestic Violence and I am willing to share with you a story I wrote about. 


In the United States of America, a woman is being beaten up every nine seconds. On average, 24 people per minute become victims of rape, physical violence, or being stalked by an intimate partner in the United States, according to new findings released in December 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story – more than 1 million women are being raped in a year, and over 6 million women and men become victims of stalking. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are major public health problems in the United States.
The social issues of Domestic Violence and sexual assault are mostly covered by laws based on state law. This includes restraining or protection orders, divorce, custody, crimes, and more. There are some federal laws that may be relevant to Domestic Violence situations as well, including immigration and military laws.
Immigrants coming to America are very vulnerable and often become victims of abuse, particularly women. Women with children and women who speak no English are at risk and are more likely to experience Domestic Violence in the United States.

Definition of Domestic Violence.

According to National Domestic Violence Hot Line website, Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

It was April 14, 2006 when I received the first e-mail from HIM who seemed to be just right for me: blond hair, blue eyes, well fit, very athletic, smart, romantic and caring, no children and he had never been married (so he told me). He worked as a Chief Credit Officer at a well-known company, made good living, and in the same time he had a high level of social responsibility fulfilling it by taking care of sick children who were dying from cancer (so he told me). I believed I finally met my Mister Right. Our relationship was warm and romantic. He came to Kursk, Russia multiple times during the three years we were dating for, while I was finishing my Law School and Business School simultaneously. I had arrived to Atlanta, GA on July 31, 2008 to live my happily-ever-after with HIM in the United States. At the time, I spoke no English. I had no friends, no family here, and found myself being totally depend on my american husband who, I believed, truly loved me and had my best interest in mind. My married life was far from what I expected. Mister Right kept me home for 8 months, with no people to communicate to, no phone available to me, no car to give me an opportunity to get around, no Skype to connect with my family in Russia, no English lessons to allow me learn the language and the culture and adjust to the unfamiliar environment, no documents filed with the USCIS to update my legal status, and no money to cover my basic needs.

Besides that, Mister Right made me his house-slave whose purpose was to cook, clean, do laundry for him and sit by his side in front of a TV whenever he wanted. When on September 8th, 2008 he was trying to kill me on a highway in Bainbridge, GA and someone called the police, I told the officer to not take my Mister Right to jail because I was scared in a new country knowing nobody and having no support. What a mistake that was! He did it again on October 20th of 2008. April the 9th, 2009 could have been the last day of my life, but I made it my second birthday by leaving the man and going to a shelter with the 3 officers who arrived that afternoon to save my life. That is when I faced the law related to Domestic Violence in America.

Vulnerability of Abused Women-Immigrants.

Women with children, I’ve discovered, have the priority over single young women like me when it comes to obtaining a space in a shelter, which was why the officer could not find me a safe-house for over 2 hours, calling around GA. When I finally found new so-called home in the International Women’s House in Stone Mountain, GA, I faced with the law again as my Driver’s License, I found out, was expired, so I had suspended registration and no proof of insurance as Mister Right cut it off that very day I left him. I now had 5 traffic citations and had to appear before the trial and defend myself. It took humanity and kindness of the Judge to dismiss my case when she heard my story and saw my letter from the shelter and from the psychiatrist who worked with me at that time. The law in this area is not fully developed in the United States and does not anticipate such situations as the one described above, to which many immigrant-women can relate throughout America.

Temporary Protective Order.

Mister Right was now looking for me everywhere and stalking me on the phone, my e-mail and by text-messaging. Not only was I fearful and concerned about my life and safety, but it also negatively affected my mental conditions. Between April 9th and May 2nd of 2009, I had received 242 e-mails, 234 text-messages, 56 calls and 28 voice-mails from my abuser, so on May 2nd a lady-police-officer answered Mister Right’s call on my phone and informed him that we were filing for a TPO.

According to, a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) is a legal document issued by a court to help victims obtain protection from persons abusing, harassing, or stalking them. A TPO will generally prohibit contact between parties and may remove or restrict someone from a certain place or residence.

Based on printed screen shots of my phone and copies of the e-mails I mentioned before, I obtained a TPO against my abuser, which immediately put him out of work and he had to move out of state, which gave me peace of mind.

Immigration Protection.

From May to August 2009 I was looking for an immigration attorney to assist me with my expired paperwork as Mister Right never filed to update my status after we had gotten married. I now faced with the law again when was requested to proof good faith of mine when I had entered the marriage, as well as the fact of actual marital relationship and my good moral character. The challenge was to find a lawyer who would represent me on a pro-bono basis. Immigration Legal Services accepted my case in August of 2009, which gave me an opportunity to finally renew my Driver’s License based on my updated status, so that I was able to get around, meet new people, volunteer, work as a nanny and a house- keeper, earn some leaving, learn English and put my life back together. In August of 2010, I received my permanent status and a 10-year Green Card, after which I was hired to work for Magistrate Court of Fulton County which allowed me to move to my own apartment and become an equal member of the society.

The challenge of the journey here was that the law in the United States does not help to connect the dots for women-immigrants to help them survive Domestic Violence. For example, without SSN you are not allowed to work. To obtain a SSN, you have to have your immigration status current. To have your immigration status current, your husband (who is often the abuser) has to file it for you. If you work with no SSN, you may be pressed with legal charges and will not obtain a legal immigration status. If you don’t obtain a legal status, you may not obtain a SSN….. Many women who experience abuse do not leave their violent partner because they know that the system will not protect them, in fact, may do just the opposite. 300 women in GA committed a suicide due to Domestic Violence because they had no hope and knew that the law would play against them if they broke-free.


Given the facts provided, Mister Right filed for an annulment of our marriage in May of 2009, and a process server served me in the parking garage of the Dekalb Co court house where I appeared to receive my TPO. Not only did Mister Right requested the annulment, but also a compensation of $80,000 from me and my departure from the United States. While in the shelter, I had to call and visit many attorneys only to find out I had to pay thousands of dollars upfront for them to take my case. At the legal clinic of Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, I met with an attorney from Atlanta Legal Aid Society who later that month announced that, after hearing about my story and seeing my evidences, his colleagues voted to accept my case. After a long-long battle, I obtained so desired divorce in March of 2010, and became forever grateful for the help and support of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. From that month till this day, I became a dedicated volunteer at Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence and a Domestic Violence advocate for women.
The challenge here is that the law only provides some protection for victims of Domestic Violence and their children. Women-immigrants cannot defend themselves during the divorce process, so they are always in need of legal assistance, which requires financial resources that abused women usually do not have.

According to Speaker’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, when trying to exit a violent situation and obtain services and protections for themselves, many survivors of Domestic Violence report that the processes and procedures they navigate as while seeking legal protection and support services are fragmented, confusing and not user-friendly.

You can watch some of this story if you click here.

Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence 
115 East Maple St, Decatur GA
National DV Hot Line
1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224

I welcome your comments. Share this with those you think may be in need.

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Get Exposed to the International Trade!

As a PMBA candidate, I was offered an opportunity to volunteer at World Chamber of Commerce on February 2nd 2012 and get exposed to the International Trade. What an exciting chance to meet high-end people! World Chamber of Commerce (WCC) has on its Board such individuals as the U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe, the U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro, Consul General of the United Kingdom Annabelle Malins and Consul of Lithuania Roma Klicius. That evening, I really wanted to meet the Mayor Kasim Reed. Even though I couldn’t go because I had classes, later I was offered a position of the Director of Membership there!

If you join the PMBA program, you, too, will be able to volunteer for WCC and attend their events for free. Who knows what doors will open for you then?

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