Empowering Voices: Insights from Two Accomplished GEM MBA Alumni on International Women's Day

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In celebration of International Women’s Day, we caught up with two accomplished female alumni to ask them about their experience and how the Grenoble MBA shaped their lives and careers. Here's what they had to say...


Nino Cholokashvili, 
Head of Advisory/Eurasia ESG Lead
PricewaterhouseCoopers Georgia




Olga Ponomareva, 
ESG Marketing Director
Fitch Solutions (London)



What was your experience while doing an MBA as a woman?

Nino - The Grenoble MBA was, for me, both an exciting journey where I met many like-minded individuals and gained new knowledge and skills. Simultaneously, it presented a challenging endeavor, requiring me to find time within an already busy schedule—similar to many women balancing family and job responsibilities.

OlgaBalancing professional responsibilities and personal development posed challenges, but with unwavering support from my family and employer, I successfully navigated the program, culminating in earning my MBA with distinction. I also appreciated the remarkable diversity within my academic cohort, reflecting a healthy balance in terms of both gender and ethnicity.


How did the MBA change your experience of work when you returned to work?

Nino - The MBA helped me boost my confidence. Some of us women, who typically feel comfortable sending our CVs only when we meet 110% of the job requirements, really benefit from this. It also refreshed my knowledge and served as a stimulus for new ideas.


Olga – The MBA program reshaped my work experience by offering a comprehensive understanding of company operations. Enriching my skill set in corporate finance, operations, and negotiation techniques enhanced my approach to challenges, improving effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace. Furthermore, the program significantly honed my interpersonal and leadership skills, contributing positively to professional relationships and the work environment.


How has the MBA equipped you for the challenges of today's workplace?

Nino - Today's workplace requires processing a substantial amount of information, considering various perspectives, connecting the dots, and making decisions. Developing, improving, or perfecting this skill is one of the benefits that an MBA provides.


Olga – The MBA program equipped me for the globalized workplace through a diverse cohort, fostering a deep understanding of global perspectives and enhancing cultural intelligence. Learning from varied experiences of peers provided valuable insights for addressing multifaceted challenges, offering a robust foundation for agile leadership in today's workplace.


What advice would you give to women thinking of doing a full-time MBA?

Nino - Personally, undertaking a full-time MBA has allowed me to balance multiple roles - as a mother, manager, and family member—without sacrificing the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and status (I strongly believe that an MBA is a status symbol!). Given the complex responsibilities that many women face in today's world, I would recommend finding a program that aligns well with their goals and lifestyle.


OlgaFor women considering a full-time MBA, I recommend assessing the commitment needed and aligning potential benefits with career aspirations. Once you have decided to embark on this journey, fully immerse yourself intellectually and emotionally, viewing it not just as an educational endeavor but as a life-enriching experience. Remember to balance hard work with connections with peers. An MBA is a significant investment in your future with immensely rewarding returns on time and effort.



Grenoble Ecole de Management is proud to offer scholarships to women interested in pursing an MBA.
Contact us to learn more!

  • MBA

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