SKOLKOVO MBA-5 in Kamchatka: Training Leaders in Extreme Conditions


Moscow, March 28, 2016. – The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO welcomes its heroes: today, the participants of SKOLKOVO MBA-5 group returned from the training module, which was conducted in the harsh natural conditions of Kamchatka. MBA-5 participants became the pioneers: it was the first group ever whose training programme included such a challenge. The training module on leadership was conducted with the support of our friends and partners — International Paper in frames of the long-term strategic partnership programme. This final training module aimed at providing the participants with an opportunity to evaluate their leadership skills, developing the teamwork capability, exerting influence and making quick management decisions under uncertainty. The participants were also supposed to see the enormous potential of our country, set ambitious goals for their future and believe that these goals can be achieved.

SKOLKOVO: SKOLKOVO MBA-5 in Kamchatka: Training Leaders in Extreme Conditions

During the week, the participants, under the guidance of the graduate of the SKOLKOVO Business School, businessman and professional coach Sergei Deryabin and other experts, reflected upon various aspects of leadership, core values, the issues of moral choices and the role of a leader in a team, formulated their attitude to success, discussed the results of the SKOLKOVO MBA programme, as well as revealed their own qualities and got to know their fellow students better in the course of intensive teamwork.

A variety of activities were held in the real-life natural environment of Kamchatka Peninsula during five of the six programme days. The module participants set up a camp in the snow, climbed mountain peaks, descended into the crater of an active volcano, covered dozens of kilometres on snowmobiles, developed the skills of survival and safety in the mountains, got into a real blizzard, and went through many other challenges.

During the evening discussions, the module participants talked about the scale of the transformations they are willing to effect, and what exactly they are going to do in order to change the country and the world for the better. At the end of the module, they put forward a few initiatives relating to both the development of the SKOLKOVO Alumni Association and the businesses of the MBA-5 programme participants.

"The process of managing an organisation in modern conditions often resembles the struggle of a ship against the wind and waves in an open sea. The captain is forced to quickly adapt to new conditions, promptly analyse the external environment and the changes occurring in it, give clear orders to the crew, and at the same time maintain his authority and motivate the team to succeed. It is absolutely impossible to experience all this when sitting at a desk in a classroom or an office. Therefore, the final module in Kamchatka was the culmination of our MBA participants' training, a stress test of the knowledge and practical skills they had acquired during the programme. If, at the end of the module, each of the participants answers the question of what leadership actually is, how he/she shows it in various critical situations, and determines the areas for development, we will consider our mission accomplished," said Svetlana Pashkevich, Director of the SKOLKOVO MBA and Executive MBA Programmes.

"Kamchatka provides ideal conditions for programme participants to show their strengths, abilities, emotions, thoughts, to understand how to interact with others, become aware of their leadership potential and limits, and to stress-test the team. Finally, it gives them an opportunity for unique real life experiences. Kamchatka is a unique Russian region, and I can't imagine another place that is better suited for meeting these challenges," said Andrey Shapenko, Project Manager at the SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies, who had taken part in the MBA leadership adventure.

"International Paper is happy to contribute to the creation of Russia's future business leaders. This is what makes the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO and its MBA programmes so valuable. Hopefully, the knowledge acquired and the unique experience of teamwork and survival in extreme conditions of the Kamchatka Peninsula will help you to further realise your leadership potential and contribute to your business success," said Ksenia Sosnina, President of International Paper Russia.

The company is international expert on leadership and has supported SKOLKOVO Business School since 2009. Support of the final educational module in Kamchatka is valuable for International Paper also because the company provided scholarships for three SKOLKOVO MBA-5 programme participants working on the sustainable development projects. People development is at the core of International Paper’s strategy, so it is really important for the company to see good results in leadership development and success of MBA students.

The module in Kamchatka completed the training programme of the fifth SKOLKOVO MBA group. The participants will be awarded diplomas at the official graduation ceremony held on May 21 as part of the annual SKOLKOVO Alumni Convention.

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