home > News & Events > Spotlights > Student Spotlight: Yuliya Vainilovich

Bachelor’s, Economics
Master’s of Engineering Management

Yuliya joins SDM with eight years of experience in software engineering. She hopes to use SDM as a chance to pivot in her career and take on more of a leadership role within her industry. “I want to be a leader in the future,” she says. “I’m hoping the core will help me to always ask questions about the processes and systems that are connected to my work.”

What made you apply to the program? And why did you decide on SDM instead of a traditional MBA or other graduate degree?

Last year I was thinking about a master’s or MBA. I was researching different options at MIT and I found SDM, and the moment I found it I realized it was exactly what I need. I didn’t want to just jump into management. I wanted to go into leadership roles, but I still wanted to be an engineering expert and expand my engineering knowledge as well. 

I also wanted to change the direction of my work. Currently I’m heavily involved in financial and economic markets, and what I’m looking to do is get into the sustainability sector. I’ve already researched the Sloan sustainability certificate and the courses I’ll need. I think SDM will give me the opportunity to both change industries and at the same time move into leadership roles.

What’s something you hope to learn in the core class?

The core class will teach me how to see the full picture, to understand what I can do within this economy and this society, and how to think of processes that can be improved within sustainability as a sector. I’m hoping it will give me a vision for bigger things, which is sometimes very hard to do. Over the past year I realized that I’m very focused on one area. I want to see the bigger picture and have a bigger impact and see how else I can be helpful. 

I was invited to the spring project presentations, where the students delivered business plans. There were so many different industries that were involved. It doesn’t matter what you’re interested in, you will find people who are interested in the same topic and who can support your ideas. These projects are coming in as real industry projects, real business cases and business scenarios. As someone who’s been working for so many years, I’m less interested in theoretical projects. I want to be able to work on real-world scenarios, and I think that’s what SDM can give me and future students as well.

What’s something that excites you about your meeting your new classmates?

I’m really excited that all the people in the cohort come from different industries. I’m looking to meet people from other sectors and see what issues they’re facing, what they are looking to improve within their industries. I realize how important it is to have people with different experiences and from different fields. 

How do you think a systems approach will help you in your work? 

It’s very important to know the bigger picture when you’re designing, or when you work in an industry, so you always can encounter all of the different communications of the systems that involve your system. There is never one standalone system that just stands without communication with others. Even with my work, although it’s within our company, it’s all connected between different teams and different processes. It always touches other people, other systems, other processes. 

To learn more about SDM and hear from other students, join us for our next information session on October 21. Register now!