Elena Belavina (Russia)
Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Finance, London School of Economics, UK
Assistant Professor of Operations Management, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, USA
Background: BSc and MSc in Applied Mathematics and Physics, specialising in Systems Programming and IT Management, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia; PhD in Technology and Operations Management, INSEAD (2012)
I have over 70 smart people from all over the world and all backgrounds to talk to about my research, my thoughts, and my life. I could not ask for a better support network.
During my master’s, I realised how attractive the academic lifestyle was. It was not just the freedom to organise my own time that appealed, but also the freedom to think. It is so much more rewarding to research ideas that you have developed yourself.
Although I loved maths, I was also fascinated by people. Technology and Operations Management seemed the perfect way of combining both interests – and INSEAD clearly had one of the best departments in the world. It turned out to be even better than I would imagined once I got here.
I admit it was a challenge to change direction. That first year was crazy! I learnt a huge amount, but sometimes it is an advantage to be new to a field and to have no preconceptions. It also helped to have the mentorship of senior students who had already been through it all.
There is a real interdisciplinary PhD community at INSEAD. I could have over 70 smart people from all over the world and all backgrounds to talk to about my research, my thoughts and my life. I could not ask for a better support network.