Nadia’s Career Journey
Greetings Students, Faculty, and Alumni.
What a privilege it is for me to write for the Mitchell Report. The University of South Alabama has changed my life on so many levels. I earned a degree, which has served me well in my career. I also met my husband at the University. If you are a student, I am delighted you made the choice to be here; you will enjoy this school, the faculty, many great scholastic and extra-curricular opportunities, the amenities and the beautiful campus. I was sent to the University of South Alabama by the USIA, the United States Information Agency; the US government selected Mobile, Alabama for me and I am very grateful for that.
In 1994, I was an exchange student of the USIA program; the South’s first such experience. During this fantastic opportunity, I had a pre-academic program at the University of Maine, one academic year at USA, and an internship in Shreveport, LA. I was chosen by the USIA that year, as the only recipient of this exchange program from my home country, Tajikistan, a small Republic of the former Soviet Union, a country that doesn’t exist anymore. I am Korean by DNA, my native language is Russian, I grew up in a Muslim country, but I am Christian, and I am now an American. Despite having such a diverse background, I felt comfortable and welcomed at South. Everything about my experience at the university was new and exciting, profoundly interesting and life changing.
In Tajikistan, I studied Accounting; however I couldn’t pursue this major at South, since all the accounting systems and regulations are so different in America. I graduated with the International Business Marketing degree in 1997. My husband and I moved to Atlanta, Georgia shortly after we graduated from South, and we have resided in the capital of Georgia since 1998.
My first job out of college was with Transamerica Commercial Finance Corporation (TCFC). In 1999, TCFC was acquired by AEGON, the insurance company. I was promoted several times and held positions in the Operations, Portfolio Management, Special Assets Group, International Division, Factoring, Underwriting, and Management. In 2003, as a Team Leader, I was part of the General Electric Commercial Distribution Finance’s (GE CDF) acquisition of AEGON. During my early career with TCFC, AEGON, and GE CDF, I learned a tremendous amount about Commercial Finance, corporate governance and compliance, portfolio management, risk/ reward balance, and the American way of doing business. The university prepared me to understand the business world, apply different sets of skills, embrace the cultural differences (and there were a lot of those for me), deal with stressful situations, find amicable solutions, stay flexible, and adapt to changes, which are inevitable. During my employment with GE CDF, I went back to school and obtained my Masters of Business Administration Degree from the University for Georgia in 2011.
During three years of graduate studies, my career continued to evolve and change; additionally, I had a small child, another job/hobby, and school to worry about, and many other personal life changes. That time showed me again that there is one constant in life: it is change. I went through many career changes; most recently when Wells Fargo Capital Finance Company acquired GE CDF on March 1, 2016. I transitioned to the new company as well. I am currently an Account Executive in the Working Capital Division for the Technology Market. In my 18 year-career I have gone through 3 major acquisitions, many business changes and job transitions. All taught me to adapt to that “one constant” in life, change.
The University of South Alabama certainly was one of the greatest life experiences for me, I am grateful for the opportunities the business degree from this university has provided for me. One of the Mitchell College of Business’ goals is to “Extend the MCOB Footprint”. I whole-heartedly agree with this goal. I owe my business success, in large, to the faculty and the administration of this institution, who believed in and implemented this goal, which states that “…a successful business college must embrace the global business environment. We will implement strategies that increase the depth and breadth of international initiatives”. Thank you USA, for changing and improving every academic year, keep up the great work!