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Irina Vakuliuk

Alexei Mineev

Ilgar Zarbaliyev

December 2003
students of the month


In the Holiday spirit

Dear alumni, current students, and all our readers out there:

Over the many years through this special column on our web site, we have strived to showcase those of our students who, in our opinion, have done especially well in academic performance and in their professional careers. This time around, though, as we gathered to decide on who to choose for this last month of the year, we were struck by what we though was an interesting idea: “What,” we asked ourselves, “if we were to choose for this December SOM the student who most embodies the things we cherish the most at our school and that are celebrated throughout the holidays season we are about to enter into?” Great idea, right!? But then, as we sought for a student who embodied the holiday spirit, we found not one student who we think demonstrates the Christmas feeling, but several! So, in the end we have done something quite unique: we have chosen not one Student of the Month as usual, but we bring you this time a total of three.

First, ALEXEI MENEEV, a student in the Upper Intermediate Business English class, demonstrated the unselfish SPIRIT OF GIVING that we believe is truly alive in all of our students. When one of the foreign staff at Pericles was seriously confronted with an acute issue of immediate accommodation need, and Pericles’ Dean, Marian Dent, decided to tap into our pool of students to attempt to solve the problem, Alexei was among those who responded first with a generous offer: he was ready to take the staff member in his apartment, where he lives with his young wife. He demanded absolutely nothing in return but the chance to have the opportunity to practice his English on a daily basis. To us, this was a true demonstration of what X-mas is supposed to be about: the depth of the human spirit of giving. We have nothing but praise for Alexei.

Our second pick is ILGAR ZARBALIYEV, another young professional and a student in the Business Writing and GMAT classes, who we chose TO INSPIRE US ALL for the next year. Ilgar is a consistent participant at Pericles events and Club nights and has really become someone we consider a member of the Pericles family. Ilgar has distinguished himself by succeeding through a rough path stacked with incredible odds he has courageously proceeded to beat one-by-one. Ilgar made his way to Moscow from his native Azerbaijan through hard work and and unflinching dedication to his goals. Today, Ilgar works as Financial & Marketing Manager for a Turkish electrical company here in Moscow, and spends practically all of his spare time at Pericles practicing his English and working towards his next goal of enrolling at one of the top 10 B-schools sometime next year for an MBA. To us, Ilgar illustrates what results hard work and perseverance can produce when combined with talent. The holiday season is a time of beginning. Many of us make resolutions at New Year, with grand plans to improve our lives for the coming year. Ilgar, we think, is an inspiration to all of us who are planning our goals for the next year: he is the embodiment of what striving towards a goal can achieve.

Our third (but certainly not last) pick is IRINA VAKULIUK, another student who took Business Writing as well as Negotiations. Irina is an MBA-hopeful at AIBEc, who juggles work and studies together with raising two daughters. Irina, we think, embodies the holiday spirit of FAMILY INVOLVEMENT. Irina manages her busy schedule with commitment to involving her children in all her activities. She tries to make them a part of her student and professional life. Irina’s daughter was truly the youngest and cutest member ever to attend a Pericles Halloween party! Moreover, Irina has earned our praise through her unbelievable spirit of involvement: involvement in her studies and an active and committed extra-curriculum life at Pericles and at AIBEc. She is a regular at our Club Nights, Halloween, Christmas and New Year parties and many other traditional events.

So here they are, our SOMs for this last month of the year. As we are preparing to meet the New Year, we wanted to convey to our students and readers this message of hard work, selfless giving, and involvement, which we at Pericles believe are the essential ingredients of success. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!