Olya Linde '96

Major: Economics

Graduate degree: Masters in Economics, University of Michigan

What do you do for a living?

I am a partner at Bain & Company, a global strategy consulting firm. I have worked in Chicago, New York and currently reside in Moscow, Russia. Our company advises clients on a wide range of topics from Strategy to business process improvement. I am focused on Oil and Gas, Diamonds and Organization improvements. 

How did your experience at Saint Michael's help prepare you for your career?

My experience at St. Michael's college prepared me well for future graduate school studies in Economics and then for a consulting career in three ways. First, the small class format taught me the importance of articulating my thoughts clearly and in a logical way in order to defend my point of view. Multiple discussions with the professors in and out of classroom provided me with plenty of opportunities to practice that. Second, I learned the importance of approaching every problem as if it is my own business. Even though Economics can come across as academic at times, I felt that at St. Michael's we looked at economic issues from a very practical angle, linking the theory to then current business and economic environment in the USA and globally. And finally, I learned that value of a great support system that makes it easy to dream big and try new things. I often think of how fortunate I was having the support of my professors at St. Michaels and try to do the same for people I work with.

What is your favorite memory from your time at St. Mike's?

My favorite times were not in the classroom but rather in the offices of my professors where I never felt rushed and could always get answers to the questions I had. Those 'beyond the curriculum' discussions were most interesting and largely influenced the future career choices I've made.

Any advice for St. Mike's students?

My advice to students is dream big! Never let perceived constraints stop you from trying to go for your dreams. When there is a will, there will be a way. Just start doing it, don't give up when first things do not seem to work out! Eventually, you will succeed. My experience shows that rarely people are successful at the first try, but successful people keep trying.

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