Nadia Yuzhannikova

What and when did you study at INSEAD?

MBA 10J (P1-4 in SG, P5 FB)

What has been your involvement with the National Alumni Association? Why did you get involved?

I was an active participant of the INSEAD alumni association prior to coming to AUS, in recruiting events and interviewing for the MBA program – because I loved my time at the school and wanted to contribute to finding the right “future alumni”, as well as to support students in finding jobs (in consulting in my case) after their graduation. When I came to AUS in 2014 for what was meant to be a 3 month internal transfer project, NAA was the most logical choice to meet new people outside work. David Mair (President and the main point of contact back then) invited me to the Global INSEAD Day, which was just a week after my arrival in Sydney. I met James Stewart, who is still a great friend, and a bunch of other alumni, and Thirsty Thursdays at the Opera Bar became a part of my life.

Tell us about your career to date.

I spent 9 years with McKinsey&Co in Consulting, and now I am working on my second career, in Retail: I was GM for Customer strategy, insights and experience at Woolworths for 5 years and then moved into eCom. Just over a year now, I have been with Amazon Marketplace, leading two categories as a GM, Consumer electronics and Entertainment media.

What are your aims for the Alumni Association?

I see an opportunity in strengthening the connection between INSEAD alumni in the most admired companies, organizations and start ups in AU/NZ – and graduating students, as well as other alumni looking for their next professional opportunity. All it would take is some goodwill of those individuals who would be happy to be the main point of contact at their companies for interested INSEADers – for coffee chats, employee referrals, and whatever else they have capacity to commit to. If you feel like you could be that “INSEAD Ambassador” at your current company, please do reach out to me.

How did INSEAD transform your life?

There was a general impact of meeting amazing people from all over the world: I believe you are a product of the environment you are in and the people you surround yourself with. And then, there was a very direct impact: post McKinsey, it was one of our local alums, Stan Steinwolf, who mentioned a job at Woolies that I ended up in. Plus, our alumni across the globe have been invaluable in helping me find the right role and prepare for interviews at Amazon, understand the company and its culture, as well as advise me in the first steps in the role. I have created an online community of 200+ INSEADers at Amazon worldwide, and it’s been great to connect people and see them support each other.