Advice from alumni: Pavel Shamanov
Pavel Shamanov, from Russia, graduated from EF Academy Torbay in 2008. He went on to studying Banking, Finance and Management at Loughborough University and is currently an M&A Associate at KPMG. Learn more about our featured alum:
Why did you choose to go to EF Academy?
I was aware of EF long before I found out about EF Academy, I even went on an EF English course in Malta. Then I got to know about EF Academy, or EF Brittin College as it was called then. I found it to be a very interesting course. Thus, I applied and I was even lucky enough to receive the Founders’ Scholarship.
EF Academy Torbay was a great experience. Torbay was a nice place and I met a lot of great people. As I was part of the second intake in EF Academy in Torbay, we were only 50 students. Everyone from teachers to mentors were very supportive – it was like a big family and everyone was looking out for each other. Moreover, the environment in Torbay really allowed me to focus on my studies and it was also a safe option for my parents.
What university did you go to afterwards? What did you study?
After EF Academy, I started studying Banking, Finance and Management at Loughborough University. It was my top choice, because it was a so called “Sandwich Degree” i.e. a bachelor program during which I could undertake one placement year/internship. I did my internship year with KPMG – one of the four global accounting firms – who then offered me a full-time position when I graduated. I must to say that the last year at University was much more relaxed than the years before thanks to my KPMG offer.
I would highly recommend this kind of sandwich degree because it practically gives you one year, during which you can try out what you like and do not like. Also, everyone who came back from the industry to university were much more focused and motivated than before as well as enjoyed the university life even more.
What are you currently working with? Why did you choose this job?
For the past four years, I have been working for KPMG – one of the big four global accounting firms. I started as an Auditor but joined the ‘Deal Advisory’ division working with Mergers & Acquisitions six months ago. In essence, that means that I work as an advisor for corporations when they want to acquire or divest a company, either wholly or partially. I do everything from conducting corporate valuations, searching for potential buyers and preparing sells packs for businesses. It is very different from what I did as an auditor and I like it a lot because I get to see commercial trends and understand the key drivers in different companies.
Tips to current students that want to study what you study?
In the end of the day, you need to understand what you want to do yourself. It comes down to whether you like the subject and the environment that you are going to study in. I would really recommend to speak to students in the university of your choice to get a good view of what it is like, especially going on university tours. In my case, my dad wanted me to apply for a different school but after visiting Loughborough University, I knew that this was the school for me because I liked it a lot.
Do you keep in touch with our EF Academy classmates?
I do keep in contact with my classmates from different parts of the world. It is also very interesting to see where people end up in terms of work by using LinkedIn and Facebook.
What’s your favorite memory from EF Academy?
I became truly independent at EF Academy, both in terms of studies and personality.
What do you miss the most?
I really enjoyed being in an environment where people around me were so driven, open to change and actually wanted to make an impact in the world. In some respect, it is similar to my current work environment at KPMG and that was actually an important criteria for me when I chose my employer.
What is one thing that you learned from EF Academy that you found valuable for university? For work life? For your personal life?
For me, I think it is the realization that there is often no clear right or wrong answer. There are supported answers but many times it is all about the open discussion. At EF Academy, we were coming from so many different countries and people had different views. Our teachers leveraged this in their teaching and created a great environment for interesting open discussions. This enabled me to go to university with an open mind.
What final tips would you give to current students?
Be open to new experiences and people. People tend to stick to their groups and what they are familiar with, which can prevent them from finding new experiences and learning about the environment at hand. However, synergies are created when you speak to different people and understand different ways of doing things. Thus, I would really recommend everyone to open up to the ‘different’ because only then will you develop and learn new things. At university, everyone is in competition so interpersonal skills and being able to communicate to different peers are great advantages to have.
Name: Pavel Shamanov
Major and university: Banking, Finance and Management at Loughborough University
Current position and employer: M&A Associate at KPMG
How many languages do you speak? 2.5 (English, Russian and little bit of French)
EF Academy campus : Torbay
Graduation years: 2008
Program: A-levels (Economics, Business, Mathematics, Information Technology)
Residence or host family: Host family
Favorite subject: Business studies because there were no clear right and wrong answers, more about supporting the answer with relevant arguments.
Favorite teacher: Honestly, I liked all my teachers . All the teachers were really good and they always tried to make the subjects interesting.
Fun fact about you: I tend to pick up random hobbies. Right now I have started surfing and yes, you can surf in the UK.
Who to interview next: Margarita Tsoy – Worked for E&Y and now for Glencore in Tax law