The MBA Hub

Video: Interview with Yulia Smirnova (MBA '07)

Last September I met with MBA alum, Yulia Smirnova (’07) to talk about how the MBA at Portland State helped her jump start her career in e-commerce and marketing.

For Yulia, the MBA gave her the confidence that she could do anything and helped her move into positions and roles that would have otherwise taken years to achieve.

This year, she made another jump in her career and launched an e-commerce consulting firm, CommerceBrain.

With CommerceBrain, she brings her extensive experience in marketing and user experience to companies to enhance the shopping experience on a global level (click here for a video about CommerceBrain).

Yulia says she has always gravitated toward entrepreneurship, and found that the MBA program opened her eyes about making things happen in her career. She also notes that now you don’t have to spend years at the same company to get to a certain level.

“With the MBA you can start your own company or skip levels in a company,” says Yulia. “The MBA teaches you that you can be the maker of your own life.”

As the CEO and Founder of CommerceBrain, Yulia spends most of her time communicating with other CEOs, founders, and potential partners. She also speaks with prospects, and attends industry speaking engagements. The rest of her days are spent making operationally focused business decisions.

In addition to running her new company, Yulia will be delivering the keynote at Digital Week in Sao Paolo on August 7, and speaking at Internet Retailer 2013 in Chicago in June. She's also collaborating with industry rockstars to release two books later this year. Congratulations to Yulia on her new venture! We wish her the best of luck in all of her future endeavors. 

Want to learn more? Here's my full video interview with Yulia.  You can also keep up with her on Facebook and Google+.


Reminder: our next MBA Info Session takes place on campus this Wednesday from 6-7pm: Portland State University, The College of Urban and Public Affairs, 7th Floor Meyer Memorial Boardroom, 506 SW Mill St, Portland, OR 97201. 

Click here to read posts more about MBA alumni.

Read about MBA alumni as they "Dream Big with an MBA."

Click here for info about the full time, part time on campus, or part time online Portland State MBA Program.


By Mallory Miller: Mallory has experience in marketing, management and sales. She plans to apply her experience, interests, and skills to a career in product marketing and business development. She will graduate from the Portland State full time MBA program in June 2013. You can connect with Mallory on LinkedIn.


Tags: Alumni, Entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, MBA, MBA alumni

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About the Blog

Portland State's MBA program has earned numerous accolades, including a 2011-12 Beyond Grey Pinstripes Report rating of #1 in the world — for small schools — for its emphasis on environmental stewardship.