Dare to Go Beyond Limits: Valery Shlahov

19 January 2018

Dare to Go Beyond Limits: Valery Shlahov
Valery Shlahov, a graduate of Faculty of Aircraft Engineering of Moscow Aviation Institute was appointed IBM Ukraine Country General Manager.

In his interview, Mr. Shlahov shared his memories of studying at MAI, talked about skills and experience he had got at our university, and expressed his views on challenges faced by those who aspire to succeed in the modern world.

— What influenced your choice of university?

My family has always had traditions related to aviation. My father graduated from Test Pilot School in Zhukovskiy, Moscow region; then he worked for Kuybyshev Aircraft Manufacturing Plant (now it is Aviakor JSC in Samara) and Antonov Design Bureau in Kiev, Ukraine. He has experience of piloting many types of aircrafts. He also tested Antonov An-124 Ruslan and Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest airlifter in the world.

I had dreamed of aviation since childhood. When I left school the best university in the aviation industry was Moscow Aviation Institute; I had no doubts.

— Did you establish any start-ups while studying at university?

At that time it was not common to combine studies with work, but I took my first steps then.

I was lucky to have i386 PC with a 20MB hard drive, it was really cool at that time, so my friends and I made simple commercials using 3D-Studio computer animation software. It became my first earnings.

— How did the studies at MAI form your professional skills and help in self-realization?

Student years were a period of time for personal and professional self-determination.  Life wasn't easy in the 1990s, but it motivated me for personal development, and education at MAI was a key factor in choosing the right way.

— What was the most valuable experience you had got from your studies?

I find it difficult to single out anything specific. Unfortunately, having graduated, I did not manage to apply my narrow professional knowledge in practice. But I was really keen on computer science I had studied an MAI. It gave me a kick for a career in the IT-industry, as well as knowledge of the English language I had got at the MAI translators school.

— The digital transformation of modern business activities: in your opinion, how important is it for students to obtain knowledge in this area during their studies, and why?

We witness how modern IT technology changes traditional business approach. It is a very rapid process which has appeared in various industries. As a result, we see the changes in the labor market. New professions have been emerging as well as changing the requirements for traditional professions.

It is very important for today’s graduates to meet the expectations of employers.

IBM Corporation helps students to acquire skills in computer science providing them with an opportunity to get aquatinted with ultimate technologies.


— What can you advise current MAI students who are striving to succeed in their career and professional development?

Our world is changing rapidly, so I suppose the university education should be accompanied by self-development and improvement of social and communication skills.

The requirements for professional competence are very high. You should adapt quickly to any changes.

Dare to go beyond limits, open your mind to new knowledge and experience. Success is the result of hard work. Set high goals and reach them perseveringly.

Good luck!


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