An Alumna's Path to a Consulting Career

Student Success Story

Victoria Tatarinova

Master of Liberal Arts, Management Degree '12

A multicultural perspective has led this Russian immigrant to excel as a consultant. 

When Victoria Tatarinova was an expat working in China, she was routinely amazed at how driven people were, especially compared to those in the United States and her native Russia.

During lunch breaks, her colleagues didn’t sit around and surf the Internet. “One girl learned German. Another learned martial arts. It was constant self-development,” she says.

Tatarinova herself is no stranger to ambition. She works in a prestigious consulting organization called Boston Consulting Group, where she is a lead analyst for the Partners Support Group team. She and her team analyze the profitability of financial partners.

The job is a combination of finance and human resources, Tatarinova says. She works with many partners (i.e., men and women in the business and financial industries) to determine how they add value to their respective companies. 

“We take a holistic approach to the partners to estimate their success,” she says. For example, Tatarinova and her team may analyze partners’ contributions to the company as well as company profits. This helps her team determine the compensation structure for these partners.

As one might expect, precision is essential in the world of finance. Tatarinova works with partners who are incredibly talented. She is expected to be equally precise and thorough in her own analyses.  

Tatarinova’s precision is apparent. She’s quick with numbers, and she remembers the small details.

Of slim build, Tatarinova is also a runner—and not just a weekend warrior. She ran a half marathon in 2012 when she lived in China, and just recently she ran another in Miami.

Tatarinova at the Great Wall in China

But she’s not all work and no play. Her manicured nails—painted purple—complement her lavender Oxford shirt, adding a little whimsy to the more customary downtown couture. 

Tatarinova always had an interest in business and finance, but those academic opportunities in Russia were limited, so she focused her studies on linguistics. When she immigrated to the United States in her early 20s to be closer to her brother who lived in the states, she noticed “the financial field was really robust, and I could learn something.”

She initially tutored English at Quincy College (“where many immigrants start”), then worked as a paralegal, and eventually joined her brother in real estate. Around the time of the global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, she crossed over into finance at State Street Bank in Boston.

Over the past five years, Tatarinova’s career has steadily marched forward. While a degree candidate at the Extension School, she thrived, learning not only about management and finance but also multicultural communication. Working closely with other international students gave her “the ability to understand different cultures quicker and at a deeper level.”

She held a few different jobs at State Street Bank—including her work in private equity in China—before joining Boston Consulting Group in the summer of 2013. 

The world of consulting appears to be a clear-cut match for Tatarinova. She is surrounded by “lots of Type A women with brilliant academic credentials, ” she says. “Everybody is very driven. It’s a place that makes me strive for more.”

Yet there’s more creativity and less pressure in consulting than there was in the banking industry. The company hierarchy is more fluid—an analyst might communicate directly with the CEO, she says. Employees with various levels of experience coalesce. “You figure out your own path here, create your own product.”

Tatarinova’s multicultural past reflects her East-meets-West professional persona. Analytical thinking and ambition comprise one of her hemispheres, while creativity and individuality round out the other.

She says it herself when she pauses to explain what she loved about living in China: “Their culture is a mix of independence and respect for the leader.”

— Story by Lauren McLaughlin

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