I selected INSEAD’s EMFin programme because its curriculum and focus match my goals perfectly.
Petro Sovyak-Krukovskyy

Petro Sovyak-Krukovskyy

Petro Sovyak-Krukovskyy
Nationality/Passport: Ukrainian Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Investment Manager at UMG INVESTMENTS

Please tell us a bit about your personal and professional background.

I’m currently living in Kyiv and working in the private equity industry. I have 12 years of analytical and managerial experience in professional services, financial management and public policy development, with corporate finance as my core expertise. I have an undergraduate degree in economics, and I am also enrolled in the CFA programme where I have passed two levels out of three. 

Why did you choose INSEAD’s EMFin, amongst other programmes out there?

I’ve built my entire career in Ukraine until now, and my primary reasons for joining the programme is to extend my opportunities. Private equity is a small market in Ukraine, and one has to be at the top of their game to get into the best deals, structure the investments properly and deliver required returns to shareholders.

To rise to the top in this industry, I need to keep my knowledge updated, develop my leadership skills and my network, and gain the necessary gravitas.

I selected INSEAD’s EMFin programme because its curriculum and focus match my goals perfectly, and because of the strong brand name. 

Initially I had applied for INSEAD’s MBA programme, but since I am quite focused on private equity and would like to continue in that industry, I eventually decided to join the EMFin instead. I’m in a good place in my career right now – working at a reputable firm with interesting and challenging projects – so interrupting my career for a full-time programme would not have been beneficial. 

Has the pandemic impacted your decision to pursue a Master’s? And what was your experience like during the first module?

I got admitted in 2020 but with the pandemic on the march, I decided to defer for a year and wait for things to settle down a bit first. I'm happy with that decision because I think it does take some time for everyone to adjust and get organised in the new normal. 

Due to prevailing travel restrictions I could not travel to Singapore for the first module, but a group of us met up on the Abu Dhabi campus instead to attend the classes online together. INSEAD’s multi-campus structure has been a big benefit as it enabled us to find a workaround and still get together – though of course we still had to juggle the time difference which meant that our classes started at 4.30am! 

We were quite exhausted at the end of the second week, but despite all the difficulties it was a good experience and well worth it. Everything is different now anyway, we don’t know for how long the pandemic will continue. It made sense to better start the programme now rather than wait for another two or three years. 

What are your thoughts about your classmates thus far? 

In terms of backgrounds and nationalities, my classmates are even more diverse than I have expected – we have people from Europe, Africa, Asia and North America which is fantastic. You won’t get this kind of mix at some other European or American programmes that may be heavily centered on the home nationalities. 

I like the fact that the majority of my classmates have a strong foundation in finance, as I want to build a network which is rooted in the industry. Most of my classmates are in middle management and above, which is a good fit for this stage of my career because those are really the people you can learn from a lot, for example, the way they think and how they frame their arguments. 

How would you compare the CFA with the INSEAD EMFin?

That’s an interesting question. I would say both programmes are beneficial but have a very different approach. The CFA goes deeper into the subject, whereas the EMFin gives you a broader perspective.

EMFin approaches finance from a managerial stand point, rather than from an analytical one.

It is not only about getting the numbers right, but about interpreting the relevance and the meaning of the numbers and their value for the purpose of making decisions. So, the focus is very different. 

Any final words of advice to other applicants out there?

INSEAD EMFin is a great programme either for people in finance who want to strengthen their expertise and move up the ladder or for those in general management who need to improve and broaden their understanding of the subject. Besides, there is a strong focus on developing leadership skills. 

You will learn to adopt a managerial mindset and strategic viewpoint, which is important for people like me, who want to move from middle management to higher positions.