Mariya Lyublina: Featured MBA Advisor

Can you please tell us about your academic and professional background?

I have an undergraduate degree in Economics with a minor in Urban Studies, as well as an MBA from San Francisco State University. I currently work as a Supervisor at a private financial counseling agency.

Why did you decide to join Centro as an MBA Advisor?

I joined Centro as an MBA Advisor to get hands-on experience working with small businesses in an advisory capacity. Centro provided me with an opportunity to develop strategy and see it implemented by a real business.

Which businesses/entrepreneurs did you advise?

As an MBA Advisor, I advised Anna Tvelova, owner of Anda Piroshki. I was invited to return as a Senior Advisor to work with Stacy from Flirt Nail Lounge and Adriana from Sal de Vida Gourmet.

What advice would you give to future MBA Advisors?

The time commitment was the biggest challenge for me. Time management was key to successfully completing the advising process with a full-time job and other responsibilities. Furthermore, entrepreneurs are extremely busy running their businesses so coordinating times to meet and get tasks done contribute to this challenge. You have to be prepared to make accommodations in your schedule to support the entrepreneur you are working with.

What did you learn during Centro’s program?

I learned to think about strategy from a real-world perspective. I also learned to think realistically about components of a business plan. Sometimes even the best intentions aren’t enough to motivate someone to complete goals they’ve set out for themselves. Ultimately, if you are working with someone, just make sure that you follow through on your promises.

How has Centro impacted your career trajectory?

Centro has provided me with a new perspective on what I really want to do with my MBA. Working with small businesses is challenging, yet extremely rewarding.