Featured Student: Alexei Zyuzin

TMMBA Class 9 student, Alexei Zyuzin, is applying his business knowledge as a founding partner at a technology startup.

alexei_blog“I am a founding partner at a technology startup called Illionix. My responsibilities include company’s day-to-day operations and management of technical service projects and new product development. I started (registered) the company while attending a Thursday review session for one of TMMBA’s second quarter classes. Since then, our company has grown from two to seven people. We recently moved into a new office/workshop space in Seattle, and also won our first small business innovative research (SBIR) grant for 2010 from U.S. Air Force to develop technology for measuring coatings on composite airplane parts. One of my goals before I graduate is to have a motivated TMMBA classmate with product marketing experience join our team at Illionix and help us bring our new products to the market.

I graduated from University of Washington Electrical Engineering department in 2004. While in college, I started working at a local startup participating in developing a portfolio of new sensor technologies. Prior to joining TMMBA and forming Illionix, I also worked as a consulting electrical engineer in municipal industry earning my Washington state engineering license. I am also a Member-Manager at 710 Microfarads, a technology services company that I started with my UWEE classmate 3 years ago.”

How are you applying what you’ve learned in the TMMBA Program in your current position and within your organization?

“I feel that the knowledge and experiences that my professors and peers share with me at TMMBA help me build my own new framework of thinking about different business situations. I use that knowledge daily at Illionix. What I learned at TMMBA helps me with managerial decisions ranging from hiring a new employee or managing clients and suppliers. Classes like negotiations, strategy, accounting, and finance help me make best possible decisions when negotiating prices and contracts, making project estimates, and effectively managing our internal accounting system.”

What advice would you give an applicant who is considering the TMMBA program?

“18 Months are going to go by quickly. Get to know your classmates and also the range of resources that University and Foster School of Business have to offer early on. If you are interested in starting your business some day, learn about the business plan competition held in Spring quarter from UW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and join one or two of the many local entrepreneurship forums. Also, don’t forget that TMMBA is not the only MBA program on campus. Meet students from Executive MBA, Evening MBA, and Full time MBA as well as alumni at various social events!”

What has been your favorite class so far and why?

“My favorite classes so far have been Marketing and Leadership. At Illionix, we are developing a couple of new products and we need to understand our customers and our competitors are in order to competitively bring those products to the market. The systematic approach of identifying relevant market segments, analyzing product’s competitive advantages and attributes that we learned in our Marketing class are turning out to be very useful. The techniques and theories that we learned in Leadership class are helping me through the tough decisions I often have to make when managing the projects and our team. It really helps to have a set of tools in addition to intuition when making leadership decisions.”