I am Ilia Maslov, and in the summer I have been to Russia, Saint-Petersburg, where I have been going through the Practical Training as a marketing analyst in the fitness club. I have been supervised there under the manager, who was more of a generalist manager and I worked in a pair with a marketing specialist there. My time there started at the 6th of June and lasted until the 6th of September.

The club was called Ferrum Fitness Club (as in Iron element called in the Mendeleev’s table of chemical elements) and it was located in the remote part of the city, even though the area was quite populated. My main tasks there were to promote the club, rather than do some fundamental marketing research (even though I did some of it, just for the sake of knowing how to create promotions more effectively). I have also applied some side knowledge, like data analysis, general management for the strategy formulation and teamwork, project management was also a great part of the projects that we have taken. International knowledge was very acute, since during my time there, the Russia was hosting the FIFA 2018 event, and so some of the tasks were about helping that internationalization happen. We also did some promotional campaigns that targeted specifically the small share of international tourists. Some of those tourists were fitness-inclined and needed a local fitness club in order to keep up with the training schedule. Generally, I would say that the most important lessons for me there were (1) focus on teamwork and communication, and (2) simplify things, so that theoretical knowledge in a real business is only as good, as it brings in new customers, revenue, or something tangible.

It was a great experience for me, even though I have had some work experience in before, but this time when I went there, I have been armed with the knowledge from the courses. It did show me a sort of “before” and “after” – as in what’s the value added to my professionalism and efficiency from the education. As I have seen, education is giving much more perspectives and insights into the business, than going without it. Previously, I have been working as a salesman, and back then I have had fewer courses than I have had this summer. Qualitatively, I can confirm that at this workplace I was a better worker than I was on my previous work. It is both an evaluation of how well I have studied AND the motivation for keeping up with the education of myself, since I know that learning will expand my career path opportunities. In the end, I just did really enjoy this practical training, I have had several new insights into the business and the PT helped me “solidify” the knowledge in my head, so that I can apply it practically more easily.