Iryna Butler, GB '09
MBA graduate brings a global view to marketing
September 28, 2011
The Richmond MBA’s focus on international business attracts students from all over the world. Iryna Butler, who now works in the international business field, chose The Richmond MBA to jumpstart her business career.
“I was looking for a combination of strong international business and marketing curriculum,” she said. “The Richmond MBA program was the perfect fit with its core business fundamentals [and] International Residency project as part of the core courses and marketing-focused elements.”
Journey to Richmond
Butler is originally from Ukraine, Kyiv, where she earned both an undergraduate and master’s degree in linguistics at Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University with a concentration in English.
“Being from Eastern Europe brings a different, more global perspective on business and deeper understanding as to how to market a product outside of the United States,” Butler said.
After school Butler worked for the U.S. Embassy in the Ukraine and later came to Richmond to work for Harris Williams & Co—a locally-based, middle market merger and acquisition financial advisory firm.
“While at Harris Williams, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in business administration,” Butler said, “The Robins School of Business felt like a perfect fit, where the classes are smaller and the interaction between faculty and students is much closer.”
Butler says going back to school was part of the natural progression of her career.
“To pursue my career aspirations in strategic marketing, I realized that I needed to acquire additional tools to become more competitive in my area of interest,” she said.
Landing Her “Dream Job”
“After completing The Richmond MBA, my career really took off,” Butler said.
The Richmond MBA staff connected Butler with her future employer. “The Associate Director of the MBA program [Debbie Fisher] works with future graduates, connecting them with local and global companies to host Capstone projects and find internships and full-time placements,” she said. “By working closely with [Fisher], I learned about an internship at Alstom Power and jumped on it.”
Butler started as an MBA marketing intern at Power Automation & Controls (PAC) at Alstom Power. Two months later, she was hired as a marketing specialist, and one year after that, she took on the role of marketing and strategy manager, reporting to the regional vice president.
“In this role I am responsible for the design and implementation of the leading edge inbound and outbound marketing strategy and diagnostics service for North and South American regions,” Butler said.
Classroom Connects with Passion
Butler’s classes at the Robins School gave her an edge in her industry.
“Thanks to Mergers and Acquisitions classes with Roger Schnorbus and Marketing Management with Dr. Dana Lascu, I analyze the market from a more strategic standpoint with a broader emphasis on the dynamics of the industry shifts and competition, “she said.
“This helps me to come up with new and creative marketing ideas to competitively position the product in the market.”
Butler spends the majority of her time developing strategies and actively promoting PAC’s product lines. She focuses on getting more product recognition in the market, portioning their resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales, and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.
“No two days are alike because of the broad range of events and portfolio products our business represents,” Butler said.
“You are constantly in search of new ways of promoting the products and bring the products closer to the customer. I enjoy that.”