Alum of the Month - November 2018

Kristina Mikhaylova

'I don't think I would be where I am now if it weren't for what I learned at LSE'.
Kristina Mikhaylova


  • Programme studied: MSc Public Management & Governance
  • Year of Graduation: 2010

Alum of the Month for November is Kristina. Upon completing her MSc, Kristina worked in marketing and finance before converting to law and qualifying as a solicitor of the High Courts of England and Wales in 2017.

What’s your current job?

I am an Associate in the Corporate and Finance Group at Carey Olsen, and I focus on investment funds formation, structuring and finance.

Why did you decide to change you career?  

I enjoyed working in finance, but I wanted to have a greater variety of work and more interaction with clients. I've never regretted my decision to become a solicitor and every day I enjoy my profession more – even within what is a very enthusiastic team my colleagues are amazed at my enthusiasm for work. I strongly believe that you should be truly passionate about what you do, as only then will you succeed. I'd also advise anyone contemplating a career move, not to be afraid to leave your comfort zone - dealing with challenges makes you stronger, both on a professional and personal level.

How has the programme you studied helped your career since you graduated?

The LSE motto 'rerum cognoscere causas' (to know the causes of things), underpins a key aspect of my job as a lawyer: to provide first-class solutions to clients. To achieve this I must get to the bottom of the commercial and legal problems facing them. Having studied Microeconomics/Decision-Making Theory/Strategy helped me develop my intellectual curiosity and analytical skills, and I don't think I would be where I am now if it weren’t for what I learned at LSE. My supervisors often commend my problem-solving skills and ability to think outside the box!

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at the Department of Management?  

I cannot recommend studying at the Department of Management highly enough:  outstanding academic staff, a wide range of modules and excellent on-site facilities. However, it is not only studying at the Department of Management that makes the LSE experience so unique. You will make life-long friends from all over the world (I'd also suggest living in halls, where you make friends even quicker) and you will be fortunate to be part of the wider LSE community. Also, being in London, is an experience in itself. In one of his interviews, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said that "the great thing about London is that if you're different, you aren't simply tolerated, you're respected, celebrated and embraced". This is the experience that I had from both LSE and London.

What motivates you?

Intrinsic reward is vital. When I advise clients on funds formation, I am always interested to see how these vehicles will be investing in transformative technologies (for example, renewable energy, infrastructure, telecoms, fintech and mobile apps) that could potentially make tomorrow a better place by addressing some of the biggest challenges facing my generation. I am also excited to see how clients deploy the capital my team helped them raise: one of my favourite cases is advising clients in relation to a fund investing in innovative healthcare facilities at GP surgeries, care homes, hospitals and specialist education schools.

What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
It wasn't addressed to me personally but Warren Buffett once said: "1. Be the best entrepreneur/lawyer/sports player/etc. you can be. 2. Be the best person you can be."
I find this absolutely brilliant, and I focus not only on harnessing my legal expertise, but I also try to be a better colleague/friend/daughter/partner every day.

What do you prefer to do in your spare time?

I am very committed to giving back to society. Throughout my professional and academic career, I have been lucky to be surrounded by fantastic role models, who helped me develop various hard and soft skills. I now try to share my experience with students, and I am privileged to have been invited to give some lectures at the Law School where I studied myself only a couple of years ago. My dream is to give a lecture at LSE one day!