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Daria Kuznetsova (‘14): “AUBG was and still is my second home”

AUBG alumna from Russia Daria Kuznetsova has come a long way since she graduated two years ago. She has traveled to Oslo, Norway to study at BI Norwegian Business School and is currently spending the summer in Nice, France where she is building her own startup, Nekta.

Still a student at BI, Kuznetsova wanted to have a taste of the real business world and enrolled in the young entrepreneurs program “European Innovation Academy.” There, she met with like-minded individuals and together they launched Nekta, a company that aims to revolutionize students’ learning experience by bringing together educational tools and resources.

Nekta’s goal is to help students, universities and digital tool providers collaborate through experimental learning.

“Our name speaks for itself,” Kuznetsova said. “At Nekta we want to create, develop and grow. This is our nectar. However, in today’s world we are very overwhelmed with information, resources and lack of time. That is why we want to help people acquire new skills in less time and guide them through the jungles of information.”

Nekta’s five team members come from Russia, Norway, France, England and Korea. Having different backgrounds, the founders of the startup all contribute to the company with unique skills and knowledge, said Kuznetsova, who serves as Nekta’s chief marketing officer.  

Kuznetsova first discovered the transformative power of surrounding oneself with diverse and talented people at AUBG.

“AUBG was and still is my second home,” she said. “I have learned how to learn, how to develop, grow and build network there. I met some of the most amazing mentors and students while being there.”

AUBG helped Kuznetsova broaden her horizons, she said.

“I started as a 17 years-old girl with a general interest in international business and now, in six years, I have learned three languages, attended five universities, traveled around Europe and America (...), created a startup of my own,” she said. “This all happened just because me and my parents were courageous enough to go out of the box and start my educational journey at AUBG.”

While studying at AUBG, Kuznetsova went to an exchange program at Volda College University in Norway. She has also completed courses in EMLyon School of Management in France and Alfred University in the U.S.

A high achieving student who double majored in Business Administration and Political Science and International Relations, Kuznetsova was also actively involved with extracurriculars at AUBG.

She has been practicing rhythmic gymnastics since she was three years old and always dreamt of having her own crew for modern dances. Her dream came true at AUBG, where she got together with other avid dancers and established the AUBG Dance Crew, a student club that has ever since grown in popularity and numbers, shot several videos and took part in many shows on campus.

“AUBG is the place where one can get involved in so many different activities that it gets harder and harder each year to keep up with everything,” Kuznetsova said.  “The process of creating a university club has provided me both with business knowledge and financial skills.”

In advice to current AUBG students, Kuznetsova said they should stay connected with the community and preserve the valuable relationships they create at the university.

This September, Kuznetsova will return to her home country where she will work at Mars Inc. in Moscow and develop her startup in parallel. She also plans to continue dancing, traveling and exploring. “Curiosity is the reason why people make breakthroughs,” she said.

Story by Dimana Doneva
Photo Courtesy of Daria Kuznetsova

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