Georgian alumnus Davit Rukhadze (’12) graduated from AUBG with majors in Business Administration (Finance concentration) and Economics, and a minor in Mathematics. He has since obtained an MBA from Stanford, built a successful career in finance and is now starting his journey as a Global Credit Portfolio Manager at Google.
Upon graduating from Stanford, Davit moved to Chicago where Google was naturally one of the companies on his radar. Getting to the interview stage at the multinational technology company, however, is not easy, he says, and good preparation is not to be underestimated.
“I got a bit lucky since the role that they were looking for was a risk management role in finance,” Davit said. “And that is exactly what I was doing at my last company. Other than that, they were looking for an MBA or a CFA and I had them both. So that is a very nice match of professional experience, as well as academic credentials.”
Davit’s biggest inspiration to pursue a career in finance were his parents who were mathematicians. Even though his parents’ lives turned upside down following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and they had to redirect their professional plans, his father believed Davit could achieve anything.
“I guess my dad was the inspiration to go to finance,” Davit said. “And also, just my ability to be good with numbers. I joke that it was in the 7th grade when I knew I was going to do finance. And then [I would do] the MBA and the whole plan [was all set out]. My dad likes to plan ahead.”
Davit is the first but not the only member of the Rukhadze family to study at AUBG. In fact, his sister graduated in 2017 and his brother is currently a first-year student. Davit likes to share the lessons learned at AUBG with them.
“Listen, don’t chase too many rabbits at the same time,” he would advise his siblings. “Focus on what exactly you are interested in and spend your energy on that. I did two majors and one minor and that was a bit too much.”
In 2017, Davit visited his sister at AUBG together with his brother.
While at Stanford Business School, Davit, along with four other classmates, organized a Global Study Trip to Bulgaria and Georgia for 30 other students.
After he graduated from AUBG in 2012, Davit spent five years building experience in financial offices in the banking and healthcare system. To add to his résumé, he also became a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Davit says that even though AUBG and the Business Administration major open doors for many opportunities, Georgians face nation-specific challenges when starting on their career paths. On one hand, he says, Georgia is a small developing economy with fewer career options compared to developed countries. On the other hand, as the country is not a member of the EU yet, Georgian youngsters have a harder time getting permits to work abroad. Thus, when Davit went back to Georgia after graduation, he “was being much more role-focused than mission-focused,” he said. “I really like that the generation after us is much more mission-driven. They want to work for companies that have a specific mission and they want to fight for something.”
However, he still holds tight to what he feels is his mission in life, and what was also the topic he discussed in his essay for Stanford.
“[In my essay] I was saying that I really wanted to go back [to Georgia] and create jobs and opportunities for refugees,” Davit said. “People who suffered most from the war. There are so many young people who are capable, smart, and honest. But it’s a small country. There are not that many opportunities if you want to be mission-driven and if you want to have some noble ideas.”
During his MBA, together with a couple of friends, Davit created a consultancy agency for Georgians who wanted to apply for business schools. “I am proud of that because we did manage to get some people to top business schools across the world,” he said. “And I think this is what Georgia really needs right now. It needs people who go to AUBG and after that to business schools, to top schools like Harvard and Stanford.”
Asked what was AUBG’s biggest gift to him, Davit did not think twice before answering “friends.”
“I would say that one of the greatest things AUBG gave me was friends,” he said. “In Georgia, we have this tradition that when you get married you don’t get just one best man but you get several. And I had three, I just couldn’t choose among them, and all three of them were AUBGers. So this should give you an idea of how much I love my classmates.”
That’s why his advice for current and prospective students is simple: “Connect with the people. Connect with as many people as you can at AUBG. Because my biggest gift from AUBG was my friends. To this day, I will forever be thankful for them. I made such great friends there. They make my life beautiful. The more you connect with people, the more great friends you’ll have.”