"Don't forget who you are and

where you come from."

― F Scott Fitzgerald

Optional Information. The Admissions Committee invites you to share anything else you would like us to know about you, in any format.

I have a strong connection with my native city of Yaroslavl and this is an important part of my identity. In our increasingly borderless, globalized age, I feel fortunate that I have a root culture with a long history and strong character. To know where you are from is to know who you are, to have a perspective when learning about the world and how to approach it.

Volzhskaya Naberezhnaya –
The Volga Embankment

A popular place for tourists and locals to take a walk at all times of the year.

My family has lived in Yaroslavl for generations and I studied local history beyond the obligatory program in school. I even attended a special course on the history of my town at Yaroslavl University. When I was 18, I knew every building in the historical part of the city and in the summers I gave walking tours to groups of school children from other cities visiting Yaroslavl. Yaroslavl is where the history of my country took shape - the whole place is an open air museum. The first Russian Drama Theater was founded in Yaroslavl by Fedor Volkov. Walking down the Volga River Embankment, one can see centuries of architectural history in churches.

Volkov Drama Theatre

Volkov Theatre is the country’s first professional theater, established in 1750 by local actor Fyodor Volkov who performed for Catherine the Great.

My identity as a Yaroslavlets gave me my first impulse in business as a tour guide and that same spirit of enterprise is with me today and still connected to my home town. As the capital city of the Golden Ring tourist route and one of the most visited cities in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl is a city with a wide cultural and architectural heritage. With almost 1 million tourists annually, my contribution to promoting the city with an Internet hotel booking business has been both successful and appreciated.

My YarHotel project has led to a strong connection with the hospitality community in Yaroslavl. Providing more than 4500 booking orders annually, we have become the reliable partner for 40 hotels in Yaroslavl and nearby towns. Besides the booking service, we advise hotels on a range of business topics from price optimization to aspects of marketing. My business has made the paying field more even for smaller, boutique hotels in Yaroslavl that offer more than just accommodation. The Hotel Vyatskoe, situated in an old merchant village just outside of Yaroslavl, is a great example of local hospitality and more earthy comfort for a slower paced visit. Its special interior and surrounding atmosphere make it a living example of life in the 19th century – something that offers a taste of the real spirit of Russia.

My wedding in the village of Vyatskoe, just outside Yaroslavl

Vyatskoe is an old merchant village with unique architecture that preserves the details of Russian village life from the 18th and 19th centuries.

I've tried to establish a business that goes beyond the standard booking service to promote the region by offering our clients unique opportunities and assistance. Recently the YarHotel team helped a group of people with limited mobility to find suitable accommodation and organized special transport for them – none of this was part of our official service package, but just part of our small town hospitality. We got plenty of emails and comments confirming how our service is appreciated. I’m proud to be a local businessman with a global mindset contributing to the local economy, creating and sustaining new jobs and adding to the charm and social life of my hometown.

My long term goal is to use my consulting experience and MBA education to establish a global company focused on small towns and regional economies both in Russia and elsewhere. I strongly believe that despite the standardizing effect that globalization is having around the world, there are opportunities in new technologies to make unique contributions to preserving and sustaining unique World Heritage Sites and the many small but important places where so many of the world’s diverse cultures and treasures are preserved. Yaroslavl is old, but very much alive. Other cities also have much to offer and with a bit of creativity and self-empowerment, they can keep on fascinating and enriching generations without becoming museum cities.