Oleksandra Arkhangelska: Spencer Scholar & multi-cultural mastermind


Currently studying enterprise risk management at St. John’s University, Oleksandra Arkhangelska has pursued her education and career in diverse places, including Ukraine, Germany and the United States. Now living in New York City, she brings in her multi-cultural perspectives into classes, work and life. Here is our Q&A with her:

  1. What inspired you to study risk management?

I chose to pursue a Master of Science degree in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) because I find managing and controlling risks interesting and challenging. Risk management has gained significant importance worldwide in recent years. It enhances all decision making processes, from strategic decisions to traditional risk mitigation decisions. ERM takes a holistic approach and provides a robust toolkit of advanced risk management capabilities and competencies that can be applied to enhance value at the enterprise level.

  1. How has your multi-cultural experience shaped you?

I believe my multi-cultural experience can bring a different perspective into the classroom and enrich our discussions. Growing up in Ukraine and moving to Germany was a cultural shock for me. It showed how different businesses could be managed and challenged me to think outside of the box knowing that there are multiple approaches and solutions to one problem. It also pushes me to work hard, dream big and be confident. This is what brought me to New York.

  1. Apart from family, who/what is your biggest inspiration/motivation, and why?

My grandmother, who was an economics professor at Odessa National Maritime Academy, is my biggest motivation and inspiration to pursue a career in business. Apart from my grandmother, Dr. Browne, the chair of the faculty at my current graduate school has been my biggest inspiration and motivation. He is a professional who is truly passionate about what he does. It is a great honor to be assisting him this summer with preparing publication and research papers.

  1. Name a few goals you wish to achieve in the near future.

One of my future goals is to succeed in my career, become an example for others especially females and support better access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere.

I aim to work in the field of enterprise risk management and regulatory compliance. Being a highly motivated self-starter, I enjoy working in groups and believe that a collaborative and motivated team can achieve greater results. I believe the people I work with will be a great part of my own success. My ultimate goal is to be a part of an excellent ERM team.

  1. In your opinion, why is risk management important to the society? Where do you see the industry trending in the next 5 years?

Risk management is intended to drive growth and act as an enabler of business strategy. As a risk professional it is my priority to ensure its correct implementation to create greater confidence and value in the organization. I believe the industry will be trending in IT, financial, health care, oil and gas, and defense sectors in the next five years.

  1. What does it mean to be a Spencer Scholar?

Becoming a Spencer Scholar is a proof that I am moving into the right direction. I feel very honored and proud. I am very thankful for the Spencer Foundation’s generosity in supporting the education of tomorrow’s risk management professionals. Receiving this scholarship will allow me to continue to work hard towards achieving my professional goals.

  1. Share something unique about yourself (fun fact/talent/skill/accomplishment).

I am obsessed with high quality food. My friends call me a picky eater and even suggested me to pursue a degree in The Culinary Institute of America. I appreciate a balance between a healthy, nutritious and at the same time tasty meal. I also like to cook for and with my friends and family.