Corneliu Ciobu, originally from Moldova, graduated from LCC in 2012 with a BA in International Business Administration. Since then, he moved to the Netherlands, where he got a Master’s degree in International Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam and built a career in finance at Nike. Corneliu views his LCC experience as the foundational step that made him the person and the professional he is now.
Corneliu learned about LCC from a presentation at his high school. He always envisioned himself working in finance, so the business program “suited his profile”. He never regretted the decision to study at LCC International University and feels eternally grateful to his accounting, economics, and finance professors, Dmitrij Katkov and Eric Hinderliter. He refers to these classes as “one of the best academic experiences” that helped him to get into a Master's program in economics and, eventually, start his career path. “LCC helped me achieve where I am right now in terms of work, in terms of exposure to people, and in terms of experiences I managed to get, like traveling to different parts of the world,” he concludes.
Over the 4 years, Corneliu made a lot of memories he now cherishes. He was a part of the Student Council, LCC Moose Football team, and a part of a team in the student comedy competition. Together with other students, they organized charity projects to help with water scarcity in African countries. Corneliu believes that all the events by LCC staff and students like Talent Night and the Christmas Program fostered a sense of community, “the community is at a different level at LCC. It is something worth experiencing,” he adds.
In 2013, Corneliu became a treasury operations intern at Nike. He moved through more than four positions in seven years to become a finance manager there. Corneliu explains that such company loyalty is due to the company's culture and the inspiring peers with whom he is interacting on a daily basis, “Nike is trying to persuade not only the employees but also the entire world to make sports a daily habit. That’s something that is close to me,” says the alumnus, who enjoys football, running, and hiking outside of work. Corneliu continues, “at Nike, you get the chance to take a break during the day when you realize that you need to recharge your batteries. You can go to the gym or go for a run, spend some time at the Starbucks shop that we have on campus, and chit-chat with a friend for a bit.” Yet, the most exciting aspect is the trust of the leadership and the freedom he gets to take on opportunities and develop.
A typical workday at Nike does not have a predetermined structure. Half of Corneliu’s time is dedicated to meetings, responsibility for the margins of such a big company means that any slip-off has a significant impact, otherwise, “every day there’s something new to figure out,” he says. However, Corneliu enjoys the challenge. Recently he’s been working on estimating the financial impact of Brexit on Nike and finding ways to mitigate potential risks. In addition to this, Corneliu led the team to create a vertical profit and loss statement for Nike EMEA, so they could compare Nike’s profitability across different sales channels versus the competitors.
Corneliu is thankful to LCC for the ability to take charge and lead employees in such a challenging environment. From the first year, professors cultivated the qualities of servant leadership in students, “That is definitely helping me right now. Being a manager and having my own team, I need to ensure that they're always comfortable with what we're doing and have a proper career development plan. You need to care about the people that work for you and try to ensure they get the best experience,” he says.
Looking back at his university years, Corneliu shares some words of advice with current students, “Study and don’t shy away from difficult classes. The harder it will be today, the easier it will be tomorrow. I like to tell my team – the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, and it’s not about the circumstances, but what you are made of and the sacrifices you are willing to take.” Apart from academics, he adds that LCC has a unique value of community, and by truly being part of it, you will be able to make memories and friends for a lifetime.