Negotiations As A Way Of Life

Anastasia Krinitskaya talks about herself, studying prosses, her extracurricular life at HSE, and more.

Negotiations As A Way Of Life

Let us meet with Anastasia Krinitskaya. She has recently graduated from HSE and now receives a master's degree. Anastasia combines teaching and work in a prestigious technology company. At 22, Anastasia became the Moscow Champion in Quick Negotiations, the Finalist of the All-Russian Management Cup 2018, became a co-founder of the Negotiation Club "ManageClub" and also teaches the Negotiating discipline at the HSE.

Anastasia Krinitskaya
Anastasia Krinitskaya
Describe yourself in 3 words, please.

I can describe myself as energetic and ambitious. And I've been told sometimes that I'm a business person.

As far as I know, you’ve been building a career for quite a long time. Do you work by a profession?

You are right. I am actively engaged in career building. I took my first internship being a sophomore at HSE University and ever since, I continually found internships for myself in various companies. Before that, I often volunteered at various events. I studied for a specialist in advertising and PR sphere, and now I occupy the position of Global Marketing Planning Specialist in Kaspersky Lab.

Do you have subordinates at work?

For over a year I work at Kaspersky Lab. During this time, I had a subordinate only once, as I'm not in a managerial position right now. When I had an intern subordinate, he hadn't been given instruction from me directly. I rather controlled the quality of these tasks. I discussed his interests and select those tasks in which he would be interested.

You studied at the Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design until 2019. What guided you when choosing an educational program, which is close to communication sphere?

After the 9th or 10th grade, I ended up in the HSE summer multidisciplinary school. It was possible to get there after the successful completion of the olympiad. Before entering this multidisciplinary school, I thought of going to Moscow State University, but then I took a liking of HSE and wanted to enter this exact place. Being an extrovert, I am very sociable, so I was looking for a learning path suitable for me in the spirit.  So, I've been choosing between the “International Relations” educational program and “Advertising and Public Relations”, because I wanted to study communications, but at the same time have disciplines related to creativity and gain applied skills as well.

Did you participate in the student mobility program from HSE to study abroad?

As it happened, I didn't participate in international student mobility programs, although I wanted to.

Are there any plans for getting a master's degree? If so, what learning path will you choose and in which university?

I planned to receive a master’s degree from its inception. As such, I'm getting my “Entrepreneurship and Project Management” master’s degree at the Moscow State University since 2019.

It just happened that I learned about the Management Struggle Club this year only, when you began to teach Negotiating in my course. Please tell us how you got into the “Ufights” Negotiation Club.

In my first year of university, I got in Ufights” by accident. I just came for the company and won some fights there. So I was invited to participate in the championship. That's how I became a member of the Student Management League “Ufights”. By today “Ufights” doesn't exist in Moscow. This was due to a split in the circle of project organizers in Moscow and St. Petersburg campuses. Thus, the issue of the regional management of the club remained unresolved. Therefore, we took responsibility, rebranded and launched a new project called “Manage club” with the idea of the Student Management League “Ufights”. So our team organized more than 5 schools in Moscow, more than 200 graduates passed through our them. Many of the ex-participants now work in companies such as Facebook, Kaspersky Lab, the Big Four. In a word, cool guys in cool companies.

What special skills did you acquire there and where do you intentionally use them?

Negotiation skills help me anytime, anywhere. I have not yet found a single situation, after which I would not thank fate for taking up the managerial struggle and negotiations course. These skills will help in situations ranging from communicating with client services in the sort of delivery if they are mistaken somewhere and ending with serious negotiations at work or attracting clients.

Most recently, you earn a bachelor's degree and your graduation thesis was about the “elevator pitch” technique for promoting startups and attraction investment in a B2B environment. It also focused on presentation and dialogue skills with investors in general. Did your negotiation skills help in the thesis defense?

In my course work, I relied on my personal experience of attracting partners to the “Manage club.” However, based on the specifics of the final qualification work, it was more theoretical, so I use little of this theory in life. My work will be useful for those with startups attending presentations in the “elevator pitch” format. I described many useful practices for conducting productive negotiations in the paper.

In one of the lectures on Negotiating, you mentioned a case about your promotion at work. How did the “provoke a negative response” technique work in practice?

You're right, I really achieved a promotion at work thanks to the “provoke a negative response” technique. Initially, I worked for a long time and declared my desire and willingness to get a promotion. It was not just a whining, I asked for measurable tasks or to be given any specifically kpi. After all of my approaches were totally fruitless, I went to my boss and said that I had an alternative offer. I asked my boss to honestly tell me whether he considered me for promotion and if not, I would leave with a calm conscience. After this conversation, literally within a week I was offered a new position and a higher salary.

You had a busy extra-curricular life. What other student organizations did you belong to?

Actually, I was a member of many student organizations. I was a member of the student council, in the STS organization, I also was a journalist at The Vyshka, everything is difficult to list. The most complicated selection I went to the "Shkola Activa" at the STS.

What made you start teaching at HSE?

I can talk about this a lot and for a long time! Last year, as students, we were taught a negotiation course that was skeptical about my colleagues. It offended me that my fellow students reacted so badly to the topic of negotiations and soft skills due to poor experience in studying this discipline, although this is an important and promising skill nowadays. I wanted to prevent the repetition of this negative practice in my faculty, where I could affect the quality of teaching this subject. Roughly speaking, the desire to make a good-quality job and a two-year experience of teaching negotiations in a "Manage club" encouraged me to teach.

What are your plans for the future: will you remain a teacher at HSE?

I really like to teach! My students are talented and ambitious youngsters. If I will have a possibility to give classes as a side project, I would be able to tell a lot more to new students in other courses.

As far as I'm your student and get letters from you, I've noticed that you always leave links to social nets and messengers. What is the reason for it? So you always want to quickly answer students' questions or is this a purely an image component?

I perceive communication by mail as very formalized. It is always necessary to act in the interests of students, and not in the interest of some strange system. Therefore, if students are uncomfortable writing letters to their teacher’s mail, why not to communicate via a messenger? I want to make the contact of students with me convenient and user friendly, and avoid unnecessary archaic ways of communication.

Do the telegram messages from students interrupt your private life?

I must say that I have a lot of unread messages on social nets due to the overloaded working day. Unfortunately, not only students or friends write to me, so I simply ignore a part of the messages from unknown people. Because of this, sometimes I don’t see messages from my students that upsets me.  Fortunately, my students do contact me just on business stuff, they don’t interfere with the personal lives and do not violate borders.

What can surprise you when negotiating with clients?

Most likely I am able to pleasantly surprise a competent customer service. I immediately fall in love with such companies! It’s enough for me to see that a person knows the approach to the client, how to negotiate with him or her, how to remove some objections and meanwhile make a bargain.

Is there enough time for a hobby while you work, study and teach?

I confess at first, I don’t have enough time for anything mentioned. First of all, the feeding pattern and sleep suffer, and this is definitely not a reason for pride. In HSE, this sleepless regimen is quite cultivated. Students are even encouraged to undertake multiple projects and work without letup. But if you think about it, when one works a lot in multitasking mode, he or she sleep and relax preciously little, as a result cognitive abilities are first to suffer. All this leads to a rapid aging of the brain, loss of creativity and less sociality. Therefore, in all spheres of life there must be a balance, even if it is very difficult to organize.

You recently received a bachelor's degree, so the lively recollections are still with you. What advice would you give to HSE students?

I can give all the students one main piece of advice that I would like to give myself in early part of HSE - try all the possible directions of your development in terms of work while a student. Try any internships, any positions, any directions! If something does not cause you outright rejection and disgust - try it. A simple glimmer of interest can help to display an unobvious career path. This principle works the other way too. You worked or completed an internship, after which you realized that you don’t want to devote more time to that - no need at all! Otherwise, such self-abuse will result in emotional burnout. In no case should one fritter away the energy. Right now, during your university days, when there are no aggravating factors in the form of a family, or three credits and an epic, when you cannot still rely so much on the financial side of the issue, you need to try yourself in a variety of industries.

Who will be more demanded in the labor market: a student with so-called hard skills or soft skills?

From my own experience, I can honestly say that soft skills win in relation to hard skills. But here I need to make an example. Imagine Frankenstein: what it consists of and what it can do are hard skills. If you need to breathe life into it and make these parts of the body work smoothly, the creator cannot deal without soft skills. That is why soft skills and hard skills will be effective only in the complex. I've met some IT-specialists who did not know the most favorable way to present their ideas or how to work in a group. As well as many loudmouths were not worth anything. Let me say, honey tongue, heart of gall.

Text by
Anastasia Averina