International MBA Alumna Working for Robotics Company in Colorado Alumni Profile
Meet Daria Opekunova
- Job Title & Employer
- Customer Operations Manager, Misty Robotics
- April 2013
- College Activities
- Graduate Assistant for the School of Business, Vice President of the Graduate Student Association and Outstanding Graduate Student award recipient
- Academic Merit
- Novokuznetsk, Russia
- High School
- Municipal Educational Institution #59
- Now Living In
- Boulder, Colo.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Traveling, learning languages, everything tropical, social dancing, high-tech, psychology and cats
"Daria's attention to the customer and empathy make her very valuable in fostering a sense of community with our earliest buyers. She is always willing to go above and beyond and seek creative ways to engage and delight people. Not only is Daria great at the customer side of things, she has shown a huge appetite for process improvements and an increase in business acumen, which I believe can be attributed to her time at Point Park and what she learned in the MBA program."
"Point Park's MBA classes provided a well-rounded education that enabled me to navigate in a modern economy and secure positions that I enjoy. From banking to robotics, I was able to apply the knowledge and the skills that I learned during the program."
How did you become a customer operations manager for Misty Robotics?
One day, I was in my living room watching a show about nature. There was something about the ocean and the whales that made me think about moving somewhere new. I started a list of all the places I wanted to explore and came up with about 10. A couple of interesting opportunities in California, Texas, and Arizona sounded promising, but I had a feeling it was not for me so I kept looking.
One day I got a call from a a startup in Colorado that needed someone with business skills and knowledge of the Russian language. That's me! Without thinking much, I packed my car and my cat, Samson, and started a road trip to Colorado. The company did not make it and after about four months, I was job hunting again. This time, I took a different approach and decided to find something I'd truly enjoy, something that would fit my personality 100 percent and where I’d be happy to come to work every day.
My first interview was for the Sphero company and it was completely different from what I used to. There were puppies walking around, drones were flying above my head, and people blasting loud music … I decided to keep going.
However, during this interview I found out that Sphero was in the process of creating a new company focused on a personal robot for the home and office called Misty Robotics. The more I learned, the more intrigued I became. It wasn't long until I was at a new desk learning about robots, how to start a company, creating all kinds of systems for the business, selecting benefits and payroll, interviewing various vendors and many other things.
The first few months flew by. We became an independent company, moved to our own office and I felt like learning never stopped. That's one of the most important components for me and what keeps me so interested in my role and the company. After about seven months, I transitioned to customer operations manager and now work closely with our operations and marketing teams.
Tell us about the work you do.
I make sure that our customers receive the best service possible, and that all of their issues are resolved quickly. Other responsibilities include coordinating market demand with the production line, delivering market feedback to the product and engineering teams and creating processes and procedures for customer support. Part of my role also covers managing social media accounts and managing logistics for events and trade shows. I even got to put a robot together and learned to program it using some basic tools! Everything is developing, moving, changing, evolving and it really fits my personality.
We are getting ready for a product launch (Misty II) in December 2018 so it is a very busy time, but also the most exciting and rewarding time because we finally get to see the results of all the work that has been done behind the curtains.
How have your Point Park MBA classes helped you in this position?
Point Park's MBA classes provided a well-rounded education that enabled me to navigate in a modern economy and secure positions that I enjoy. From banking to robotics, I was able to apply the knowledge and the skills that I learned during the program. Some classes that I think were the most beneficial for me were International Finance, International Economics, Macro Economics, Managerial Accounting, Marketing and Special Topics.
What are your favorite Point Park memories?
- Special topics class on Macro-Projects and International Regimes with Dr. Kraniou! It was such an unusual and unique experience, and a place for a lot of creativity and thinking outside of the box.
- Making friends while waiting for an elevator at West Penn Hall
- Preparing and attending events organized by the International Student Services Office
- Serving as vice president of the Graduate Student Association and participating in the activities
- Being a graduate assistant for the School of Business and working with Dr. Kraniou and Dr. Maharaja
- Late nights of studying and group projects
- Fantastic Outstanding Student Awards ceremony and Graduation Hooding ceremony