When Ksenia Kouchnirenko, BS 03, was 14, her older sister brought her to a Haas investment class taught by Steve Etter BS 83, MBA 89, and she dreamed of the day she’d return.
“I always knew I wanted to go there, seeing the great education my sister got and the breadth of classes she could take,” Kouchnirenko says.
Four years later, Kouchnirenko left her family’s cattle ranch in the San Joaquin Valley and headed to Berkeley.
She hasn’t stopped thriving since. After graduation, Kouchnirenko worked for online marketing company QuinStreet, and financial services firm William Blair & Co. She joined personal finance management startup Mint.com in 2008.
As employee number 22, Kouchnirenko worked with banks and other firms to build applications for Mint customers to manage mortgages, retirement, and life insurance. “I was finding partnerships to drive revenue for Mint,” she says.
When Intuit acquired Mint in 2009, Kouchnirenko moved to the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. Now a group marketing manager at Intuit, she runs a six-person team that creates recommendations of other products and services that small businesses who use QuickBooks would find helpful.
A native of Russia, Kouchnirenko moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was 10. In junior high, they relocated to the Central Valley, where her father bought a struggling 5,000-head cattle feed lot. Kouchnirenko’s mother, a former furniture designer in Moscow, turned the ranch around.
“My mother was the businesswoman,” Kouchnirenko says. “She was my inspiration.”
Since earning her own business degree, Kouchnirenko continues to rely on her Berkeley Haas network, personally and professionally. She met her husband, Pasha Tsarinsky, BA 04, a Ukraine native, at a party during Haas graduation week. The couple now has a nearly 2-year-old daughter. “It all keeps coming back to Berkeley Haas,” she says. “It’s an interconnected world.”
Group Marketing Manager,
Menlo Park, Calif.