Anna Vieglina is a second-year Bachelor of Business Administration student at Riga Business School (RBS). Anna sees herself as a creative creature who is always ready to seize opportunities. Anna likes to relax by developing new skills, like learning Japanese phrases or mastering graphic design and Adobe. In her interview, Anna talked about her term as the Student Union Vice President, her desire to gain an international perspective, and the professional network she has built through her studies at RBS.
How did you decide to study at RBS?
In Grade 7, my friend and I started our own student learning company and sold DIY tie-dye socks, which was quite successful. The marketing side of our company was the strongest, and through this process, I realized that I was passionate about building a marketing vision. So I decided to pursue entrepreneurship, but I was not sure which branch to choose yet. I knew I wanted to study English, so I thought about studying abroad, but emotionally I wasn’t ready to leave home yet. RBS seemed like the obvious choice – it offered an international faculty and student community, studies in English, a prestigious network, a wide circle of acquaintances, and a vast knowledge spectrum that allows one to find the most suitable field. I was sure that I would find my path here.
When you applied for the bachelor program, you also got the RBS Excellence Scholarship to cover your tuition fees. How did that make you feel?
I felt appreciated – it was a testament to my previous efforts and achievements. I felt like I had established a strong bond with RBS. That was one of the main reasons I chose to get involved in the Student Union – when I started my degree. I immediately felt like I was part of RBS. I wanted to help shape the student environment, and that’s how I became a part of the student community!
You became Vice-president of the Student Council. How did that happen?
By seizing the moment! Laughing, I told my coursemate Davis Indriksons that he should be President, and he replied that I should be the Vice-president. Then I had an epiphany – why not give it a go? Nothing will happen if I fail, but I will have new experiences and responsibilities if I succeed. I love to take on responsibility and be in the hustle and bustle of life. Now that my term in the Student Union has finished and my studies are over, I feel funny. You know, I started watching TV series, and I realized that this is absolutely not what I want to do! I want to start something new now.
Looking back before your term in the Student Union, do you feel like the same Anna you were a year ago?
Absolutely not. A year ago, I would have described myself as a very timid person, but this year I have been through a manifold of experiences. When you are doing things, you change a lot, and it’s impossible to remain fixed on a constant level. That can only happen if you do nothing and do not pursue goals. Through RBS, I have become more open, and I have gained confidence and a different outlook on life. Now I trust that I will do extraordinary things.
What is your most significant benefit from studying business at RBS?
During secondary school, I was flummoxed. I didn’t know what to do with life or what opportunities I should seize. I figured out my path by coming here, being with the right people, and daring to do things. For me, the most helpful thing is our practical approach to knowledge. We have so many projects to do – it’s unimaginable! Teamwork is our daily routine, and it helps you to understand what role you like to play when working in a team. This way, I gain personal knowledge simultaneously. I have developed myself so much! Also, the professional network I have created – I am sure my coursemates will be the ones who will lead the business and glory of Latvia forward! Through the opportunities provided by RBS, we have also been introduced to various partners – Swedbank, SEB, Httpool, and Tet – we have connections everywhere! Of course, we also have international experiences – I am going for a semester abroad in Japan in August.
You’re going to Japan?
Yes, I am thrilled! When I started my studies, I was convinced that I wanted to use the RBS option to pursue a double degree in Norway or America. Then I thought about it and realized I was not ready to leave Latvia for a year, so this was the best alternative I could have asked for. I can’t believe I’m going to Japan for five months to study and learn about the culture. I’m so grateful for this opportunity! I adore going to other countries, observing and finding things that could be integrated in Latvia. That is what I want to do there.
How do you see your future?
I have thought about it many times and never found a single answer. Mostly I want to do things I enjoy – that would probably be working on projects. I want to develop myself further over the next five years before climbing the career ladder in a particular industry or company. I want to fully understand what I enjoy to explore different areas and roles. I want to weigh my options before committing to a definite answer. The main thing is just to do it – that’s the only way to know what’s right for you. How much you put into your studies is how much you will get back. You can be mediocre, it’s easy! By listening, getting involved in lectures and projects, by exploring your interests, and saying yes to opportunities, you can find what really interests you. Equally important is to understand what you don’t. If you discovered that you didn’t enjoy finance while working in a bank, that would be much more upsetting than learning it during a university lecture. I figured it out by selling tie-dye socks in seventh grade!