Student in the LL.M. Transnational Business Practice program
Undergraduate: Kyrgyz State National University
Born and raised in Kyrgyzstan, Olga Koldasova was supposed to be a doctor following the ways of her grandmother, mother and uncle before her. It was her father's dream. While in high school, she even worked for two years at a medical clinic doing administrative work to fulfill the requirement for attending a medical institution. Ultimately, it was a fictional lawyer named Mason that introduced her to a career in the law. As a teenager, Olga watched an American television show called Santa Barbara and through that she was introduced to a different, interesting profession. She later found out that Santa Barbara's legal system was completely different than her own, and sometimes not quite as exciting, but she is grateful for the exposure to the law that it brought. She told her family of her decision and, in spite of their shock, applied for legal studies.
Olga's high school years coincided with Kyrgyzstan's formation as a new and independent entity from the Soviet Union and she remembers its effects on education. Prior to this, individuals from her community had many opportunities to study in Russia's educational institutions which were ripe with resources, possessed strong faculty and were generally more advanced academically. After Kyrgyzstan became it's own country however, it became much more expensive for someone to do so. Moreover, some, concerned about the newly formed country's instability, emigrated from Kyrgyzstan completely. Olga notes that as a result, Kyrgyzstan's medical and education systems suffered a big brain drain. She took advantage of the education opportunities available to her and after graduating from the university in her country she practiced law in private companies and international organizations. Most recently, she worked for an international finance corporation that is part of the World Bank. In that role, she assisted in stabilizing companies with corporate governance issues in hopes of making them more successful in the market.
In fact, it was her work with the World Bank that convinced her to pursue an LL.M. program. In working with international organizations and meeting with different kinds of people from different parts of the world, she realized some areas in which she would like to be stronger. Accordingly, she applied to a very competitive law studies placement program in her country which places admitted individuals in a law school in another country. It is this program that brought Olga to the McGeorge School of Law and she is very glad to be here. She enjoys the family atmosphere and accessibility of professors as well as everyone's willingness to help others succeed.
In her free time, Olga enjoys yoga and reading cooking journals though she admits that she never uses the recipes. She enjoys them because everything looks so beautiful and she learns about the different combinations of foods that can go together. Olga ultimately hopes to return to her country to establish an NGO-like institute on corporate governance issues that will last over time as her country needs that type of organizational institution.