Senior Spotlight: Business and Econ Major Mikhail Zaborskiy

By Eric Dubrow
Elm Staff Writer

The year is drawing to a sudden close, and senior Mikhail Zaborskiy is feeling reflective on his four years at Washington College.
“I think this is a pretty iconic period in the history of the school. A lot has changed,” he said.

Speaking of the shifts in student population, administration, and construction on campus, Zaborskiy has clearly taken notice of the many developments to the school during his time here.
He is also aware of the profound impact that his education here has had on the trajectory of his life. When he arrived here at the age of 16, WC was not his ideal choice to spend the next four years, and he thought of transferring. However, he grew to love the school, and said that “the turning point came at the end of my freshman year and beginning of sophomore year.”

Since his arrival, Zaborskiy has found his place within the college community, especially on the varsity men’s crew team. In fact, one of the accomplishments he is most proud of was his selection as an all conference rower in his sophomore year.

Apart from his achievements on the water, Zaborskiy is also an excellent student, and is a double major in business and economics. He very recently turned in his thesis, which discussed how companies differentiate their products through the use of game theory. The thesis was not an easy one to complete; initially, he hoped to look at smartphone manufacturers and how they chose to market their various products.

However, when he realized that there were far too many variables to consider, he switched his focus to a study of the two main satellite TV providers in the United States, DirecTV and DISH Network. Even after this shift, he still had to modify his project. Due to the difficulties in gathering empirical data on broadcasting rights from these companies, “it became much more theoretical than empirical,” said Zaborskiy.

His thesis was the culmination of his fascination with game theory, a topic that piqued his interest in a class taught by assistant professor of economics Andrew Helms, who Zaborskiy said was one of his favorite teachers. In addition to this course, he surprisingly also listed the acting courses he took as a younger student as highly influential, praising their real-world application in conquering stage fright and even suggesting that “all freshmen should be required to take acting.”

His post-graduation plans are not yet set in stone. Although he would at some point like to go to graduate school, Zaborskiy admitted to feeling “burnt out” by the constant pressures of academic life. Work of course is another option, and he currently has a couple of interviews down the line.

Ultimately, Zaborskiy describes his attitude toward leaving WC as “bittersweet,” stating that he will miss his friends, the crew team, and the academics of the school. At the same time, he is clearly excited to be moving on to the next big step, whatever it may be.

May 6, 2011
Volume LXXXI Issue 25

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