Sasha Olenina
Co-Founder and CEO of StudyQA
Russian Federation

Q: What inspires you?

A: The people around me and my team. We are excited to see our students pursue their dreams in the universities, which really suit their needs are are affordable to them

Enabling education around the world

Studying abroad has been my dream since school, but neither I nor my parents had enough money to pay for it. This strong aspiration enabled me to win a scholarship from the British Council and I spent a year in the UK. I also got a chance to intern for the UN Headquarters in New York and later in Spain. A lot of my friends then asked me to consult or assist them in finding suitable programs abroad. I saw that they were definitely motivated, and I gradually realized how many talented young people miss their educational opportunities because of money issues or lack of information.

After graduating from university, I decided to engage in international education and help students from Russia and CIS countries find affordable programs around the world. Along with my co-founders, I started StudyQA. It is priceless to see that our work makes people happy by connecting them to universities and experiences abroad.

Sasha Olenina, 27, is the co-founder of StudyQA – a smart search platform for universities and academic programs that connects university reps and talented students around the world. It was launched in 2014 and now consists of a team of 9 employees and almost 20 volunteers located in St. Petersburg, Russia. Holding a master’s degree in International Relations, Sasha has been working in the sphere of international education for the last 8 years.

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.