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‘Career Conversations’ Podcast: Fed Panfilov ’17, Strategic Advisory at Riot Games

Fed Panfilov

Fed Panfilov ’17 is the strategic advisory lead for technology at Riot Games. Before joining Riot Games and graduating from Yale SOM with his MBA, he worked as a Project Manager at Oliver Wyman and received his MA in Economics from the University of Edinburgh. 

In this episode, Fed discusses what a role in strategic advisory looks like, how to use your MBA to pivot into tech, and of course, some of his favorite gaming experiences. He is interviewed by Omolegho Udugbezi ’23.

Episode Transcript

Fed Panfilov (00:02):

I would say that kind of do your research about values, find a place where you will feel at home and where you can bring your true self to work. That's really what's important.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (00:12):

Welcome to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. I'm Omolegho, a student in the MBA class of 2023. Each episode of Career Conversations is a kind of conversation between a student here at SOM, that's me, and a member of the Yale community who is doing something that I'm curious about. Kind of like an informational interview, except you get to listen in.

Fed Panfilov (00:35):

Hey, folks. I'm Fed. I work at Riot Games as the strategic advisory lead for our technology space.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (00:42):

Thank you, Fed. For those of us who aren't familiar what strategic advisory is, what Riot Games does, can you please give us an overview of what you do in the space and how it's set up?

Fed Panfilov (00:51):

I'll start with Riot Games. Riot Games is a video game producer, developer, publisher in the video game space. Oftentimes, there is a line between the actual developer of a game and a publisher of a game, but Riot is sort of end-to-end. Until a couple years ago, Riot was really known for just one game called League of Legends, which launched in 2009, if memory serves me, and has been around since then. It was already sort of new in the sense that it broke with the model of releasing a game every year in a box, and then people play it and then people don't play it anymore. Sort of like a movie coming out, people watch it and then it leaves. League of Legends is like an always-on, always-evolving game. Since then, Riot has so launched a couple other games. One of them is Legends of Runeterra. Another one is Valorant, and a few sort of mini modes that were, I'd say, derivations from League of Legends called TFT. Now we have Wild Rift, which is sort of the mobile phone version of League of Legends.

Fed Panfilov (02:00):

Answering your other question about strategic advisory, I think the shortest description for strategic advisory at Riot Games would be sort of like internal consulting. Now, I don't want that to be taken at face value because it is quite different. People that have done professional services consulting and internal consulting already know there's a difference in the sense that when you are internal, you kind of have to live with the recommendations, see them be implemented, as opposed to kind of just deliver the recommendations and leave.

Fed Panfilov (02:28):

Also, the other thing is that we kind of have to source a lot of our own data. As a consultant in my previous life, pre-Riot, I had to figure out what we needed, if we were going to build a model or some process, and then you would go to the client and get that information. Whereas here, we're really empowered to go straight to the players themselves and get the data that we need to figure out how to make a better product for them. There's a little bit more of the sort of roll your sleeves up and get it yourself sort of aspect to the work.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (03:02):

I'd like follow on a point you made about going to the players for the data. How do you grab that data? Is it a case of running surveys, running focus groups? How does that process work and how long does it take typically to gather the data you need to develop a new game?

Fed Panfilov (03:17):

I think I'll take one step back, back to strategic advisory as a whole. What comprises strategic advisory today is actually three different, what we call them, crafts or disciplines at Riot, which merged around two, two and a half years ago, to form strategic advisory. The emphasis for that merger was basically that they were all internal consultants of a sort, but they had different toolkits and tool sets. One of those disciplines is called insights. That's actually the one that I joined when I joined Riot out of Yale. Then there's strategic finance and there's revenue strategy.

Fed Panfilov (03:54):

Going to your question within insights, there's the analytics path and the research path. They basically cover the entire spectrum of what you described. When a game is being developed in the very early stages, they might actually just get a small group of Rioters to test something out, get feedback. Then as it matures and we want more data and more quantitative data, we sort of move to what we call player labs, which is basically a focus group where people will come on campus and test it out, sign NDAs, do all that fun stuff and give us feedback.

Fed Panfilov (04:29):

All the way to a live game, like League of Legends, where A, we do run surveys. If we release a new skin or something like that, we will usually send a survey and be like, "Hey, what did you think of this? What did you like about it? You have any buyer's remorse?" That's more on the research side. Then more on the analytics side, we actually collect a lot of actual data into databases. Who played what, who bought what, what the outcomes were, there's petabytes and petabytes of data that can be analyzed.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (04:57):

That's super interesting, thank you. You've already alluded to this about how the gaming industry has moved away from being more static to be more integrated with streaming. We've seen in recent years the explosion in popularity of Twitch sessions, and of course, with the recent release of Arcane on Netflix. I'm curious as to what you think the next big synergy is between gaming and streaming and kind of this live gaming that we see and how that's going to change the gaming industry even more than it's done already?

Fed Panfilov (05:25):

Even just the word streaming, when I think of streaming, I'm like there's media and content streaming, like a TV show or movie or Arcane. There's streaming where influencers and players will actually just stream their own playing and people will watch that and consume it. Then there's game streaming, which is, for example, what Google tried to do with Stadia, where there's a little console and the game is actually running on a Google server, but it's just sending you the picture. That means that you don't need a very powerful machine on your end. You're using Google hardware, but you need good internet for that.

Fed Panfilov (06:01):

Kind of coming back to your actual question, I feel like all of this touches on the trend that a lot of these technologies are beginning to intermingle. We're trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. I do think that one of the things that we would certainly like to explore, I would say in the near future, is integrating, for example, media and content streaming and gaming. If there was a way to watch Arcane and then click a button or something like that, and go into an in-game experience that is very tightly integrated, we think that would be the kind of a new, more immersive experience that could be pretty cool.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (06:40):

It does sound very cool. I feel like that's one of the benefits of gaming is kind of immersing yourself, taking an hour or two your day today. So looking forward to seeing that develop. You've spoken quite passionately about the work that you do and about the space. I'm curious as to what you find the most meaningful about the work you do at Riot Games?

Fed Panfilov (06:58):

That's a slightly difficult question for me to answer because I've actually had so many different roles in my four and a half years at Riot. Part of the reason is that Riot is an ever-changing and still very rapidly growing company. It's a bit of a roller coaster, mostly a positive one, but I'm not going to lie, sometimes a [reorder 00:07:17] can hurt people. With that said, my first year was on League of Legends. Having that feeling of being really in touch with the players on the ground was immensely rewarding. I really felt like I was the voice of the players when I spoke to the product managers and be like, "This is what they want." That felt very sort of rewarding in its own way.

Fed Panfilov (07:39):

Then my second year, I was in the enterprise space. There I felt like I was also delivering a lot of impact because Riot had traditionally, I would say, underinvested in the enterprise space. Riot had, at the time, a policy of only hiring gamers. One of the side effects of that was that those people want to work on games. They don't want to work in the back office. They don't want to work behind the curtain and make games happen. They want to be on the front line.

Fed Panfilov (08:04):

When I was in the enterprise space, I basically had a chance to build very table stakes business analysis and intelligence for Riot, such as how are we doing financially? How many people actually work on teams? This data was all sort of not easily accessible and not known. How are we doing on our D&I efforts? All of that was basically nonexistent. That was rewarding because it felt like I had a very large impact, although it was more internal to Riot.

Fed Panfilov (08:33):

Then sort of from year three onward till now, I've been in an org called central technology. That space is rewarding in its own way because one, it is cross Riot, which means that technology empowers both the games and everybody else in terms of back office systems, et cetera. It gives me a breadth of scope and impact that is very rewarding. The other thing is that technology enables the game teams to make the player experiences that they want. Our team is the one that, "Hey, we want to launch in a new region." Our team is the one that will go and actually set up a presence there, servers or a cloud agreement to actually be able to run it there. Or, we want to port a game from PC to mobile, we also need the technology to do that. We enable all of that. In a way, it's kind of less sharp, less salient, but it's very broad, the impact. That's its own reward.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (09:35):

That makes sense. You speak very passionately about gaming. I'll ask you what your favorite game is to play and why?

Fed Panfilov (09:43):

That one is also difficult for me because I do engage heavily with a game. I will usually cycle through them over years. For example, when I was a kid, I grew up playing sort of like Fallout 1 and 2, which were RPG games. I spent quite a few years playing Counter-Strike. That was back in Singapore, where I was growing up. We had these land cafes, as we called them, sometimes known as PC-bangs in the US, which is basically sort of a coffee shop with computers where people can go play and it becomes a much more social activity.

Fed Panfilov (10:20):

In college, I played a lot of Diablo II. I feel like the drivers for all of these games have been different. Fallout is a very story-driven game. It's basically just interesting. It's like the best movie that you've ever seen, except you are actually interacting and changing the course of the movie. Counter-Strike is just a high-paced, sort of intensive, very competitive game. It kind of is more on that side. Diablo was more of a grind in trying to get the best items so there's kind of that like loot and collecting mentality that it is really engaged in terms of your reward center.

Fed Panfilov (10:59):

When I started consulting professionally, I didn't really have that much time for games. I would return to some older ones on occasion, but I kind of fell out of it a little bit. Then when I was back at Yale and when gaming sort of entered my radar as a career, I sort of came back to it. After joining Riot, I did spend, and I don't want even say this, but 1,000 plus hours on League of Legends itself, which I felt like was A, fun and B, also kind of helped my job because if you don't know the context of what's going on, it's pretty hard to advise on product.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (11:32):

No, definitely. It's product research. I love that. It's interesting that you speak about your childhood experiences of playing games. I personally am very interested in education. I've been reading about the launch of college degrees and different high school initiatives centered around eSports and gaming skills. I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on these educational institutions legitimizing the industry in way and what you think it means for the next generation of gamers who can have a degree in eSports and what their future looks like?

Fed Panfilov (12:00):

The eSports space definitely has many parallels to physical sports. However, there are also some, I think, key differences. Some of the stuff that makes eSports successful is when the experience of actually watching the game is rewarding and engaging in and of itself. Not all game genres are very predisposed to that, let's call it. Games that are slower-paced, where there's more thinking involved, that's not as an engaging of an experience for the audience.

Fed Panfilov (12:33):

There's this tendency, so far, this is me, not Riot speaking, that the most successful eSports leagues are games that are more fast-paced and sort of Twitch and very eye-hand coordination, all that kind of stuff. It seems like the best athletes in this space peak at an even younger age than physical sports athletes do, which means that, obviously, I am all for legitimizing gaming, and one of Riot's stated missions has been to make sort of gaming a worthwhile sort of life pursuit. We definitely like them legitimizing it, but it would be interesting to see what the further career path for these people are. Because I think we've seen in physical sports, that a lot of people once they've peaked, then they don't really know what to do with their lives. That can sort of lead to bad consequences on occasion. I think it would be very interesting to see how they could get maybe into gaming itself or maybe they can get into the broadcasting and entertainment space of eSports after they stop being actual athletes, et cetera, et cetera.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (13:40):

That makes sense. What I'm hearing is that kind of career pivots would be part of the journey for professional gamers, people who are passionate about gaming because it wouldn't be a life-long career. I'm interested in just speaking a bit more on the career pivots point of things. Many MBA students come to school for that very reason, to make a pivot. I'm curious as to how you prepared for your own pivot into gaming beyond your personal interest in gaming and part of the research you did throughout your life. Also, if you could share any advice for an MBA student who wanted to pivot into the gaming industry?

Fed Panfilov (14:14):

I'll be honest. I did come to Yale for a pivot, but at the outset, I thought it was going to be a pivot into technology rather than gaming specifically. I would say that my prep for that did start very early starting with the schools that I applied to and my school choice. I'm not sure if this policy is still around, but one of the selling points of Yale, for me personally, was that I could take even undergrad sort of college courses and get credit for them. That was a big deal for me because I wanted to take data, Python, programming so that I could not only build those skills, but also communicate to employers that this wasn't just words. I was actually investing actions in being interested in this space.

Fed Panfilov (15:03):

After coming to Yale, obviously I took those courses. I got involved in the tech club actively as well. I would say that then it was just a matter of sort of figuring out where I wanted to go. In my case, I didn't even know of Riot that well when I came to Yale because as Riot was taking off, I had just about begun my consulting career, which meant that we kind of missed each other. I hadn't even played League until a second-year student at Yale had come back and shared his experiences of being an intern at Riot. I was like, "Wait, tell me more," because I had grown a little bit, I would say, cynical of the gaming industry.

Fed Panfilov (15:45):

As a kid playing a lot of these franchises, I saw them be gobbled up by sort of larger and larger companies that I felt kind of took the magic out and became more predatory. It just didn't have the same sort of shine anymore. Whereas Riot seemed to buck all of that because they were like, "It's a free to play game." Not only that, you can't buy an advantage to win. All that you can buy is cosmetic content. I'm a very strong believer in actions speaking louder than words. In this way, just the business model of Riot really spoke and conveyed their values of player experience being topmost for them.

Fed Panfilov (16:28):

I started doing more research. I honestly did not apply to any other gaming companies. I applied to other tech companies, but in terms of gaming, I was like, I'm only values-aligned with Riot. That was the only one that I tried for. Here we are four and a half years after graduating. That worked out well.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (16:46):

It did indeed work out well. I'm glad you hear that you found a company that's so well-aligned with your own personal values. Speaking of SOM, I heard you say that one of the reasons you chose to come to this school was because you had that integration with the different schools where you could take computer science classes, et cetera. That's one of the reasons I came as well. I definitely resonate that. I'm curious as to what some of your favorite classes and/or professors were at SOM, and if you could share anecdotes from those classes with me?

Fed Panfilov (17:14):

Ooh, anecdotes is probably tough because my memory's terrible, but I do think that one of the classes that sort of has entrenched itself in my mind was Sonnenfeld's class, the CEO class, where he brings in all of the CEOs and chairmen. We have those candid conversations. Some of those sessions were truly eye-opening for me. I think that whenever you have an experience where you really feel like your perception of the world has meaningfully changed, it is sort of very powerful. I know that we don't record those sessions. I'm not sure how much I can and should speak about them. Because, obviously, I assume that this is a closed Yale group and they have access to that class potentially.

Fed Panfilov (18:01):

But, for example, one executive from a large media company, that I will leave unnamed, came on. At the time, we were talking about, "Hey," obviously Yale leans very democratic and very left. During my time at Yale, Trump had won the presidential election. We had this guy come on and students were throwing questions at him like, "You were giving him free marketing and buzz basically by covering him even when he was just spouting nonsense. The fact that he's top of mind, potentially you influenced the election. How do you think about that?" The executive was like, "I don't care about any of that. I care about viewership and dollars. I will show and do anything." At that point, I had always felt like I was a bit of a tinfoil hat person that was like, "Oh, you can't really trust the news. They're all biased." Here I had the CEO of a major, major news broadcaster say that none of that matters, it's just rating and money. I'm still in shock five years later, I guess. That was super interesting.

Fed Panfilov (19:05):

We also had a person come on from a competitor of Dell's. I had spent my MBA internship summer at Dell. That company was pursuing a, I would say, 180 degrees, completely different strategy from Dell in the hardware space. I had an actual interchange with that CEO about whether that strategy was right or whether Dell was doing the right thing. That also was, to me, incredible because how often do we get not only access to these people, but you can actually have a conversation that is one of the key decisions that they're making for their whole company. That was great.

Fed Panfilov (19:44):

Apart from that, I would say that some of my computer sort of programming classes were the ones that I remember. I had a professor called Stephen Slade from, obviously, not SOM. He really encouraged me. He was very welcoming. Obviously, I felt like the boomer in the class sitting there with everybody being like 18 to 20, I'm like 30. I'm sure they were looking around like, "Who's this guy?" But, he really made it accessible and he helped. That was a great experience as well.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (20:17):

I think those conversations you mentioned, just where you have these very candid and open conversations with people. One of the most amazing things about being at SOM is having difficult conversations sometimes and learning and growing from them. Thank you for sharing that. I'll ask you a few questions in closing. The first of which is if you hadn't gone to business school, what do you think you'd be doing now?

Fed Panfilov (20:37):

I really almost don't want to know because my imagination has a hard time coming up with a series of events that would have ended better for me, honestly. I'm not saying that business school is easy or that it's for everybody. In my case, I was an international student. I knew that I had these H-1B hurdles to jump through and that it was very possible that I would spend a year with an employer and then be forced to leave the country, basically. Everything could have crashed and burned. There was definitely a lot of stress involved because your life is kind of hanging by a thread in some ways in terms of like where it goes.

Fed Panfilov (21:21):

But coming back to the crux of your question, I do think that I probably would've stayed in consulting because at the end of the day, for me, the want to pivot into tech would have probably only happened with a geographical pivot as well. Because you know where I was, which was back in Russia, there aren't that many tech players, obviously like Google, Microsoft, et cetera, they have a presence there, but it's mostly sales, right? I couldn't have done and strategy work or anything like that. Also, I find that in Russia, and I think a lot of other sort of more developing countries, even just the income deltas between, let's say, consulting banking and industry is huge. It'll be like three-X, four-X. Whereas in the US, it can be more like two-X or maybe even one and a half-X depending on where you are.

Fed Panfilov (22:10):

The sort of income per hour that you get in the US, a lot of people leave consulting eventually because they're like, "I would rather work 40 hours instead of 60 or 70, even if I'm earning a third less." Whereas in Russia, it would be like, "Hey, do I want to earn 75% less?" Moscow being a fairly large and expensive city, that's no way to live. I probably would have stayed in consulting. I probably would have lost more years off my life from sleepless nights and endless travel. I really think I would've been a lot less happy.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (22:45):

I think it's fine to say that business school was the right decision for you?

Fed Panfilov (22:48):

Yep, absolutely.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (22:50):

I'm glad to hear that. What's one piece of career advice that you have for anyone thinking about attending business school?

Fed Panfilov (22:57):

I think that I have encountered a number of students, and even just applicants, that sort of haven't really figured out why they're applying to business school. There are these people that kind of just get caught in the current of this is the thing that you do. That current continues. Even in business school, a lot of people will try the consulting path because that's what you do, even though they've never tried to work 90 hours a week and they would be miserable trying to do it. I think with business school, it's very important to be very clear what your goals are. I do think that business school can help achieve different objectives, right? For some people, it's a pivot. It can be an industry pivot or a function pivot or a geographic pivot or all of the above. It can also be a career accelerator.

Fed Panfilov (23:45):

It can be, honestly, for some consultants, I've heard them say that this is kind of a two-year vacation for them. They will go back, but now they are very burnt out and they will build some skills, develop their network, which is by the way, another whole goal in of itself that is very valuable. Then they'll go back to consulting for some other amount of time. However, if the goal is unclear, then the chances that you will be happy with the outcome, I think, are very low. I think it's really about sharpening what you really want out of this thing.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (24:17):

That makes so much sense. I think knowing why you're at business school helps you keep going as it does get difficult because you have that kind of North Star that you're following. It keeps you kind on the right path and not too burnt up, not too stressed. If any of our listeners want to follow you and your work, where's the best place to find you or connect with you should they wish to?

Fed Panfilov (24:35):

If any [Yale-eys 00:24:37] ever want to connect with me on LinkedIn, I pretty much accept everything, definitely feel free. I don't really have a lot of public presence in terms of I don't publish things on LinkedIn, et cetera. Even the nature of my work now, as I've described central tech, it's kind of a little bit behind the curtain. A lot of the things, they don't get the kind of buzz that perhaps other people would. I would even say that some of the stuff we do, we don't even want to publicize because it's almost a competitive advantage of Riot's and we don't want to sort of go too deep under the hood. But, I am definitely open to connecting with everybody on a one-to-one basis.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (25:14):

Sounds great, thank you. Lastly, is there anything that we didn't ask that you'd like to answer or just tell us about?

Fed Panfilov (25:20):

I think if people are interested in Riot specifically, I would stress that prepping, not just why gaming, but also why Riot is very important. Looking back at my sort of recruiting at business school days, I do think there were, at times in the process, sort of these states where I was applying to more and more places because I was just trying to get something. But at the end of the day, when I look back at it, I think that was kind of unproductive thrash because if you really want to land a job where you will be happy for the long term, you do want to be mission and values-aligned. I think that is something that Riot does very well. Even in our interview process, half the interviews are about values and how you work with people, as opposed to cases or difficult questions about craft. I would say that kind of do your research about values, find a place where you will feel at home and where you can bring your true self to work. That's really what's important.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (26:21):

Amazing. Thank you so much, Fed.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (26:24):

You've been listening to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. If you like what you heard today, please subscribe. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or however you take your podcasts. If you're already a subscriber, please go to Apple Podcasts and rate us or leave us a review. That's a great way to let other people know about the show.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (26:43):

Career Conversations is produced by Yale SOM. Our producers of this episode are Amy Kundrat and Lisa Sternik. Our editor is Laurie Toth. For Career Conversations, I'm [Alma Lago 00:26:55]. Thanks for listening. We hope you'll tune in again soon.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (26:57):

(Silence).

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (38:43):

Welcome to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. I'm [Alma Lago 00:38:47], a student in the class of the ... sorry. Can I start again? I don't know why I'm nervous now.

Amy Kundrat (38:52):

It takes me five time. No worries. Yeah, however many.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (39:00):

Welcome to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. I'm [Alma Lago 00:28:21], a student in the MBA class of 2023. Each episode of Career Conversations is a candid conversation between a student here at SOM, that's me, and a member of the Yale community who's doing something I'm curious about. Kind of like an informational interview, except you get to listen in.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (39:23):

Today's conversation is with Fed Panfilov, a 2017 graduate of Yale SOM. He's an associate director within the strategic advisory space at Riot Games. In his almost five years with the company, he's acted in a strategic finance capacity and has worked at the forefront of the hottest trends in gaming, such as AR and VR.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (39:44):

Before joining Riot Games, Fed earned his MBA here at SOM. He previously worked as a project manager at Oliver Wyman with a broad international client base. He also received his MA in economics from the University of Edinburgh. Fed is a true global citizen and has lived in Singapore, Russia, the UK and the US. However, he currently resides in the LA metropolitan area.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (40:12):

You've been listening to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. If you like what you heard today, please subscribe. You can find us at Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you take your podcasts. If you're already a subscriber, please go to Apple Podcasts and rate us or leave as a review. That's a great way to let other people know all about the show.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (40:35):

Career Conversations is produced by Yale SOM. Our producers of the episode are Amy ... sorry, I just realized I don't know how to pronounce your last name, Amy.

Amy Kundrat (40:45):

It's okay. I didn't even get there, but I was going to say Amy Kundrat or Kundrat is fine, however it comes out.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (40:51):

Kundrat, I'll start again from the start of the outro.

Amy Kundrat (40:54):

Perfect.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (40:54):

And Lisa, is it Sternik?

Lisa Sternik (40:56):

Yep, Lisa Sternik.

Amy Kundrat (40:58):

Then, it's Laurie Toth.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (40:59):

Toth, okay.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (41:02):

You've been listening to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. If you like what you heard today, please subscribe. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or however you take your podcasts. If you're ready a subscriber, please go to Apple Podcasts and rate us or leave us a review. That's a great way to let other people to know all about the show. Career Conversations is produced by Yale SOM. Our producers on this episode are Amy Kundrat and Lisa Sternik. Our editor is Laurie Toth. For Career Conversations, I'm [Alma Lago 00:41:36]. Thanks for listening and we hope you'll tune in again soon.

Amy Kundrat (41:43):

Perfect. Let's do, if you don't mind, the intro one more time. I just want to make sure the sound is okay because you were cutting out a little bit, but-

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (41:52):

Oh, no. I think I was moving. I'll just move closer and I'll stay close by.

Amy Kundrat (42:04):

I know it's kind of long. I was trying to think of a way to cut it down a little bit, but if you just want to give it a full read, take your time, no rush.

Lisa Sternik (42:11):

No rush.

Amy Kundrat (42:12):

We can always edit it.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (42:16):

Maybe I can shorten what Fed does because he does say it himself. I think he says it better than I could.

Amy Kundrat (42:23):

Perfect.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (42:28):

If you don't mind, just take this bit out, "In his almost five years." That's a lot of words. "His MBA at Yale SOM." All good.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (42:49):

Welcome to Career Conversations, a podcast from the Yale School of Management. I'm [Alma Lago 00:42:55], a student in the MBA class of 2023. Each episode of Career Conversations is a candid conversation between a student at SOM, that's me, and a member of the Yale community who is doing something that I'm curious about. Kind of like an informational interview, except you got listen in.

Omolegho Udugbezi ’23  (43:13):

Today's conversation is with Fed Panfilov, a 2017 graduate of Yale SOM. He's an associate director within the strategic advisory space at Riot Games. Before joining Riot, Fed earned his MBA at SOM. He previously worked as a project manager at Oliver Wyman with a broad international client base. He received his MA in economics from the University of Edinburgh. Fed is a true global citizen and has lived in Singapore, Russia, the UK and the United States. However, he currently resides in the LA metropolitan area.

Amy Kundrat (43:52):

Awesome. I think we could stop there, right? Everybody feel good about that? Yeah? Okay, let's stop recording.

Lisa Sternik (43:58):

Stop-

About Career Conversations

In this podcast series, SOM students sit down with alumni for a series of candid conversations about career paths, industries, opportunities for MBAs, and discussions on various career topics including work-life balance and creating a meaningful impact in business and society. This series is produced by Yale School of Management.