UH Entrepreneur Center Alum Translates ‘A+’ Business Plan into Global Multi-Million Dollar Language Solutions Company
MasterWord Services, Inc.’s (MWS) milestone 20th anniversary this year translates into a textbook case of success both for its founder and CEO, Mila Rusakova Golovine, and her alma mater, University of Houston (UH) Bauer College of Business, where she was a member of the first graduating class of the UH Vyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship. As a student, Golovine conceived and developed a business plan for Professor Bill Sherrill’s entrepreneurship class that earned her an A+ and set her on her path to grow MasterWord Services, Inc., into her vision, a leading global provider of industry-specific language solutions. Today, her Houston-based multi-million-dollar company serves more than 300 clients in more than 200 languages on four continents.
“I couldn’t have done it without the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship program. That’s where I learned how to be an executive officer,” says Golovine, who considers Sherrill a mentor to his day.
Sherrill, founder and co-chairman of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship and a former director of the Federal Reserve Bank, attended MasterWord Services’ recent 20th anniversary celebration as Golovine’s special guest. He shared highlights of his protégé’s masterful career as a student-turned CEO with MasterWord employees. To top off the historic day, Golovine brought out her original college business plan/term paper graded an “A+” by Sherrill.
In 1989, Golovine, a 19-year-old Soviet émigré, came to the U.S. with $300 dollars in her pocket and a determination to make a better life for herself in America. She earned a scholarship to study international finance at Bauer College and covered her living expenses by doing Russian-English translation work for the State Department and corporate clients. As a solo practitioner with a solid client base, she focused her energies on developing a business plan for an international translation and interpretation company for Sherrill’s class. “In those days, it was a $20 billion industry dominated by ‘mom and pop’ shops’,” she reflected. She incorporated MasterWord Services February 12, 1993.
MWS serves Fortune 500 energy, health and social services companies around the world and has achieved the highest standard for business processes, the prized ISO 9001:2008 certification, as designated by the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a rare achievement in the language services industry. MWS is recognized as one of the “Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses” in Texas as well as one of the “Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses” in the United States by DiversityBusiness.com.
Golovine is involved with her alma mater, which, for the third time in five years, has been ranked the best of its kind in the nation, landing at the top of The Princeton Review’s list of leading undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the U.S. for Entrepreneurship Magazine. She actively mentors students and graduates and helps with strategic initiatives.