Translation, Marketing, Volunteering, Art
I was born and raised in Ukraine, in the second largest city, Kharkov. I graduated from a five-year university program in English/Russian/Ukrainian/French translation, worked as a translator for a year, and moved on to a successful career in marketing for a Fortune 100 company.
I traveled all over Europe with my job, and had the fortune to come to Arizona in 2005 on a Marlboro Adventure Team trip, where I was the group supervisor. I had a less strenuous schedule as my ten participants from Russia, but the beauty of the American Southwest captured my imagination for many years. When I came back to the apartment in the downtown Moscow, that my company was renting for me, I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag for 10 days, refusing to adjust to the good old urban life.
I came to the US permanently in 2007, first on a student visa, and graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Master's Hotel and Tourism Administration. I worked at the Front Desk at a couple of luxury hotels in New Orleans, but switched industries to run the family engineering. Aside from administering the engineering work, I started my own translation practice as a freelancer to capitalise on my knowledge, skills and passion for learning new things.
I joined Rotary International in New Orleans, and enjoyed giving back through volunteering, and making new friends. I scaled back on Rotary when my child was born in 2014. Now that he grew up and allows me more freedom, I saw an opportunity to raise funds through art. It was a lot of late nights or early mornings to deliver on a tight schedule, but I really enjoyed feeling that I was making progress. I am fortunate to collaborate with passionate, smart and talented staff and members of the YMCA, who helped me find a new meaning in life and apply my talents for a good cause.