To get this started, perhaps you can tell us a little more about yourself and what you do in easyuni?
My name is Olga, and in Ukraine, where I'm from, we have a lot of short and friendly variations of this name - Olia, Olichka, Olenka, Olka. It was quite a fun to teach my international team on how to use and pronounce these names since it`s not something common outside of Slavic countries! I`m the part of the amazing sales team, where the main task for us is to bring new university clients and to maintain the current relations and projects with existing partner institutions.
You’re one of many from our team who’s a foreigner working here. Maybe you can let us know 3 cool things about Ukraine?
If you`ll ask Ukrainian about what`s so special about Ukraine, a lot of us would definitely mention about the weather, about the language and about the people. We are lucky to have 4 seasons from -20 C winter to +35 C summer. It`s an amazing thing to see how nature falls to sleep during autumn and wakes during spring. It gives you a huge source of energy. I love winter since I was born just in the middle of it. And I definitely miss one in Malaysia.
The cold and the sun, one of the most beautiful winter days you can experience in Ukraine.
Ukrainian language is considered to be the second most beautiful language in the world after Italian. You probably might need more time to discover Ukrainians, since we don`t simply open our hearts to foreigners, but once we do, we accept you as our best friend and try to be true to you as long as we feel sincere intentions. Ukraine has a lot of exciting things to do, long history and one of the oldest Universities in Europe. It`s a well-hidden part of Europe with its unique traditions and nature.
So, which university did you go to and what did you study? How were you choosing your major at that time?
I graduated from Vadym Hetman Kyiv National Economic University (KNEU) in 2012. I majored in Finance and Economics. Back in 2007 when I was making my decision about my future university, we didn't have portals or anything which can give you an idea about the difference between the universities and majors. Basically, I was using word of mouth, friends and teachers from the school and also country ranking for Best universities according to the employers opinion. Once these two were combined, I visited university websites one by one to compare the fees and check the requirements. My major was never a topic of doubt. In school, I was a national champion in the school research competitions in the Economics field, so I decided to continue with the best university in the country. [Read also: Indonesians Talk About Their Experience Studying In Malaysia]
Tell us a little more about your university life? (living on-campus, or out of campus, what’s the living cost, what you do on your free time, what’s interesting about your university/ location?)
My University life was calm and enjoyable despite the fact we had to study most of the materials at home at the capital city. In my University, the majority of students stayed in hostels, where the price per month is ranging from 100-300 ringgits per shared room. I was renting a room outside of the University campus and depending on your preferences, you can find a room or the whole apartment for about RM500-1000 per month.
As for the living cost in the capital, it will depend on your transportation expenses; however, you can make a comfortable living for RM1000-1500 a month. Ukraine differs a lot from Malaysia or US in a way, that we like to eat at home, since restaurants and cafeterias are expensive and are used only for special occasions like celebrations, gathering with friends etc. When I was a student, I liked to have my lunch in the university cafeteria, where one meal would cost you RM3-5 and you get a variety of choices, which you can compare with Malaysian mixed rice stations.
I used to have my buddy for study, it made both of our lives easier while preparing for exams and we also did some amazing and crazy things together outside of the campus! :) In general, student groups are 15-30 people in universities and mine were very friendly and helpful. That is why all of us made it to the end together with no losers! LOL.
Best study buddy ever!
During my free time, you will be amazed by the number of attractions in Kiev that you can do at an affordable price! You can go and see a spectacular theatre play at only RM10, and I adopted the habit in Kiev to visit a theatre at least once a month! At the same time, there are a lot of free lectures and seminars from companies for students that you can join to get some new knowledge.
I also used to work part time in my university, helping with documents in the directors office. Part-time work in a company or university is very common, a lot of students can get confirmed in their company by the end of the study. [Read: What Is It Like Studying In Vietnam]
What were the life lessons You’ve learned during your studies?
The first and most important one was when I passed my national exam and easily got a government scholarship for studies - hard work is rewarding and you are the one who gets benefits from it. Later it was a stepping stone for me to learn how to take the risks for the new opportunities and challenges. At the same time, I learned how to appreciate friendships and enjoy the time together with your friends. And since it was a first time for me to live alone, I learned that there is no such place as home and that eventually, you have to take a path to your new home ;)
My first managerial experience to run a non-profit project in Ukraine for teenagers. We managed to become the best in Ukraine.
What advice would you give 17 years old self?
I would advise myself to be more daring.
What advice would you give students who are looking for a university?
I think students and parents need to understand that a university is not a success, it`s just a ticket to one. In school we learn how to study, in University, we study on how to succeed. In reality, we never stop learning. So, eventually it doesn't matter where you study, what matters is your flexibility. In my opinion, the only mistake all students have to avoid is to study arts when you like math and vice-versa!
What are you passionate about the most?
I can say that education is my passion. Education changes lives for good and it has a great social impact. Giving people opportunity to study not just academic but how to manage their time or money is the best charity that you can give. And I think now I`m at the right place to explore and learn more about it.
What factors influenced your decision to work in this company?
During my last years in university I got interested in the education field, mainly in non-traditional ways of teaching for teens. I used to join lots of seminars and did volunteer work where I helped high-school kids to develop skills they needed to choose university, career and how to manage their daily tasks and plans for the future. It was something kids never heard in school. The project was a success in Ukraine and Romania and it really inspired me to focus more on this. Since I was searching for opportunities to work abroad, easyuni was the company that matched with me in terms of interest and values, because we are also helping teens to make a very important decision in their life - university.
Romanians say that Brasov is probably the best city in the world. For me Brasov is the city where I found myself while working with teenagers, meeting new friends from all over the world, including Malaysia.
Is your job here at easyuni your first job? How did it happen that you joined easyuni and how would you say is your time so far?
Easyuni is my 3rd full time job. Before easyuni I worked in the bank and IT company in Ukraine. I joined easyuni as a part of AIESEC professional exchange program, once it was done, I stayed as an employee in easyuni.
Since you started at easyuni, what have you learned?
Since easyuni is a relatively young company, I have the opportunity to understand how major departments work and how the company is crafting strategies and goals according to the market needs. I also get to learn together with marketing on how to engage with our audience and with IT on how to make a student and clients experience better together on our portal. In Sales I learned how to service clients better and how to provide the best solution to your clients, and of course Sales are the ones who shouts out the ideas to business development team on new products. I can say that we learn from each other nonstop, every single day and that is why working in easyuni is challenging but rewarding.
All the things you shared Olga are awesome! This would definitelyclear out all the blur for students who want to study in Ukraine in the future! - S