Where are you from?


What was it like growing up?

I enjoyed my childhood very much. The Soviet Union dissolved a year prior to my birth and I also lived on a border with China (we just have a little river between us). So I had a fairly good international exposure coupled with a lot of entrepreneurial activity happening around me.

What brought you to Cleveland?

My aunt won a green card lottery held annually by the US and came to Indiana State University for her MBA. By the time I graduated from high school in Russia, she moved to Cleveland to work for Progressive. I entered Cleveland State University and stayed with her and her boyfriend until they left in 2015.

What were your first thoughts about coming to America? Did those change?

I have been to the US before, so I was fairly ready to move here. While many things were still new to me, I have fully assimilated since. Every culture is different and it takes time for one’s established paradigms to shift and accept this culture.

What challenges did you face as an immigrant transitioning here?

I did not face many challenges entering the US as a student, but getting permanent citizenship in the US is a fairly complicated process.

What is your occupation?

I work with real estate on the operations and management sides.

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

Cleveland is a great city with a very unique vibe. Being a downtown resident, I am glad to see its noticeable growth in the recent years.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

I rarely go out and still watch international hockey. I also go to orthodox church on occasion and wear a cross – a common thing for many Slavic people. I wouldn’t mind visiting a Catholic church, but no one ever invited me, really.

What do you love about Cleveland? What is your favorite thing to do in Cleveland?

The weather, of course. Erie lake is gorgeous and I am very glad to have it around. Boating is popular here so we go out on boats with coworkers. Travelling by water is a truly pleasant experience.

What is the best thing about living in Cleveland?

Proximity and price of living make Cleveland rock big time. There is also something about Cleveland’s architecture that makes it very aesthetically intriguing.

Why is Global Cleveland a great resource?

Global Cleveland works for good causes, offers opportunities and brings good networking to the table.

What suggestions do you have to make Cleveland a more welcoming community?

Cleveland should advertise itself better to entice people to move downtown, and so should companies doing business in Cleveland. It is a great city and an influx of people would help revitalizing it. Companies should also work closer with youth and students to spur a growth of startups and entrepreneurism to tech us up a bit.