Olga Vaulina is a PR publicist and an ambassador for zagran.me, an international community of Russian female professionals living abroad. We met Olga in Schöneberg-Friedenau, sat down for some coffee and asked her a couple of questions about her work, her passions as well as her reasons to move from Moscow to Germany.
Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born and grew up in Moscow.
What is the strongest memory you have of your hometown?
After a warm summer rain, walking along the Bolshaya Yakimanka Street at night, barefoot and happy, with my first boyfriend.
What did you do in your hometown? What kind of job did you have?
I spent almost my entire childhood and youth in Moscow. I graduated from the Moscow State Linguistic University in 2006 as an economist (who didn’t) educated in both English and German. Already at university I started to work for as a marketing specialist at an American recruitment agency based in the Russian capital. I went on to fulfil assistant positions, and went on to be the Executive Assistant at the Boston Consulting Group.
When did you arrive in Germany? To which city and with whom? How long did you stay there?
After I graduated from university in Moscow, I decided to deepen my knowledge of the German language, and to explore the world so I applied for several master programs in Germany. I finally decided on a master’s degree in International Economics in Goettingen. I arrived in the well-known German university town on the 2nd of November in 2006 and I studied there until the summer of 2010. Ever since, I celebrate November 2nd each year. It is a very special anniversary for me.
When did you arrive in Berlin? What brought you here?
I arrived in Berlin late in the summer of 2010 to start an internship in an international public relations agency, KaiserCommunication. After a short time, I received an offer of permanent employment and I’m still working there!
What do you do with your time? What is your profession? Why?
I’m a public relations specialist with all my heart and soul. My work takes most of my time during the day and sometimes even more. But I love it. Of course, there should be some opportunity for personal fun. For almost three years I’ve been taking personal singing lessons with a Russian speaking teacher. My dream is to perform my own program of jazz in concert. But in order to achieve that, I’d have to invest more time into this hobby and be more patient, which I am not.
What is typical about Berlin? What do you love (or hate) about Berlin?
In Berlin everyone is able to discover their own special corner or area to fall in love with. Berlin is very adaptable and charming in its own special way. The crazy creative energy of the city reminds me of that of Moscow. But still Berlin is very comfortable and cozy to live in.
What is your contribution to make Berlin a little bit more beautiful?
Communication is what I love. So, during my free time activities I try to contribute to the community of new Russian female migrants that is being built up. Since 2016 I organize events for Russian-speaking women who are new arrivals in Germany as a zagran.me ambassador for Berlin. Zagran.me is a network of Russian-speaking women living across the world. What we do when we meet in Berlin? We get to know each other and help each other in different life circumstances. My dream is to unite German and Russian female citizens of Berlin and to create a network where they benefit from each other’s skills and knowledge. My events are about self-actualization and entrepreneurship.
What has been the greatest achievement for zagran.me so far?
The greatest achievement so far with zagran.me was that I lead the campaign where we were short listed as “Community of the Future” during the International Communication for Future Davos Award 2017.
As our last question, dear Olga, please tell us about your favorite place in Berlin?
Definitely Breslauer Platz with its Saturday farmer market, cafes and the nearby charming streets with old beautiful villas from the end of the 19th century in Friedenau.
To find out more about Olga Vaulina and her work for the Russian female community in Berlin go to zagran.me’s Facebook.