MAsha presentacionWe were celebrating new year which is the biggest holiday in Ukraine while my husband Artem received an e-mail with acceptance to MIT. This was something he really was craving for. He was extremely happy and confident that he is going to go forward with it. My feelings were a bit controversial…

On one hand I was very happy and proud of my husband, but on the flip side of that I was facing a difficult decision to make for myself. I had a very successful carrier, being a global marketing director of a large international company.

Obviously my husband was wishing me to join him in Boston, but I was very skeptical.

Artem was telling me that the partners will also have a great experience and that I will find a lot to do there. I was jokingly replying: “what will I do there? Sewing classes? Cooking classes? English courses? Are you kidding me?”.  We have arranged a phone call with SF 13 couple from Georgia to talk all the details. I was laughing hard as I found out that main activities organized were in fact English classes, cooking and sewing classes. On the bright side I discovered other opportunities like joining Harvard extension school and found out that many MIT events (not classes) are open for partners. I had to make a choice and I was not ready to quit my job yet.
In the end decision was made via the power of the circumstances: war started in my country and hostile take over of my company took place literally at the same time.

So I packed my bags and went with my husband to explore this new life.  There were days when I felt home sick, job sick and maybe sometimes even a bit depressed but there was not a single day when I felt regrets regarding the decision  made.

What I did in Boston?

Surprisingly for myself I did take cooking classes and what was even more surprising I absolutely enjoyed it! I learned how to do sailing and puddle boarding, I did a lot of sports in general – MIT has great facilities for that. I was learning Spanish and French, I was teaching yoga, I have attended many events and conferences at MIT and Harvard, I was doing documentary movie about Ukraine, working on my startup ideas and what is the  most important I was preparing my application for MBA for next year.

Yoga MashaNow when the year is almost over I can confidentiality say that it was one of the best years in my life! What made it so awesome? I guess we were very lucky with our cohort – friendships were made for life! Everyone was active and volunteering to do something for the community. Most of the events were created by people volunteering to do something for others – something they do well, something that their country is proud of sharing their culture and aspirations.

Additionally we had a chance to explore the US: we traveled to Savanna with its incredible forests, Charleston with its colonial history, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park driving to Las Vegas via Death Valley, San Diego and its beautiful beaches, Acadia national park in Main, a pearl of Caribbean Puerto Rico as well as surroundings of Boston with great beaches in summer and ski resorts in winter.

Finally in March I was accepted to MIT. This has made the year even more exceptional and granted  me certainty for the future.

I am greatful to everyone who made this year so special for me!