Student Spotlight: Mariia Ezhkova C’21

Mariia Ezhkova C’21                     

What attracted you to Drew?

I was born and raised in Kaliningrad, Russia and was attracted to Drew’s location (being close to NYC), and the Semester on the United Nations and the Semester on Wall Street programs.

Why did you choose Business and International Relations as your majors?

I feel like I am mostly attracted to these majors due to my interest in learning languages and I also like mathematics and it was something that incorporated those interests of mine. Also, I felt like there is just so much that I could do with these majors, a lot of job opportunities, so that played its role as well.

Have you done any internships?

I did a remote internship in the fall of 2020 in Russia at a company called SmartHub. They are an investment consulting firm that is mainly focused on start-up businesses. During my internship, I did some research for them and translated some videos and information from English to Russian.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

Stephanie Bias has been helping me a lot as she is working with international students.

Have you studied abroad? Done any short, long or nycTRECs?

During my junior year I had the opportunity to be a part of the Semester on the United Nations and during my last semester at Drew I also got accepted into the Semester on Wall Street. These two NYC semesters definitely gave me a better sense of what I can do with my majors in general as well as in NYC. As we were meeting various Drew alumni as well as other speakers that were able to join us in the classroom, I started realizing and understanding more of what I would want to do after my graduation, where I would want to work, and whether or not I would want to continue my academic studies. It was a great experience which helped me get exposed more to the industries that I am interested in.

After my sophomore year at Drew, I also had the opportunity to go on the Barcelona shortTREC. I was hesitating at first of whether or not I should go since my Spanish skills were still at the beginner level at the time, but I made a decision to go and didn’t regret it! I am very glad that I had the chance to learn more about the Spanish culture, work on my language skills, and explore Barcelona with my fellow students. It was a great experience that has definitely helped improve my language skills.

What issue in the world means the most to you?
I would probably say security (cyber security, personal security, etc.)

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew? 

Probably all of the events that we did in ISA, also my orientation week. Honestly, now that everything is online and there is not much going on, I would say any in-person event that I have ever attended and in-person classes.

How has your identity as an international student impacted your journey at Drew?

The thing that comes to my mind first and is probably the most important is all the immigration/ or any other legal documents that I keep having to think about. For example, applying for visas, OPT, making sure I am complying with all the rules and regulations as I do want to stay in the U.S. in the future and work here.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

I would say, explore as many opportunities as you can and take advantage of all the NYC semesters and SHORTtrec opportunities. Use all the resources provided and try to think about your next step in advance and work on it. Also, if there is something you don’t know or not sure about – ask.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I would hope to have a stable job and have a sufficient income to cover my rent and other expenses. I am really hoping that all of my work will not go to waste and I can live an independent life in NYC.

Are there any fun facts you would like to share?

When I first came to Drew, I considered minoring in dance and pursuing an acting career but decided to not follow these paths. In Russia, I graduated from a Children’s Art School, Dance Department (Ballet and Russian Folk dance), and I still continue to do ballet in my free time. I am also into cooking and baking and worked as a freelance baker back home from August 2020 to January 2021.

I speak Russian (it is my native language) but I am also currently learning Spanish and Korean.

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