My Interview for Blogger Life Public

I’m so excited to be interviewed by Ekaterina Sycheva for the new Blogger Life public!

We talked about immigration to Canada, dance, my school, productivity and motivation!

The full text of the interview here:

How long have you been living in Canada? Where were you born? How did you move to Canada?

I came to Canada in 2003 with my mom. We had 4 large suitcases with us, and I had a backpack full of stuffed animals. I was 13. Moving to Canada was the best part of my teenage years. It was a great adventure. I remember instantly feeling at home here. This is usually not the story that everyone wants to hear. Usually, people are expecting me to tell a dramatic story about how I couldn’t fit into a new school, and how difficult it was to be a teenager. But I guess I got lucky. I liked my school, and everything else in Canada right away. I will always be grateful to my mom for bringing me here.

Name three advantages and three disadvantages of living in Canada.

+ lots of opportunities for career growth
+ people are very polite
+ it is safe here

– very strong cold winds
– super short spring and fall seasons. It’s either very cold or very hot for most of the year
– very dry air in apartments and houses


You are a well-rounded person, and you’ve got many hobbies. Name a few of your favorite ones.

I love trying new hobbies.  However, dance, art, and reading are always a big part of my life. I am planning to play piano more often this year though. I graduated from a specialized music school, so music is important for me as well.

Which hobbies have you tried recently?

Argentine tango and Yoga are the most recent hobbies. Also, I recently attended a clay throwing workshop and made a few coffee mugs. Looks like clay throwing can become my new favorite.

What are your current goals?

I am working towards completing and defending my doctoral thesis on mathematics education now. It is a slow, but very rewarding process. I’m planning to turn my thesis into a book once it’s done. Other ambitious goals include fully illustrating a book, writing a novel, and creating my own clothing line for Argentine tango dancers.

Which traits do you like and dislike in people?

I like it when people are easy to talk to, and I don’t like when people are rude. Politeness is a very important trait, in my opinion.

I know you love your job. You sure have a lot of friends among your colleagues. Do you have many friends outside of work? Tell about them. 

Most of my friends are people whom I met at university, and at dance groups.  I am lucky to have so many friends who are very understanding, and supportive. We care for each other and understand each other even if we do not meet too often.  Recently, one of my friends made me a Godmother of her daughter. It was such an honor!

You are good at planning. What could you recommend to our readers? What should they do to get things done?

My love of planning comes from my grandmom, who was one of the best time managers I’ve known.  When I was a kid, she helped me plan my days, so I could practice all of my hobbies (like dance and playing piano), and all the school work. She helped me develop a goal-oriented mindset.  When I have a goal in mind, planning becomes easy, cause I just break my big goals into a series of small ones, and adjust the plan along the way, when needed. When it comes to getting things done, there is seriously no other recipe, other than to start doing things one by one.

You coach a community dance team. Do you have specialized training in classical or contemporary dance, or is it just a hobby?

My mom signed me up for a specialized dance school when I was 4 years old, and I danced ever since. It that school we learned classical ballet basics, contemporary dance, folk dance, and acrobatics.  All of those styles seemed different to me when I was a kid.  However, as I gained more dance experience, I started seeing how interconnected all of them are.  In Canada, I got interested in fitness dances and joined a Ukrainian folk dance team as a teenager.  I joined Merey Ismailova Theatre of Physical Dance, and  Dance, and later on started leading the Community dance team for people of different ages and backgrounds. Dance is not my formal profession, but it is definitely a huge part of my life.

What was the funniest (embarrassing or ridiculous) situation that you found yourself in?

This one is more of a funny concept: In Ukraine and in Russia, there is a bit of a stereotype and even an expectation that teenagers write at least some poetry.  Poetry, however, is just not my thing.  I wasn’t inspired to write any poems as a teenager, and couldn’t write any even when I actively tried to do so.  So every time I heard the phrase ‘ALL teenagers write poems”, I always cringed.  I wrote exactly 2 poems in my life so far. One was when I was 4 years old, and another one when I was 10.  My mom claims that the one written at 4 years old was the better one.


How would you describe yourself?

 I’d say I’m energetic, goal oriented and compassionate.

Why did you choose video format for your blog? What can they expect from your blog?

I chose the video format because I LOVE chatting. I’m a huge fan of verbal communication. I also love video call services such as Skype, FaceTime, etc.  The concept of going live with my friends, and talking to them really inspires me.  Videos on Vero are much like talking to people face to face. Plus, videos are more convenient than typing. They take less time, and they feel more alive.
In my blog, I talk and write about productivity and career tips, as well as work-life balance and art.  Sometimes I call myself ‘a career coach who draws’.

What is the life of a blogger like?

I’m not a typical blogger, cause blogging is NOT my primary job. On a typical day, I work from 8 am till 4 pm, then go to the gym, then I either meet with my clients for career coaching, then spend some time working on my PdD thesis, and some time on my blog later in the evening.  Sometimes I take photos of my illustrations in advance.  Most of the time I take pictures throughout my day and post them as soon as I find some time.  I have a solid content plan, but spontaneous posts are frequent guests in my blog. My mom and my partner are my biggest fans so far.

What other social media are you on?

The Blog of Obvious Things:
Vero: Mariya Boyko

You can suggest several questions of your own, with answers.

What is the most important thing to remember when looking for your dream job?
The most important thing to remember is that being good at DOING your job does NOT guarantee that you will GET the job.  Finding and getting a job requires a separate set of skills.  Some people lose hope of getting their dream job because they keep perfecting their skills f doing their job, but not their interview and resume writing skills.

What is the most important thing to remember before the job interview?
Research the company, especially their mission statement, and remember that the question ‘Tell me about yourself’ really means ‘Tell me how your previous experience will be useful to this company’.

What Career Coach CAN Help You With 

coffee-cup-earphones-163187Many people are unsure about what career coach can help with. Here’s a short list:

Finding your strengths and talents, choosing the right education program for you,
Time management,
Finding your dream job,
Career transitioning,
Creating your resume, no matter how much or how little experience you have,
Editing your resume fitting the industry,
Preparing for a job interview, preparing for performance reviews.

Have you ever worked with a career coach? Would you consider trying?

My Interview for Vero True Social Russian-speaking Community

Russian-speaking community of the new social network Vero interviewed me about my work as a career coach for teens, and the usage of social networks. It was a great honor! Thanks, VeroFamily!

Full version in Russian is here:

English translation below:

1. What / Who brought you to Vero? How did you get to know the network?

I found out about Vero on February 26, 2018. I was on my way from work, scrolling through Instagram feed while waiting for my train. I saw one of the bloggers asking if anyone had a profile on Vero. At that time, I was getting disappointed in Instagram because of the bots and algorithms. I googled Vero, and decided to create a profile right away. I liked the design of the platform and the chronological feed.

2. Many people are interested in online popularity. How did you managed to make friends with so many people so quickly? Hashtags, subscriptions, comments? What is the secret of your success?

I found friends mostly through the use of hashtags. I subscribed to people, actively followed their profiles, commented on their posts. I also contacted several large English-speaking bloggers asking them to introduce my profile. Then I met even more people from different countries.

3. You have a very unique profession that just a few people know about. Tell me why you’ve decided to pursue it?

I’m a career coach for kids and teens. I help teens determine the choice of profession, career direction, the search for the first job, the compilation of the first summary, and preparation for interviews. I think that the first resume should be thought about before entering the first grade. Not because you have to find a job in grade 1, but because job search and self-advocacy skills are just as important in the modern society as reading and writing. I work with teens individually, I often include their parents in our consultations. I hold lectures and webinars for kids and families as well. I decided that my career will be related to education back in high school.

I helped younger students with their homework and looked through my classmates’ resumes for their first jobs. I picked up this interest in job market and employment hunting from my mom. She kept a close eye on trends and requirements of modern resumes and job interviews, and kept me in the loop on that starting from my early childhood.

We often took walks in a park, and my mom always asked me, “Sweetie, when you’ll grow up and start looking for a job, you will be asked: “What can you do?” What would you answer?” This way I was gradually getting used to a thought that I would be looking for a job one day, that I will need to know how to answer any question with confidence.
I’m constantly on the lookout for professional development. At the moment I’m finishing my Ph.D. on career specialization among adolescents, and the impact of education reforms on students’ employment.

Also, I work as a product manager at Prodigy Math Game, which produces a math video game for kids. It is very important for me to lead teens by example, and to show them that finding a great satisfying job in a dynamic creative environment is possible when at this time, when looking for jobs is becoming increasingly difficult.

4. The most memorable acquaintance in Vero? With whom and how was it?

There are so many great people here that it’s difficult choose one. Meeting Oleg Kolokolov, Irina Nik, Olga Mishina, and Slava Tyunin was amazing! They showed me that Vero attracts open-minded people who are ready to share their thoughts and listen to others. I found these people in a very fun way. It was the eve of the International Women’s Day, and I decided to see if there is a hashtag for that on Vero. There was one, and I hound many Russian-speaking people there. Then I also met their friends, and friends of their friends,=and so on.

5. What inspires you? Where do you draw strength?

I draw inspiration from my numerous hobbies. I coach a community dance group for children and adults, and a mathematical circle for high school students at the University of Toronto. My students are my joy and inspiration. I also like fencing, Argentine tango, drawing, and reading. When I have a little more time, I play piano and embroid.

6. What kind of relationship do you have with other social networks? Is Vero your main social network now?

I mostly used Vero in the last couple of month. It’s convenient to share different types of content there, and the audience is very sincere. I like sharing videos, chatting on camera. I have a YouTube channel in Russian and in English, but recently it become more difficult to find friends on YouTube. I’ll be posting more videos in Vero in the near future.

7. Could you give an advice to our subscribers, or just add something from yourself 😊

I hope everyone will find not just their “target audience”, but a close circle of friends and companions.