If you have stepped over the threshold of our office in Prague you probably know Maria Cerkashina, one of our Relocation Consultants who speaks a lot of languages and loves traveling. Her happiness is to help expats and enjoy all the small joys of life!
Maria, you are a strong element of our Prague team. Since when have you been working at Foreigners.cz?
I started to work for Foreigners.cz in October 2014, so 2 and half years ago.
What did you do before?
A lot of work & experiences! The longest one was in an Italian hotel chain, where during 8 years I had different experiences in front and back offices, were taking care of the guests with their “short term relocation“. Also, I had different experiences in sales in small and multinational companies here and abroad, enjoyed the experience of being a Community Interpreter for NGOs (non-profit organizations) and commercial translator of websites, presentations, and articles.
What do you like and dislike in your job?
My job is very diversified, I meet different people from all around the world every day. Actually, it makes me satisfied to fulfill their needs (find a great apartment, and let them feel more at home in Prague). I am always happy when they are happy! I also appreciate to be a cultural mediator and to increase respect and understanding in our society. I am a foreigner so I know how our clients feel when they come to the Czech Republic. Every day I have opportunities to grow, even small steps can change this world. I enjoy being the part of such a great open-minded team! I don’t have a dislike in my job because we don’t have problems, just situations and we always find a solution.
You are Russian. So, for which reasons did you choose to come to Prague & when?
I came to Prague with my family 22 years ago, in 1995. It was the decision of my family. It was the way for a better life.
When I came to Prague, I definitely missed Foreigners.cz services. I started to speak Czech in a while after our relocation and was a family translator in all the institutions in Prague.
What did you study?
High school in Prague and years after I participated in the program called Community interpreters for foreigners and minorities at Charles University in Prague in cooperation with local NGOs. It was an amazing experience, helping me at my current position as well. Community interpreter not only transmits the exact content of the message but is also able to identify and remove intercultural communication obstacles. It means that translation from an interpreter also includes a cultural part. Interpreters also have to cope with various kinds of social, ethnic and racial tensions, which include social and institutional stereotypes and prejudices.
Have you considered to live in other countries?
I love traveling but I don’t have any plan to move somewhere else because I feel at home in Prague. Maybe one day…
What are your hobbies?
Like I said previously, I like traveling, meeting new people, discovering their cultures, trying new cuisines. I like also DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, create some own natural cosmetics, some crafts. I enjoy fit box that gives me energy, swimming, and sauna to relax. And last, but not least I love to move forward in everything what I am doing and my personal development is my passion.
Do you have some travel plans for this year?
Yes, I will go to Georgia soon. It will be my first time there. I am planning to travel all around the country, sleep in different places, to enjoy the natural and the cultural sides of this country. And afterwards in June, I am planning my trip to Montenegro. I already visited this country many times and I can almost call it “home”. The Balkan atmosphere, sea, mountains, natural parks, amazing people – all that I need to relax and recharge my batteries.
What is the dream of your life?
It’s very complexed. To be happy, satisfied! So actually the dream of my life is to fill this life and enjoy all the moments and have something to tell at the end. Because when you reach a you have to find another dream so the dream of your life is doing all that makes you happy.