Yeldos, 24, Media Manager, Moscow, Russia

“Life in Moscow is nothing like elsewhere. Here, you feel simultaneously the busiest and most lonely person in the world.”

My name Yeldos, I’m 24, originally from Kazakhstan (Aktobe), but since three years I live in Moscow.

I’m responsible for community and partnership projects at Bookmate, as well as media partnerships and PR for the social network “Odnoklassniki” in Kazakhstan. Freelancing, side projects, digital – all these are a familiar part of life of any young creative industries manager in Moscow. We share the desire to gain expertise in several areas, the desire to try ourselves in various roles and positions or by any means to gain rich professional experience. We, the young managers, live like any other millennial around the world.

In my dreams, when I came to Moscow (and that was three years ago), it looked exactly as it is right now. But the path to this dream was one of the biggest challenges in my life. To begin, my move to Moscow happened almost by accident (I will use the word “accidentally” in regard to this story quite often, but this is how it was). So just a couple of weeks before the deadline I applied to the Winter School of Journalism at the university of my dreams, accidentally remembering about the application process, and suddenly getting accepted! By the time the term began I accidentally managed to get several publications in a couple top-notch Moscow media outlets. Upon arrival to the Winter School I realized that my non-traditional Bachelor degree in Finance wasn’t a disadvantage, but rather allowed me to look at journalism from another perspective. So after the term was over, the tutors offered me to the opportunity to take part in the Olympiad for admission to a Master’s program in media. I agreed although at that time I wasn’t seriously considering a Master’s. Suddenly I won the Olympiad and received a scholarship from a federal budget of the Russian Federation to study Media Management at the High School of Economics in Moscow (who could even think about it!). So there was no other choice left rather than to quit my job at my favorite magazine (Men’s Health) in Almaty and move to distant Moscow.

There was no time to think about what I was going to do in Moscow. From the moment of writing the assignments at the Olympiad until the actual move there was just a few months in between. Meanwhile I also finished my Undergraduate studies and also worked for Men’s Health. However, from the first day of my arrival to Moscow I realised that one needed to be constantly active in this city in order to find his place here. So I updated my CV, emailed it to  a couple of contacts in the local media and asked for internships, and also signed up to participate in the departmental research project. Overall I did everything I could do at that moment. My efforts were rewarded: I landed an amazing internship offer at one of the top digital publishing houses in Russia (Look At Media) and got a place in a sci-ed group researching regional media markets. Looked like it was time to sit down and be happy. But things were not so simple – one can spend the rest of his life doing internships, and the results of our research were only interesting for a few scientists (and not much for the people from the media industry). So the wheel spun again, and now, after several internships and side projects, I found myself in Bookmate and Odnoklassniki.

Life in Moscow is nothing like elsewhere. Here, you can feel  like the busiest and most lonely person in the world simultaneously– that’s a life in a metropolis. Overloaded calendar, business trips, scheduling your time to meet with friends – that is how the usual Muscovite’s life looks like. In Kazakhstan the life is different and that’s fine. I can now spend only a couple of days in Aktobe, my hometown, and then I start missing the comfort and the pace of life in Moscow.

Moscow is probably very similar to New York: the city gives you the life of which you dreamt while living in a small town. Familiar, isn’t it? The famous Soviet film “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears” is really about it: Moscow will either make an iron man out of you or will send you back home. This is the price of that life. And believe me, no one wants to go back.

If you are in Moscow, and you’re wondering how do Russian / Kazakh media work, shoot me an email.


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