Prosperity Planning owner Dale Collins said having Russian student Irina Novichkova interning with her company has been a great learning experience for both of them. (Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff)

West Shore Rotary program a great exchange

Russian student gains knowledge at local businesses

Irina Novichkova is making the most of her time in Canada to prepare for a career in business management.

The 20-year-old student from Russia is in B.C. for five weeks as part of an International Rotary program created by the university she attends in Irkutsk, a city with a population of about 600,000 in Siberia.

Dale Collins, owner of Prosperity Planning in Langford, said she feels fortunate to have Novichkova working with her. “We were lucky to get her for a whole three days, considering how busy she is,” said Collins, a member of the Rotary Club of West Shore for the past seven years. “She’s got an incredibly busy schedule, working at more than 10 businesses while she’s here.”

Novichkova has just completed her second year at the Siberian American School of Management in the Baikal International Business School at Irkutsk State University. The internship was arranged by Vladimir Donskoy, who has arranged for more than 150 student internships in the Watch and Learn program arranged by the Baikal-Eco Rotary Club as part of a Rotary International initiative.

Novichkova, who is working on a four-year bachelor’s degree in strategic and operational management, plans to work for a couple of years before pursuing her master’s degree.

“I would like to work for an international corporation where I can use my English skills,” said Novichkova, who demonstrates a remarkable command of the language. “I want to work on my master’s while I’m working with the goal of starting my own business.”

Although she has travelled extensively, this marks her first trip to Canada. “I love the people and the natural beauty,” she noted. “I’m getting hands-on experience and learning more about Canadian business. I’ve been here two weeks so far, and I’m really happy with my decision to come here.”

Collins said the opportunity to spend time with Novichkova has encouraged her to go to Russia. “Until I met Irina, I’d never thought about how people in Russia prepare for retirement. I’d like to see how business is conducted there,” she explained.

“There are some similarities such as pension funds and government programs, but there’s some striking differences as well. I’ve learned as much from her as she’s learning here. She’s been a real asset and an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Novichkova said learning about how business finances are handled in Canada is great preparation for the studies she is preparing for this year. “It’s been impressive spending time with a woman who owns her own business,” she noted. “It’s very empowering and has inspired me.”

One of the highlights for her so far was arriving early enough to take part in Canada Day celebrations.

“I loved the energy, the music and the celebration,” she said.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

Langford

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

View Royal mayor victimized in CERB identity theft scam

David Screech shocked to find his CRA account was accessed, his banking information changed

Teachers need more time to prepare for fall reopening, says Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association

GVTA president says class schedules need to be reworked for cohort model

Greater Victoria real estate sales numbers tell two stories for July

Real estate board president Sandi-Jo Ayers talks about pent-up spring demand, low inventory

Mayor steps down from committee overseeing fate of Sidney’s Beacon Wharf

Cliff McNeil-Smith cites work commitments, schedule behind decision

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Penticton homes evacuated due to wildfire northwest of city

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

British Columbians worried as end of COVID-19 rental supplement looms

Single mom struggles as supplement was her saving grace

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

Three screening officers at Vancouver airport test positive for COVID-19

The public is not believed to be at risk of exposure

VIDEO: B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote with head stuck in jar

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

Most Read