On the 5th of January 2023, we were invited on a live radio program Beautiful People by Svetlana Iotko to share about our immigrant story & invite people to join our 7-Ft.com English Club. It was a wonderful & fun experience! See English Transcript below:
Svetlana Iotko (SI): Hi everyone! Today, in the radio program “Beautiful People,” we have Bagins family, Nadiia & Alec. Nadiia is a very interesting person: expert in education, online learning designer, author & speaker. Alec is an entrepreneur – business consultant in marketing research. And overall, I know them as one of the most active, creative & fun immigrants. Hi! Tell us, where did you get so many fancy titles.
Nadiia Bagin (NB): Hi, hi! Thank you very much that you have invited us because the last time we were together at a live broadcast 15 years ago.
SI: Can’t it be in Ukraine?
NB: Yes, it was on the National TV with Yura Gorbunov. It was a good experience, but it was still 15 years ago. So…
SI: It means that you are experienced, and you are not afraid.
NB: It is very nice to know that we were noticed yet again 🙂
SI: Alec & you have been here at Nadezhda’s program, right?
Alec Bagin (AB): Yes, I was here, I think, when we just came to America eight years ago & then I was just launching a business. Nadezhda invited me & I shared about my business ideas. Today, we can share more of course.
SI: Nostalgy, you see. I got to know you better during my course of Public Speaking. I was impressed that such educated people still pursue self-education, want to better their communication & public speaking skills. I was impressed that you came as a team, husband & wife, came together to support each other and learn something new. I think that was not accidental because you learn all the time. Lifelong learners, right?
NB: We absolutely loved your course, and I think that there was a second group promised. So… we are in first in line: practice makes perfect!
SI: Of course, in January we will have another group, so please join! Moreover, you were a little late in the game then.
NB: Yes, we have learned about the course when it was in the middle, so we can do it again.
SI: I will be very glad if you join!
AB: Yes, it was quite interesting. And, as you noticed, it’s interesting that we could do this together. Speaking a little earlier, we had a family business in Ukraine for 13 years, again we did it together.
SI: And they say you know that it is difficult for a husband and wife when they work together, they also build a business. Does your family refute this statement completely?
AB: Well, we both deny and confirm at the same time. There are moments that we do together. There are things that we do separately. And today we can talk a little more about it.
SI: I understand that you have been in the USA for eight years. Yes. Do you remember your way of emigration?
NB: Hardly, hardly 🙂
SI: Well, Alec mentioned that you were doing business together. What are you doing now and how different is it from when you first arrived? Remember, you were with Nadezhda when you were just starting a business, and now this is what you are doing.
AB: I am a businessman, entrepreneur, market research specialist. I have a Changemaker Studio company, and I am a partner of this company. We help businesses reach the next level. Basically, these are either Slavic businesses that want to advertise at the American level, or American businesses. There are people who work. So, this is one area. I also work in the field of biotechnology, that is renewable energy, this is the second area. There I mainly work with investors. Therefore, there are several areas of activity.
SI: Such quite interesting, progressive, innovative areas.
AB: Yes, progressive, interesting and there a few of them.
SI: And it’s not scary to do what is possibly, sometime in the future, and after who knows how many years, will only start to make a profit.
AB: Why not? Each of these areas bring some profit now. Something will happen in the future, but we’ll see.You never know where something else will turn out or come up. Therefore, several spheres.
SI: Nadiia, are you a businesswoman?
AB: Nadiia. She is an expert in online education.
NB: I wanted to add. Alec said that we had a business in Ukraine for 13 years and a rather unique business: candy bouquets. Because of that, Yura Gorbunov noticed us, in fact, and even decided to invite us to the National TV.
SI: You didn’t bring this business to America?
NB: No, we were asked a lot about it, but we refused. But I want to say that this business started in Odessa, on Deribasovskaya street. We were just walking along Deribasovskaya, and I love the color yellow. So, I came today in this studio & said: “Nadia, can I sit on the yellow chair?“ Nadia said: “Of course you can. No one can’t see it, but that’s okay.“ I said: “Well, it’s ok! I like the yellow chair!” In Odessa, I grabbed a yellow advertising leaflet. And there it was written about bouquets of candies. So, we started a business that lasted 13 years.
SI: Then, you also took a risk and were not afraid to do something incomprehensible, in that opinion, this is something new and interesting.
NB: On the contrary, we like it.
AB: Actually, yes, it was unusual back then. Nobody knew it at all. And people, we actually taught people over the course of these 12-13 years that such gifts can be given. And then we developed a network, we had several departments in Kharkov, several departments in Kyiv, online & offline, different areas. Therefore, there were about 20 people working with us then. That’s why it’s so interesting.
SI: Class, on the Dnieper, too, probably, there were either your branches, or already followers?
AB: Yes, there were our partners.
SI: Because I remember that was a pretty popular trend. And when the ideas for original gifts were exhausted, it was just that no one wanted to give flowers to anyone, then bouquets of condies were one of the most original gifts. Then, I remember, it switched to fruits – a bouquet of fruits.
NB: We tried it too, but it’s very hard.
SI: Fruit spoils faster.
NB: We needed so much equipment that we realized that was not for us.
AB: But it’s quite an interesting idea too.
SI: More about education. How did you go from candy to education?
NB: This is exactly the question of how I ended up in America from Ukraine. Parallel question.
SI: Okay, let’s go from the very beginning and in more detail.
NB: Because it was when I ended up in America that I discovered this interesting field of online education design, and I discovered it gradually, because we didn’t come here as refugees, we came here – at first, we were just tourists, then we thought maybe I could go study as an International Student. I studied at college first and then university. And then I started working at the university with faculty, and I really liked it, because in fact, now online education is gaining momentum. And so, this is a very interesting area. And I, in fact, closed the page with candy bouquets. It was a very interesting page, but I opened a new one.
SI: Super! And how promising is this area for immigrants now? Because you’re very connected to the Sacramento immigrants. I know you advise everyone to go study & study. But how promising is it in general?Because often people go to drive trucks, for example, immediately without education and earn much more.Even, probably, as an entrepreneur, Alec can say that education is not valued here, and sometimes, on the contrary, it is valued. Where is this fine line, how to find it?
AB: Let’s take a step back: when we first arrived in the country, on the one hand, we also thought about what to do. Because when a person just arrives, he immediately faces a lot of problems, that is, urgent ones. That is, you need to earn money today. Then what to do next, how to build work, family, children and the like.Then a person begins to weigh, which is more important for him. It is more important now to go to school, or it is more important to start working & earning. At first, we also thought, maybe we could do candy bouquets.But I went and talked to some good people that have been here for a long time. And they say that, perhaps, this area is better, Digital Marketing, because we did a lot of this in our business in Ukraine already.Therefore, perhaps this area is much more interesting. I studied this separately, got some education, so this area has become more interesting and better. Therefore, a very big advice, especially those new people that come: consult with someone who has already lived here. Because people who have already lived here, they can suggest: This is more interesting. Here it is better. Here it is really better or go, learn, or more.
SI: Excellent recommendation. We will continue our conversation after a short commercial break.
SI: A beautiful, active, positive family of lifelong learners, experts in both education and entrepreneurship, Bagin Alec and Nadiia today in the program “Beautiful People”. Nadiia, you have already mentioned the importance of education, self-education, constant learning. Tell us why this is so important for you and what can be ticked off in your list of certificate diplomas? Done, done, done.
NB: Yes, very interesting. You just asked a question, really. People come & go drive trucks. Why do they need education? Well, this is a very direct question about education. And so, I wanted to start with an anecdote. Actually, there is a joke. I think that many people have heard it, but still I want to tell it. Here’s one person broke something in his house. And then it turns out, he called one person to fix it, nothing came out, the second, the third, everyone shrugged, they didn’t know anything. Someone in glasses came with a computer under his armpit and with a hammer in his hands. Very strange. He went, looked everywhere, looked at something in is computer, opened it, clicked on his keyboard, took a hammer, walked up & hit in one place somewhere with the hummer & fixed everything. And then he sent a huge bill “because, – he said, – in order to find out exactly where to hit, I needed to study for a very long time.”
So yes, education is such an interesting thing. And yes, indeed, I have a lot of diplomas. When we talk about education, we usually mean formal education, that is, about those diplomas that we acquired with sweat and blood, and red, or blue, or whatever color. But in fact, we are all learning all the time, whether we like it or not. This means that education happens at any moment. This is a learning process. This is how children learn, well, everybody, from birth. Instruction is another matter. This may be formal, may be something else. But we are always learning. And so now, especially in our century, in the 21st century, when everything flies by at such a speed. That is, in fact, there are a lot of options for how you can study, and you can study very conveniently, you can study with a cup of tea, you can study in your car, you can study during lunch breaks and driving that very truck, by the way, you can get a PhD online. Yes! And it’s absolutely real. If only this was the worldview of a person. And the worldview is, by the way, you and I were at a concert of Lincoln Brewster. And he touched it too. He said that I really love to study, and for this you need such a humble heart to go to YouTube, type what I need and then learn from some Vasya how best I can play the electric guitar, a specific chord. Therefore, my life is like this, yes, it sounds more beautiful in English: Lifelong Learning Attitude! In Slavic culture, this is an eternal student, negative, twisted a little. But studying is very good, because it will always lead to some new opportunities, new meetings, new acquaintances. And even you and I got to know each other through education.
SI: It’s interesting, yes through education. But I immediately have a question: you are both smart, educated people. Isn’t life difficult for you at all? You know, every dispute there, who is smarter, who is more educated, don’t you think, I have more diplomas there – so you have to obey me, or I know better how to sort it out, how are you dealing with this?
AB: Well, we have something like, on the one hand, my first education is a teacher and translator in English. And the second is my business education. Nadiia has her first education, a programmer, a system analyst, then other ones. She will talk more about hers. We continue to constantly learn. On the other hand, we complement each other, we do not try to look at who has what, as it were, what kind of education, we try to use everything and complement each other.
SI: Well done! It’s very nice and appreciated.
SI: Do you remember why you fell in love with each other? And here we go to my favorite subject of beauty. So I understand that everyone falls in love for beauty. But what is beauty for you? Why you fell in love with Nadia and then Nadia to you the same question question.
AB: Well, here I will tell my story.
SI: Come on.
AB: I was just writing my diploma at the university, and they gave me such a topic for my diploma, which I could not find anywhere. And at that time it was, in general, not everyone had the Internet.
NB: The Stone Age at that time was.
AB: Stone Age.
SI: And how many years ago was that?
AB: It was 22 years ago.
NB: 22 years ago.
SI: 22 years ago.
AB: I came to Nadiia; she worked in a computer store & she had the Internet. And I came, but at that time also…
NB: Cool, right?!
AB: I was involved in charity work, serving the church, we did various programs for orphans: AWANA, summer camps and the like. And I came to talk about the Internet, to find something there. And I brought Nadiia such a leaflet, where it was written that we are engaged in, we are conducting these programs for orphaned children. That was a large boarding school that had 250 children. And I remember her eyes, when she just saw it, her eyes became 5 kopecks big. I mean, she was so interested. And the first thing that attracted me to her it is her sincerity.
NB: He was really attracted to my eyes as big as 5 kopecks 🙂
AB: Sincerity. What she really wanted to express was what she liked. This surprised her. She showed it. That is, it was the first. And so, sincerity is probably one of the first things that attracts me.
SI: Nadiia, did you remember him then, or did you just flash him you know, like an ordinary person.
NB: No, because it was with that boarding school, he did not flash. Because when I brought home his piece of paper & I showed it to my mother, who is now here in Sacramento. Hi, Mom! So, she said, she didn’t go to church at that time, she didn’t yet consider herself a believer, but she ran into my room and said: Nadia, look where God has brought you. This is the boarding school where your father grew up.
SI: Wow! The world is small.
NB: Yes, yes, it was just very. But for me, of course, what was valuable then to see in all this, in Alec – this is his heart, accommodating so many people and people, let’s say, whom it is very difficult to love, because there are people whom we accommodate with joy, because they are so easygoing, we are very good with them. And I will tell you that there were so many children there, and we had groups of different ages, it was very difficult to love these children, and this is the heart that he has. There is a verse in the Bible: The Spirit: “the smoking flax shall he not quench.” He is so gentle; he treats people like that. And I really like this, I really like it in Alec, and this, I think, is very beautiful. In general, people like this are beautiful.
SI: And what qualities do you value in people, in others, besides each other? And what is gaining value now after 22 years? Perhaps your attitude towards each other has changed and your eyes are no longer so attracting attention anymore. Here this inner world emphasis goes. But here’s how your relationship they move to relationships with other people and what comes to the front?
AB: Well, actually the eyes are, as they say, it’s like a reflection of the soul, so they stay. That is, it still attracts me to Nadiia. But really, that’s sincerity, honesty. And there is such a word in English: integrity. That is, it is integrity not crookedness. That is, a person when what he says, he thinks, that is, he is, not dual, not triple. This is probably one of the main things. Of course, I was also strongly attracted by her creativity. That is, that she noticed this little yellow booklet, right?
NB: And a chair, and a chair.
AB: That is all the time the ideas she likes.
SI: Men are inspired when they are supported, when they are inspired.
AB: Yes supported; well, it’s like, it’s the other side. That is, on the other hand, she supports what I do. But here’s a certain thing, there’s creativity and also the fun she brings. Even here it was already a few times.
SI: What is more important cleverness or beauty. Here, look at you both, you both can combine intelligence and beauty. Or is there constantly some balancing?
AB: Yes, that’s right, I guess the balance, the balance is beautiful.
SI: In your case it is.
NB: With age, for sure.
SI: The value of the mind prevails in principle. And there is also the beauty of a person in this, because, probably, it is simply not interesting to communicate with a stupid person, especially when you are quite intelligent, educated people, probably, you are simply not interested in empty people.
NB: Well, I would like to add something else here. I had a pastor in Ukraine, and he told us: “Pray to God for your future husbands, for your future wives and ask whatever you want. Do you want a big height or hair of some color? Well, think what you want, then ask. I remember to this day. I had one prayer. I liked it in the pastor himself so much: he loved people and loved God so much that I thought: “Well, I want to ask for my husband eyes to shine with love for God and for people. And it really happened, it’s in general. That is, it was so interesting, because it really makes a person beautiful, because he is not focused on himself. After all, beautiful people outwardly they can also be very self-centered.
NB: Narcissistic, yes, yes, of course, maybe on Instagram it would make a beautiful photo, but, as you say, right, it’s just empty. Besides Instagram.
AB: It’s interesting to add a little more here, when Nadiia shared about orphans, here’s the creativity, the uniqueness which I also really appreciate in Nadiia. That’s even when we were preparing for the wedding, I proposed her, and since her birthday is on February 14, we decided make the wedding day on that Valentine’s Day. That is, we also have rather
SI: Oh, very romantic!
AB: unique, unusual.
NB: Yes, but only three gifts work, three gifts, one gift doesn’t work! I say this everywhere.
AB: Yes, one gift doesn’t work. And we had a rather interesting big wedding with many guests, including 50 orphans. Those were the orphans from that boarding school. It was probably the first wedding that they attended.
NB: Yes, orphans, and they ate and got full, imagine, that was a miracle. They usually were hungry all the time.
AB: Yes, there was enough food. And we still keep in touch with maybe 30-40 orphans. It is interesting that later, say, when the war began, when serious problems began, and there were those children, those people, those who had already grown out of the boarding school and with whom we still keep in touch, they could also help. Together we were able to evacuate more than 1,000 people from Kharkov & from the Kharkov region, exactly from those places where there were problems.
NB: Yes, including my mother, yes.
AB: And these are the orphans with whom we communicated and invested into 20 years ago.
SI: Yes, indeed, it is important, because the tragedy that touched every person and it seems to many people that we are warm here, we are all well and safe. But there are people like you, like all of us, who worry and help. And these examples, when you, being here, help in the evacuation in Kharkov or with finances, and this really shows that love for people, and the fact that we care about what we are going through. What miracle had happened to your mother, how did you rescue her? You said it was a unique story.
NB: My mom, she didn’t want to leave at all. She was given an hour to get ready, and an hour before she left, the Regional State Administration in Kharkiv exploded on Freedom Square. I mean, it was such an explosion. And my mother, of course, cries into the phone: “Wait!”
AB: It was 1 mile from where she lived, so you could hear it there.
NB: “Something explodes there, something shoots there!” I told her: “Mom, well, this is war. Now they will shoot, they will stop. You collect your belongings: a car will come for you in an hour.” That is, I’m scared, and I’m trying to calm her down, that it’s okay. Although no one wanted to go to the center, it was very risky. And here is one of our relatives, Galya, a wonderful heart, she worked with us. She, probably, all 13 years of our bouquets of candies, I don’t know, from this small that she could walk under the table, and she said: “I can some, we can come, we’ll pick up your mother.” It’s just, yes. And here she is, through all those endless travelling, and now she is here, thank God. Therefore.
AB: Yes, and one more thing, if we talk about the beauty of people, we will probably tell more. This summer we ran into guys who helped Ukrainian refugees in Mexico. In Mexico, they organized this camp for refugees, and that is, they organized it so that people could come, so that everything was in order there. And then we managed to jointly organize a camp for newly arrived immigrants in San Diego with them and then here at the SOL Church in Sacramento. And here is one of the same, probably, if we are talking about beauty, it can be said that these are realy beautiful people.
SI: Of course, volunteers are generally very cool. I also had the opportunity to help here in Sacramento.
NB: Yes, yes, yes. We first time crossed paths with you in that camp.
SI: And I also came across the fact that Nadia also helps in the field of education and adaptation. These are very valuable resources that she can share. And it is clear that people really need this, not just you impose on them some information that may or may not be useful, but some practical advice, which we can also mention a little later. And now again a small commercial break.
SI: Nadiya and Alec Bagin are in the “Beautiful People” program today, unique, creative, very smart, intelligent and at the same time willing to help other people. Nadiia, tell us more about “Mriya” Camp, I was there too, and for the first time I saw you there, you presented your innovative teaching method the success of immigrants or a seven-step model of a successful immigrant. Please share about it.
NB: Yes, absolutely correct. I created this model based on my personal immigration experience. And when I was taking an online course at Harvard University, I presented this model to my fellow students, and they responded very well to it. I realized that there was something to it, and then I tested it first with my friends, who were newcomers themselves. And then, when we got to “Mriya”, Vlad said: “Yes, please, you can make a presentation for newcomers.” I presented this presentation there, and the response was also very good. And what is the essence of this idea? Why seven feet? That is, I call it “Seven feet of successful life navigation” because I have a cousin in Odessa. Again, I am sorry, but I’m returning to Odessa, because everything comes from Odessa.
SI: Everybody from Odessa, put a plus sign under the broadcast on Facebook, wave your hand.
NB: My brother is still in Odessa, and he is a sea captain. And, of course, he told me a lot about his travels, and sailors have such a wish for each other, when they go to sea, they wish for “seven feet under the keel.” And what does it mean? It means that there must be at least seven feet of water between the ship and the bottom of the sea, so that, in fact, the ship does not run aground. And because of that, this thought came to me in an interesting way, because I noticed seven components that we need as immigrants to be successful. And, of course, sometimes it seems to us that our eyes just run wide, and we don’t know what to grab onto and so many things. But in fact, I classified it in seven components: this is motivation in the first place, then a personal brand, the way we see and position ourselves. Then our education, again, formal, informal is another matter, yes, material well-being, communication skills with other people are very important. And here we also touch on the different languages and spiritual, emotional, and physical health, as well as our community. This is a complex system of our success. We need to pay attention to all this and see where is the biggest gap we have, what is better for us to do, and what do we need to fill? Well, in general, I can talk about it for a long time.
NB: But this week we just started an online English club, and in this club, we will talk about all of those components.
SI: We are in Sacramento, here you can live without English. Why do we need English here?
NB: Of course, this question will be answered by an expert in English – Alec Leonidovich.
SI: Alec, defend English language!
AB: English, yes, I can defend, because this is my first education, English. And together with Nadiia, we taught those orphans, whom we talked about, and also did a lot of translations back in Ukraine, and when we arrived here, it was much easier for us to adapt, because we basically had no problems with the English language.
SI: That is, there was no language barrier as such.
AB: There was no language barrier on one side.
NB: Not only, but also cultural.
AB: And on the other hand, because we have already translated for a lot of Americans, communicated with Americans, traveled around the world. I mean, we could easily blend in with American culture along with our culture, in Sacramento, blend in with American culture and feel comfortable. Today, for any person who comes here, English is in English this is called Vital – essential.
AB: And the more we take it at once, the easier it will be for us. When I communicate with businessmen, I am very pleased that there are many good, successful businessmen. That is, when you look at how much they strive and force themselves, including learning the language. This helps them to step much higher, to step in business and in other areas. So, it is very very necessary. And one more thing, I will say, one of the ideas of this club itself is to connect an English-speaking person and a person who learns English. It is very important to learn how to understand native speakers, that is, not only to know the words, not only to be able to write, but to understand why a person speaks like that, what he means, that is, to feel & to hear this is one of the most important aspects.
SI: I think it’s also important that your teacher doesn’t speak Russian or Ukrainian, or any other language. It gives you a huge incentive to just look for all possible ways, to remember all the vocabulary in order to express your thought. Because it happens that when we learn a language not with native speakers, we relax like that. They still understand me. And I know that one of the main ideas of this club was to have native speakers as teachers and people who are simply forced to speak English, because there is no other way. How to get in?
NB: Yes, I want to briefly say how the idea of the club came to me. At one of the immigrants’ meetings, I met a newly arrived young woman from Ukraine, and she was very upset, because she says: “I have a fourth or fifth level in reading and writing in English. But because of speaking, I decided to stay on second level, in adult school”. And I thought if she already had such a high level of reading and writing, then she had a vocabulary, then she lacked practice. So, she simply has no one to talk to her, roughly speaking.
SI: There’s just no one to talk to in Sacramento in English, you know?
NB: Yes! And I thought: “I have a good friend, a very good friend, an American. Her husband was my immediate supervisor when I worked at the university, the vice-provost of the university. She is an educated woman with a generous soul and heart! She has already helped immigrants from Ukraine.” And I think: “She can help!” Then, I think: “But how? She moved to the East Coast!” Zoom! Of course, online comes to the rescue. And now, in our group there are several people from San Diego, some from Sacramento, a volunteer from the East Coast. That is, in fact, online, of course, connects, but there is more. I’ll go back to what you said, about the fact that there’s no one to talk to here. On the one hand, it seems like there are some people, but there is no such neutral place where these two cultures can converge calmly and without much pressure. And online offers such a place, because you tune in for an hour, you talk, and you tune out. But then this is one of the hopes of my club, so that people can get to know each other better and can communicate and learn and share their cultures, because we have something to enrich each other. This is from the words of my American friend. That is, we actually have something to share, we have a lot of things, but simply because of such a barrier, which is created artificially, and we want to try to break it, like that iron curtain.
SI: Destroy! What basic skills or basic knowledge of English is needed? That is, a person should at least know the alphabet or be able to read, write, what is needed in order to feel comfortable enough in your club?
NB: Yes. But I think that, of course, those people who understand by ear will be most comfortable. Maybe they do not understand everything but they understand enough. They are just afraid to speak.
AB: There is a vocabulary.
SI: Sufficient vocabulary but afraid to speak.
NB: Yes, they are just afraid to speak. For them there will be minimum effort and maximum help. Because if a person knows less English, I also share some tools that you can use, you can translate word for word. It takes a lot more effort, of course, and also it’s actually based on what’s called Immersive English Learning. That is, it’s like you just dive headlong, immerse yourself in English, everything is English everywhere, and we write, read, listen, speak only in English.
SI: How much does it cost?
NB: Well, for now it’s all voluntary, but we’ll see.
SI: Okay, we’ll leave a registration link under the post of this broadcast on Facebook. I think even more people will join you. What is the maximum you can take into your zoom room.
NB: How many zoom will allow there, I don’t know, they have some limitations. This, again, when there is a model that works, then it can already be scaled. It’s like business people, we speak now.
SI: Do you need volunteers? Now, you said people who have a good level of English, they can be volunteers for elementary levels, for those who, for example, do not know the alphabet, do not know the basic set of words. That is, there may be ours, for example, Slavs who speak English fluently.
NB: Yes, yes, it will be a very good help. Again, if there is a desire to serve this way, and this is literally twice a week for 1 hour. And it’s wherever you are, you just click in. We do everything for you to connect, and there everything is already prepared for you.
SI: How do you take a break from so much activity and knowledge? Do you have time to rest at all?
NB: I pet the dog.
SI: Doggy, so you love animals? Is he your stress reliever? Yes?
NB: Oh, yes, such, you know, anti-stress!
SI: What breed of dog is yours?
NB: Toy poodle, Oscar is his name. When I hold it – I am the Oscar holder.
SI: Okay. Yes, it’s important.
AB: Yes, we also say “And the Oscar goes to…” depending on who he goes to.
SI: And give the Oscar.
SI: Alec, are you resting at all? Do you play sports or do you like to watch TV or just do nothing?
AB: No, well, changing activity is also rest.
SI: Oh, ok, okay, the best rest is a change of activity.
AB: On the one hand, I’m like, yes, I guess changing different things is restful for me. I have certain rituals.
NB: Visiting people is good!
AB: Visiting, yes.
SI: Okay, invite us over.
SI: Yes, I remember, we once talked about the importance of the fact that a person should not completely devalue the education that he already has. Sometimes immigrants come and completely abandon what they had and try to learn from scratch. For some it’s easier, for some it’s harder. Someone does not regret it, but someone then begins to regret that they threw their diplomas away. What advice do you usually give people in this situation?
NB: Yes, this is a very common question. So, I would advise in this way: it depends on how much time and energy a person has left to invest, we are talking about formal education here, we are talking about a diploma here. Again, can you do without a diploma at all, in principle? You can, of course, it’s not a question. Depending on what kind of work a person is interested in. But if a person already has a bachelor’s degree, which is generally transferred here for $300 or maybe a little more, and he will immediately have a bachelor’s and master’s degree, or he must invest at least four or six years in this. And this is work, this is colossal work. Of course, this is a good education. But is there strength left? When young people come, who have not had time to do anything there yet – of course! But if people come with education and experience. With medicine and with the legal sphere it is a little more difficult, but computer education, business, linguistics. That is, we have a lot, even the economic field. It is better to make more effort to study English and take some courses that will give more specific knowledge for America than to go to study from scratch. This is my understanding.
SI: We will also share resources. I know you gave me some useful links. How can you check if your diploma is listed here at all, what may be counted, what may not be counted.
NB: For free.
SI: That’s why it’s very important. And I think that you can still find Nadiia and Alec in social networks. I know that you recently started an Instagram page where you share your experience of immigration and give useful advice. How to find you there?
NB: Yes, just my first name & my last name @nadiiabagin
SI: By the way, it’s interesting that in America everyone stops bowing their surnames. If in Ukraine she bowed Bagina, now here
NB: Yes, two different surnames.
SI: Alec Bagin and Nadiia Bagin, and if you add some other letter after “n”, then you are already a different person, and try to prove then that this is your husband and how do you relate to each other? This is also a very important point. Yes, I think that now we have a short commercial break again, and then we will sum up our entire broadcast and finish, probably, with an invitation to your club and more motivation from you. So, get ready, and you listeners don’t switch, because we will return to you after a short commercial break.
SI: Nadiia and Alec Bagin are on the Beautiful People program today. Nadiia, an education expert, online learning designer, author and speaker, and Alec, an entrepreneur, is also a business consultant in the field of marketing research. And together they are a very beautiful and such an interesting couple. Beauty is reflected in the eyes and lives in actions. You know, like my program slogan. And you were just talking about the beauty that you once noticed in each other, and it continues to be reflected in your eyes. It just inspires me a lot. Therefore, now without motivation from you and without advice for young immigrants, we simply cannot complete this program. And since we talked partly about investments and helping immigrants, I know that Alec has matured such advice. How can we become successful? How do we come and immediately became successful.
AB: We immediately became successful, right. When they ask the question how to invest now, what can be done?
SI: Where to get money.
AB: Where to get them and where to spend them or not to spend them? That is, the first question that needs to be asked is why do I live in general, what is my mission, why do I need to do something? Why? Because if I do what I like to do what I can do, what I’m interested in, what I’m interested in learning about, I will be successful, I will succeed, and it will be good for me too, and for the society. And the most important, of course, the first thing when a person arrives, it is very important to start again and learn the language so that it is at a good level.
SI: Regardless of the city where you come, and even if it is Sacramento, where they speak not only English, but still make learning English a priority.
AB: This is exactly why we are launching this club, which will help you to adapt to the American environment and help you speak English well.
NB: Yes, I would like to add too. We traveled a lot, and we even have such an understanding: to feel like a citizen of the world, because we traveled around America, and traveled to many different countries. And now, when I took a course at Oxford online in politics – this is also a separate topic for conversation. But there is a big theme – it’s globalization. That is, we all seem to be getting closer and closer and closer. And so, I would also like to say that it is very important to be such citizens, active where we are located, and then in our country, which received us and now gives us good opportunities here, and all over the world, such qualities are very important to develop in yourself. It’s openness. All barriers begin with our personal barriers, and then they grow further and further. Then multilingualism – it is respect, by the way, for other countries. When we were in other countries, we tried to learn at least a phrase, at least a word in another language, and we had to see the reaction of these people, how pleased they were that we went a step further from the touristic “how much” and such. And we went further and learned some phrases. It’s seems very nice for them, and it immediately breaks barriers, because it’s respect. It is respect for every culture, every country. But in general, we all need as citizens of the world to look for what we have in common? What are our similarities? Like humans. We are all humans, created by God. And we certainly have more similarities than there are differences, which, unfortunately, is used by politics for some other things. But we can seek common ground, which why we launch this club – for us to understand each other more, to share the differences in our cultures, but also to look for what we have in common that unites us because we can actually do much more together than individually, in closed communities, when there’s only us within our country, our language, or else. That is now such a wish.
AB: And that’s probably what the Beautiful People project is for.
SI: Yes, thank you very much. Thanks a lot. And that is some tea for you in a special package “Beautiful People” as a keepsake of participating in the project.
NB: Oh, thank you very much!
SI: It’s so nice that such beautiful active immigrants are here and, of course, from Ukraine, who carry values, help people around them, help immigrants, help Ukraine, and do a lot to ensure that immigrants who come here regardless of what countries they are from, can be successful. And be sure to leave a link to the online club for learning English. In the description below this video. Therefore, always remember that self-study is important, self-education and English is your first step to success, the basis of everything. Today in the Beautiful People program were Alec and Nadiia Bagin and see you on the radio. Bye.
AB: For now.
NB: For now.
Program Promo: With you was the project “Beautiful people” and its leader Svetlana Iotko. Thank you for your attention and support. Look for us on social networks. Be beautiful both externally and internally. Remember that true beauty is born in the heart, reflected in the eyes, and lives in deeds.