When The Gillette Company (now known as Global Gillette) offered Nataliya Kisseleva a spot in its London-based corporate-finance training program, she said goodbye to life in Ukraine. Kisseleva was put on international assignment in the United States, and, 12 years later, she’s still here. At first, she says, “The scale and size of everything was overwhelming—buildings, portions in the restaurants, cars, houses.” Now, she muses that she drives an SUV, “so I am somewhat Americanized.” The Pelham resident, now a mother of one son, owns and operates Massage Envy Spa in Scarsdale.
My Story: “My childhood taught me to be very resourceful and never take anything for granted. I moved out of the house in my early 20s and never came back to live with my parents again. My first job out of college was a small entrepreneurial venture that we started with friends in my hometown in Ukraine. That’s when I learned to count pennies and rely only on myself and a few loyal friends, no trust fund or inheritance. Where I am right now is the biggest accomplishment of my entire life. I have my own business, love what I do, and have time to continue developing myself. I think it’s a great achievement to enjoy what you do for a living and have a very supportive family. I am appreciative of everything in my life right now…I am high-speed, high-everything. I guess that’s what it takes to start your life all over when you immigrate as an adult.”
The person who helped me most: “My husband, Andrei. He came here eight years before me and he pushed and challenged me to get an education here. We were engaged three months after we started dating and we just celebrated our 10-year anniversary.