We would like to introduce you to our new colleague, Katerina Karlova, who has recently joined our team as an integration coordinator in Borgå/Porvoo. Katerina brings with her a wealth of experience and skills that make her an excellent fit for this role.
My name is Katerina, I am 33 years old and came to Finland five years ago from Saint Petersburg. There I owned a small foreign language school. I have never regretted my decision to move to Finland. I came here for studies and that was a really good way for me to start my integrating path. First I lived two years in Porvoo, then moved to Helsinki and in the spring of 2022 I finally settled down in Söderkulla, Sipoo. I enjoy living in Söderkulla with the forests and the lakes. I especially like to explore the hidden islands of östra Nyland, as well as the islands of Åbo archipelago and of course Åland. I have biked around many of the Åland islands, sleeping in a tent at night and found my absolute love, my “smultronställe” – Kökar! My dream is to once spend the whole winter on Kökar.
Since I came here I have been involved with voluntary work with immigrants and refugees. Among other things I have been holding peer support groups for the parents with immigrant backgrounds. I have also studied as an ICF coach, since I am interested in individual and group coaching, HR and career topics, psychology, and working with people in general. I feel that I am in the right place now especially because of the situation in Ukraine. I am originally from the south of Russia, which is rather close to Ukraine. All my family members are living there and worry a lot about what’s going on.
As an integration coordinator I provide newcomers with information and counseling, organize CV workshops and social gatherings. I also share my expertise in integrating in Swedish. Since I myself integrated in Swedish, I have first hand knowledge of its pros and cons. In my work I am good at seeing people’s strengths and possibilities. I get the feedback that I motivate people and give them support and power to move forward. Since I used to live in Porvoo and was involved with the third sector I already have friends and contacts here. It feels good to be back, it feels like coming home working in Porvoo!