Maria Bazilevskaya

Phan Thiet, Vietnam

About Maria


Born: Leningrad, USSR (now Saint Petersburg, Russia)

MA in Geography, Political Geography and Regional Studies, Saint Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russia, 2007, with honours
BA in Geography, Saint Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russia, 2005, with honours

Freelance translator, interpreter, editor and consultant, 2012 - ongoing
Advisor to the Chairman of the Board, director, in-house translator at VINS Holdings Ltd (and other companies of Mr. Vasily Sopromadze) - foreign investments in real estate, retail, restaurant business - head office in St Petersburg, operations in London (Ex: The Criterion Restaurant), Tbilisi (Ex: Fresco supermarkets), France, 2008-2012
Head of International Relations Department at Saint Petersburg State University, Faculty of Geography and Geo-ecology, Information Analytics Centre - St Petersburg, 2007-2008
Translator and website updater at the Property Fund Of St Petersburg, 2007, part-time
Coordinator for Baltic Sea Region Projects at the Centre for Youth Projects Development (NGO) - youth work, project management, trainer, facilitator, translator, St Petersburg, 2006-2007
Project manager, trainer at European Movement in Estonia (NGO) - cross-border cooperation (between European Union and its eastern neighbours Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus), development cooperation, youth work, fighting xenophobia, promoting active citizenship - Tallinn, Estonia, 2004-2006
Assistant Project Manager and translator at CIRP Centre for Integration Research and Projects (NGO) - organization of conferences and seminars, summer schools on regional politics, international relations, soft security issues, etc. St Petersburg, 2003-2004
Teacher of English at primary school, Grammar School 67, St Petersburg, 2003
Translator at (Internet shop, scientific inventions and incredible things), 2002
Translator, assistant at the House of Friendship and Caledonian Library, cultural events, guest support, example: Scottish Highland Games in St Petersburg, St Petersburg, 1999-2001

Professional Experience:
2002-2008: Constant working communication in English, participation in international events, conferences and seminars (topics include: regional politics, international relations, EU, youth, culture, education), acting as trainer and facilitator on seminars, translator, educator, researcher.
2008-2012: Constant work in the field of business and investments in foreign countries, at the decision-making level regarding investment strategy and operational management. Fields include: real estate, hospitality industry (restaurants), retail. UK, France, Georgia, Israel.

Activities outside work:
Volunteer at The State Hermitage Museum Voluntary Service, 2003-2012, was their international relations coordinator and volunteer mentor 2003-2004, then 2006-2007.
English tutor for private students, pre-intermediate & intermediate levels, on and off, 2002-2012.
Moderator at the English conversation club, on a voluntary basis, 2011-2012.

Foreign languages:
English (fluent, Certificate of Proficiency in English, Business English Certificate, English in the sphere of Travel and Tourism), extensive experience of both oral and written translation in different fields; German (intermediate oral, advanced reading); Spanish (basic); Estonian (basic).


English, German, Russian

I'm passionate about

self-development, self-mastery, intercultural communication, travelling, exploring the world, learning

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Maria Bazilevskaya
Posted about 2 years ago
Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world
What a great talk! I guess everyone sees the gaming issue from a different point of view, but I found so many things I can relate to, that I was honestly, quite surprised. First of all, I have to admit that I am a veteran player of an online game called Runescape, which does not require maybe that much immersion as WoW, and has a more relaxed pace to it, but still is all about the epic meaning, quests that you know that you can succeed in, and gratifying feedback when you level up. And I also admit, that I run away there because it is easier to achieve things in that imaginary world, and the adventures it offers are more fun than mundane tasks. But, I have taken a lot from it into my real life, like the feeling that you need to work on certain skills to achieve something, and I often now try to present my daily tasks in a form of a quest, adding exciting narrative to the series of individually boring objectives, to help myself stay motivated throughout. I am actually quite a productive individual in reality, even if I say so myself. I have used a game as a tool, not only to relax myself for a couple of hours a week after intense work, but also to become more aware of the constant self-development process, and to attach more meaning to my actions, set them on a bigger scale. As with everything, gaming is good in moderation, and I am sure the idea behind the increased gaming time in the talk is not about people spending 24 hours playing online, but about more people engaging in it for reasonable amounts of time. Then it really would bring more people to think that it could be a fun quest to save the world, and we really all of us can do our little bit. Maybe I am naive, but I like the term urgent optimism, and I am full of it now :)
Maria Bazilevskaya
Posted about 2 years ago
Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
I absolutely love this talk, and I love the clarity of Daniel Kahneman's thought. There is no doubt all of us have had experiences that formed into memories with a completely different feel to them. Our brain is really amazing at creating narratives. The juxtaposition of the "experiencing self" and "remembering self" and also Meena's idea below about yogic philosophy made me think about balance. Detachment and an additional "witnessing self" are of course helpful for achieving balance, but just by simply being more aware of ourselves and our lives we can actually close the gap between the perception of our experiences and memories, at least a bit. We can appreciate the moments we are in, and feel them more intensely, rather then thinking during it, for example, about how we are going to show this picture from a holiday to some colleague or friend, or we can help ourselves endure certain less pleasant moments by thinking how we can all laugh about it later. And because of complexity, and everything not being black or white, I wouldn't want to choose between the two selves, but find a balance :)
Maria Bazilevskaya
Posted about 2 years ago
Dan Ariely: Our buggy moral code
Wonderful talk! I am familiar with Predictably Irrational, but seeing Dan present these examples himself is really great. I have experienced myself how the token effect is used in casinos - because you don't actually put real money on the stake it is easier to lose it, and of course I lost quite a bit. Luckily, I am not a big gambler and dont frequent casinos :) But the main thing of course is how to deal with things that are counterintuitive? Is being aware of some bias that exists in us intrinsically enough to prevent us from being manipulated or going astray? Challenging our gut feeling sometimes can only bring about more confusion, as we are bombarded with different signals, so learning about certain examples certainly helps, as it gives a reference point. It all reminds me of "the last mile" problem, that Sendhil Mullainathan was talking about at TED, too ( where we already know the solution to some problem but didn't think through enough the application of the solution, and some of them are counterintuitive, so what I would love to hear is more practical applications coming out of this fascinating research.
Maria Bazilevskaya
Posted about 2 years ago
Dan Ariely: Are we in control of our own decisions?
I've always found behavioral economics fascinating, and Dan Ariely really makes a sparkling presentation. How often do we really understand why we make this or that choice? I have lately been trying to be aware of every choice that I make, to figure out the reasons why I find something more apealing and so on, and it is an interesting game, that sometimes brings about surprising discoveries :)
Maria Bazilevskaya
Posted about 2 years ago
Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation
I've read the book Drive before I watched the talk, so I already had a better idea of what it all is about - and as some people have mentioned in the comments, it is the surprising lack of application of the principles of autonomy, mastery and purpose in our daily jobs, even though these ideas come across as obvious. I have seen myself the dramatic changes that happened in one of the companies in our group, where as soon as the board gave the management more autonomy, tried to underline every communication with a thought that we are doing it for a greater purpose, and it actually makes a difference, the financial performance got much better. Better than it was when employees were motivated by bonuses depending on profits, actually they seemed much dumber, with narrow views, when this carrot was in front of them. I mean, now they too get bonuses, so it is a win win situation! The trick here is HOW to apply it, and 20% time and ROWE are all good examples, but there are lots of small things that can lead to dramatic changes, and I think we should all try to find those "hacks" and share them with others. After all, this is all directly connected with how happy we are - and so if you find yourself unhappy at your work, for example, you should ask yourself - wouldn't it be better if I had more autonomy? is there a prospect of achieving mastery for me here? do I feel that there is a greater purpose to what I am doing? Perhaps there is an initiative you can take on, or a proposal you can make to your boss? I know, since my job is communications, that even the slight change in HOW you say something, can lead to completely different results, so I think we should all pay more attention to details like that. Also, if we pay attention to how we perceive the idea of job satisfaction, if we stop judging peple only by how much money they make, we can encourage more people to actually pursue their passions, because we'd accept that happiness at work is not only about the money.
Maria Bazilevskaya
Posted about 2 years ago
Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome
Neil, thank you so much for helping so many people to see the awesome things in their everyday lives! I really believe that a bit of optimism goes a long way to make this world a better place. It's funny, but your book literally called out to me - I was wondering through Soho in London, and suddenly saw this little book shop, and felt an urge to go in, and when I was inside, turning my head around, scanning through titles, the Book of Awesome kind of jumped out at me and captured my attention. I got it and it was just perfect for the time and the place and the state of my mind - we even invented the awesome game with my friend, where we would take turns picking a page from the book to get our bit of awesomeness :) It is the serendipity of such things that I find awesome, and now watching your talk certainly made my day. Thanks again.