Anna Shcherbina, Project Manager for Coca Cola Youth Program for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay’s Anthony Nlebem at Kaliningrad, Russia spoke about Coca Cola Youth Program, challenges on her job among others.
Kindly introduce yourself and share the reasons for being here in Kaliningrad
My name is Anna Shcherbina, the Project Manager for Coca Cola Youth Program for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and we are hosting children from Nigeria who will bring the Nigerian flag on the World Cup games in Kaliningrad in the first game in Kaliningrad stadium.
What led to this initiative?
It’s a Coca Cola project and also as a big sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, the motive is to give children a life time World Cup memory. It will be nice for these kid s to bring Nigeria’s flag to shine in Russia besides, it’s a great opportunity every child will be happy to take part in.We had a similar program in 2017 at St. Petersburg during the Confederation Cup but only with Russian children participated, but this year, we have international children.
Is it for Children from Nigeria alone?
We have different Children from other countries in different cities hosting the World Cup games for example in St. Petersburg, we have children from Egypt.
Tell us more about your agency and your role
I work with an agency that helps manage Coca Cola PR projects. The name of my agency is Team For Dream, and our main client is Coca Cola. We do a lot of projects with them ranging from; marking, promotion and events. We also do PR management for other brands.
How has the job been?
PR job is not for everybody, it’s stressful, challenging and interesting, but I love the job. I can’t imagine myself doing office jobs where you sit in front of the computers for hours, it makes me bored. I never taught that I will be hosting children from Nigeria here in Kaliningrad. The job gives you opportunities to meet people from different cities and countries.
How do you balance work and life?
My mobile phone is always on and when I have to attend to some letters on weekends, I don’t see it as a job but a hobby. When I am on leave, I go for holidays for relaxation, then I resume with more energy to work proficiently. My family supports me but sometimes, they complain that I spend too much time on my job and this has given me little time to meet men.
Is the nature of your job the reason you are still single?
I only think about my job and I always want to be the best in my job and to satisfy the clients. I put all my efforts in all my projects.
What does it take to be effective in PR marketing job?
Aside from your qualification, you should be responsible for your job and don’t put responsibility of whatever happens on others. The job is very multi-tasking so you must be very organised, plan your timetable very well and be a solution provider. If you are lazy and just want to earn money you might not be successful on the job.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
For me, its stress and I always try to keep calm whenever I am under stress but sometimes, I feel nervous. Sometimes, you have challenges, sometimes I feel like quitting the job due to pressure and stress. The best is to control your emotions.
Which sports do you love to do?
I do gymnastic and was once a sports journalist. I like doing Figure Skating which is very popular in Russia.
What can you say about the children you are working with?
I love all projects with children. When I saw the Nigerian children delegates, they looked stressed. I hope they like everything we do here, however, it depends on us to make the visit an unforgettable experience for them.
Any plan to visit Nigeria in future
Of course I will like to visit Nigeria and see the rich cultures. I don’t know facts about Nigeria; we just read about the population, culture and food. I will like to travel there and it will be a great experience to see how people live together with diverse cultures and traditions.
What can you say about Russia’s dominance in athletics?
We have sport activities from childhood, it’s very popular. Almost every boy involves in sport activities like; hockey, boxing, football and athletics. It’s now trendy to have a good way of life, like not smoking and drinking a lot but to engage in sporting activities to be healthy.
How do Russians feel about hosting the FIFA World Cup?
Russians are very excited that the World Cup is taking place in Russia. They are happy to welcome foreigners into Russia, hotel, transportation and food business is booming and the people are very excited. For us, we are not rated high in soccer, but hosting the World Cup has made more foreigners come to Russia and see our beautiful cities.
What can you say about doping among Russian athletes?
Some of the allegations are true, but I think the European Commission is too strict on Russian athletes. This could be political; Russia is separated from other European nations and there are strong propaganda on Russia by the U.S and other European countries.
Is it true that Russian ladies like Nigerian Men?
I don’t know, I think Nigerian guys are special and why not? But it’s different for every lady. I think for Russian girls, it’s not that they like Russia guys alone, but are free to like everybody and also Nigerian men.