Victor Khlistunov acquired a “Bachelor of Arts” majoring in linguistics and translation in Volgograd, Russia, and started his current master’s degree studies at the University of Vaasa in 2016. Since his program was transferred to Jyväskylä, this is his second year in Central Finland.
Victor read about George Simons in an online post that one of the “New Horizons” associates wrote on Facebook in November 2017. As a student of Intercultural Management and Communication Master's Program, he had previously played the diversophy® game in his Migration class. Thus, Victor became interested in further exploration of the workings of diversophy® and decided to connect with Steven Crawford, a professor of Intercultural Business Management who was developing versions of the game. This led to his meeting with George and an invitation to work with him in France as a marketing intern for the first six months of 2018.
As a trainee, Victor primarily attended to public relations for diversophy®. He took over its posting on Instagram and Pinterest, connected products to Facebook and updated the databases for email marketing. He was also responsible for publishing blogs written by George and worked with new subscribers.
Living on the Côte d'Azur, which has an abundance of places to explore, Victor took part in several trips to Cannes, Antibes, Theoule and even to Ventimiglia in Italy, where he was impressed by the beauty of the old town. However, when asked to pick his favorite places, he chose Antibes with its Picasso museum (which he visited twice), as well as picnics by the beach and the lighthouse.
When asked to name the most memorable thing from his time in France, Victor exclaimed, “The Cannes Film Festival! When I saw Penelope Cruz! I was all, ‘Ah! Penelope! Penelope!’” He described the festival as “amazing, fabulous” and noted the great diversity of attendees. Something he also found peculiar and quite exotic was seeing Police officers patrolling the festival area on horseback.
After his work with diversophy®, Victor is continuing his academic and professional development in the diversity field. His Master’s Thesis topic, “Representation of queer characters in the series Scene 8”, is directly linked with diversity. Victor hopes to advance in his understanding of art as a cultural dimension and to support the creation of a more inclusive international media.
As he analyses the impact working with George Simons had on him, Victor reveals that it broadened his horizons and changed his perspective on cultures and international working life. Victor also mentions that as a linguistic and translation graduate, it was interesting how his work on diversophy® game translations with Ksenia Otvarukhina, a fellow intern and one of the curators of this interview project, had an impact on his understanding of different opinions on translation. He found their discussions on US American and British English with George fascinating and fun.
Victor believes that in order to succeed in working with diversophy® and the field in general, future interns need to, first and foremost, strive to improve their self-management. The other most valuable target for his colleagues would be learning to show initiative.