I live in Barcelona for 4 years and I am not from here, nor from Spain, nor from the place where people speak Spanish. I am from Ukraine, not very developed country, with different culture, different language, different education, which is outside European Union and has no agreements with Spain on the fact of facilitating the legalization of people who would like to live here. And the person with my conditions that arrives in Spain does not have the right to work. This person has to study for at least 3 years and only afterwards can apply for a change of his/her type of residence. And I have passed through it, I studied for 3 years and at the same time I worked(well.. worked, eternal internship to be correct), because my parents are not rich and can not support my expenses in Spain (to give you an idea: prices here are 2-4 times higher than in Ukraine, only due to the difference in the development of the countries). And you might understand that the salary of an intern is not very high, at the end of 2017 mine was 850 euros per month. But I have learned to live with this money per month (I started with 400 and I knew how not to spend a lot). It was a period when I have entered an infinite circle of work-house-gym-work. Every day the same. In general, everything was good – I had a place to live, food in the fridge, could allow some expenses for entertainment – not a luxury, but livable. The truth is, I did not like this state, I knew that I can earn more, that I can do more, that it is not my true level.
One casual day I was on my way to the office with the book in my hands and a girl stopped me and started talking about the course for improving memory and learning skills and something else. Saying that it is very cool and that this can take a huge leap in my professional life. She invited me to see the presentation that was just after the hour I usually finish my work, and it was also free. After watching the movie “Yesman” with Jim Carrey I decided to say “yes” to any opportunity that appear and I really did not have anything to lose either – I could go to the gym the other day, so out of curiosity I chose to go see the presentation.
When the same girl that gave me an invitation has memorized the 50-digit number in front of the audience, I thought “ok, I know it’s possible, you can find the technique on the internet”. When I saw the exercise of 20 words, I thought “and what is the use of this? At worst, I can create this type of list on my mobile phone”. And then it was a scientific magazine, that really shocked me. The fact of knowing any type of information from the scientific magazine motivated me a lot. But when I saw the price, I thought that being cool with learning scientific journals is not worth that much. Also, with my salary of 850 euros it was a bit difficult to pay 1500 for the course.
We have started to talk about the contract and I have been offered a lot of options, for example, to pay it in parts. And the same girl that stopped me on the street, whose name is Julia, has told me a phrase: “money can not be a reason not to do it, it is a resource that can be recovered, while time if it goes away, it goes away”. And just at this moment I remembered that I have an account with Bitcoins, in which I had enough money to pay for the course. And with amazed eyes I said that I’m going to do it.
I did the course, I have understood the power that I have inside, and I have begun to apply the learned techniques in my daily life, mainly in studies, doing online courses. As a technology person I have understood very quickly that in the future world artificial intelligence will be very important and I have started to study this. And when I started I also realized that there are a lot of different algorithms, techniques and different applications – it’s totally another world! That I was just starting to explore.
After a short time, in general chat of the company I have noticed that they were planning to add an AI to the daily operations of the company. I knew that they are creating a team and I also understood that I do not know anything about AI yet, but I decided, yes-or-yes, to be on this project, that was about to start in 2 weeks. I have started to study using mind maps all the algorithms, all the applications and advanced AI techniques. And as I did not know what was going to be the project about exactly I should’ve studied everything. After two weeks my boss called me, he has done an interview and has chosen to make me the leader of the team that is going to do this project. To say I was shocked is to say nothing. I was honored at the same time, but I didn’t expect this. The truth is, we had a lot of difficulties: which algorithm to use in this particular situation and which in another, how to optimize it, how to make it more efficient, faster, and it is also true that not everything and not always worked …
But my boss had confidence in me and said: “ok, stop a second, learn what you lack and go back to work”. And I would stop, look for information I need to solve the problem and keep going. Every next day there were fewer failures and in the end, with all the challenges we faced, we launched this module. It worked like a charm. And this was only the first one of my big projects that I led, the new and complicated projects, where you have to learn from 0, where the current team can not be maximum effective and the problem is usually solved by hiring new people – all of these types of projects now were mine.
At the end of the year we made the contract revision and I asked to raise my salary to 2000 euros per month and my boss accepted. In a year I have doubled my salary and I am sure that this is only the beginning. And I understand that 2000 is not the highest salary in Spain and there is a lot of space to grow personally, but a story like that, of a young Ukrainian, who recently didn’t even have the right to work, who makes a leap like this, should be shared.
And I hope you will find something useful here, maybe motivating and will share your little (or big ;)) story of success too.
Thanks for your attention, have a great day and many successes of your own!