First Person Immigrant Stories

Michael Karev

Michael Kareev, Russian, American

For me it was like being in a movie, in a movie about a person who was working hard for years and then finally got what he wanted.

Michael: Michael Kareev.

Interviewer: When did your family first come to America?

Michael: I'm the first one who moved here and I did it in 2012.

Interviewer: Where did you come here from?

Michael: I was born in Moscow, Russia, but I also lived in Germany, in the Great Britain, but most of the time I spent in Moscow.

Interviewer: What was the reason for coming to America?

Michael: I came here to the University of Michigan to pursue my MBA degree which I did.

Interviewer: How do you define the word American?

Michael: American? I would say that it's an overachiever, somebody who's always hungry for more, who is looking for more success, who is determined and who gets whatever they need.

Interviewer: What was the reason that you chose to come to America versus other countries?

Michael: I obviously compared all the programs of master's programs and I think that the whole American environment resonated with me better than environments of other countries. Because I came to the United States before just for travel purposes and, you know, being in New York was a truly special feeling and I really wanted to be in the middle of something great. And for me as a synonym of greatness is New York City.

Interviewer: Can you describe some of those feelings that you said about being special?

Michael: Yeah, I already mentioned that I like people that are determined, that are passionate about what they're doing, that are willing to put some extra effort in achieving this. And I think those are the principles that I'm also trying to adhere to in my life.

Interviewer: Is there a specific memory that you have felt like proud to be here or accomplished or happy that you made that journey?

Michael:  Yeah, sure, so, for example, I had a couple of major accomplishments. So first of all when I enrolled in the University of Michigan or once I got my first full-time job here after I graduated. I put a lot of effort and time into getting it and once I finally achieved this I was really proud. For me it was like being in a movie, in a movie about a person who was working hard for years and then finally got what he wanted.

Interviewer: What is one thing that you've brought to America from family traditions from your home, a tradition or a value that you think enhances people who are around you here.

Michael: I think people in Europe people overseas in general, they are a little bit more they'll know a little bit more about the world because it's easier to travel over there and it's easier to be exposed to different cultures. Here because of the vast size of the country it's really hard to travel, for example, and people they can deliver know in the same environment. And what I brought from the outside is this perspective, is this new never existed perspective on things that you can do certain things in different way, you can work differently, you can play differently and I think that this is the mix that America, New York City, really appreciate.