“Take a chance, because you never know how perfect something can turn out.”

Jermaine Lamarr Cole

You have heard of people taking their ‘Gap Year’ or ‘Year Abroad’, but none of them have done it the Valerie way - ‘Life Abroad’. Although London has been firmly cemented as her hometown, Valerie journeyed across the globe to end up here in the Merkle team and has decided to shorten her travel length by ensuring she lives but a stone’s throw from the office. 

It all started in the capital of Southern Russia, Krasnodar, where Valerie was born. She didn’t stay here long and just before the age of 1 she was packing her backpack to move north to Moscow. This was her home for 15 years, but our Valerie had her sights set on warmer pastures and at 16 she left her older sister, Doctor Mother and Entrepreneurial Father in Russia to a join a boarding school in Greenwich. She immediately fell in love with the place and holds the three years she spent there as the best yet! The journey didn’t stop there, as Valerie threw herself headfirst into UCL to study a Liberal Arts Degree. It was here that she tried a marketing module and realised that this was the path for her, and she deviated from Arts to a Masters in Marketing. She was drawn from here to Merkle, as what she saw in the company mirrored the community feel of her beloved Greenwich boarding school.

Despite being a permanent London resident, Valerie still abides by some Russian superstitions; not throwing rubbish out after dark and not being able to tidy your apartment when a family member is journeying, to name a few! She also can’t shake the Russian music taste; early Russian hits from the 2000’s are what you can find her listening to. Away from work, Valerie loves to drown herself in TV programmes such as; ‘KUWTK’, ‘How I Met Your Mother’, but most importantly ‘The Real Housewives’. In fact, Valerie admits her quote should have been ‘just give me a housewife and I’ll watch her’.