Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Hello, Anya!

You're in sixth grade now and you're determined to become a physicist. I’m not going  to discourage you. 

By the time you graduate from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, where the number of girls in each class is in the single digits, your country will no longer have the ability to fund the sciences. But you will never regret your choice. Your first major will teach you to be afraid of nothing. It'll also teach you that you can start from scratch. 

I have a story I like to tell independent girls. The modern world is such that it’s often girls who understand things early, about themselves and the world, and who take on more than boys. You're that kind of girl, so listen to this.

This happened when I was working for the Russian division of Microsoft, already in a fairly senior position. In this company, there’s a big and important event at the North American headquarters every six months: they take stock of what they have achieved and make plans for the future. On the first day, all the issues are discussed at the functional manager level, and the next day they are presented to the CEO. 

So, the first day. The functional meeting I'm responsible for gets out of hand. It was a debacle that I certainly didn't expect. I got a lot of questions, but had no answers. And the next day was even more important and critical. I crawl back to my hotel room, exhausted. And all I have the energy to do is email my colleagues, everyone I can think of, asking for help. I go to bed and in the morning (much to my surprise) I have about 15 emails in my inbox with some really great and really smart suggestions. 

It was perfect! My colleagues saved me from complete failure and I learnt an important lesson. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You have to approach people, to talk to them. Because when you discuss your ideas with others, you win them over. Or you may realize that something really is worth giving up. 

Asking for help is still not one of my strong points. It's hard for me, but I try not to forget that lesson. My only regret is that I didn't learn it ten years earlier. Realizing this at a younger age would have made my life a lot easier. 

You’re really passionate about what you do

Anya, hello from the future!

You are now about 15 years old and have no idea what lies ahead of you. Right now you’re learning German just because you like it, but in a few years your mom will get a job at a university in Germany and you will go with her. Oh, how your German will come in handy then!

Then you decide to go to Moscow for a while, but you’ll end up staying here for a long time. You'll get an interview with a very talented person at Kaspersky. He will see your great potential and help you realize it, he will say later on that your knowledge of German also made a great impression on him.

And now, I'm afraid to say, you've been working for this company for 15 years. You’ve become an excellent expert and analyst, but the most important thing is that you’re really passionate about what you do. It’s thanks to you, among other things, that Kaspersky Safe Kids was created. Also, Anya, as part of your job you have to deal with the darkest and most horrible content on the internet. Videos and images like this should not be seen by people! Thankfully, you're an adult and you can deal with it - and because of what you do, children won't see it.

You'll be annoyed by mobile apps that deliberately hide privacy settings and websites that use your information without asking. You'll spend a lot of time thinking about privacy, and you'll be successful.


All of this will happen, but in the meantime, worry less about the various failures and adversities. The job interviews you failed, the people you broke up with — these are all pieces of the puzzle that make up the picture of who you are today. And it's a picture you're going to love. I love it! You know, you're going to remember being bullied at school differently. Yes, it hurt at the time, but because you stood up to it and stayed true to yourself, you kept your individuality.