Anastasiia Zaitseva

Student Spotlight: Anastasiia Zaitseva

Anastasiia Zaitseva is a current student in the Master of Science in Management (MSM) Program. The international student, originally from Ukraine, tells us why she chose the MSM program, what she likes about UF and her experience as a high-altitude mountaineer.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

Zaitseva: “I am originally from Ukraine. I received my undergraduate degree in journalism from Donetsk National University. Back in Ukraine, I worked on TV, hosting two TV shows on major channels. After moving to the US four years ago, I worked for the Ukrainian and Russian-speaking community media in NYC and Chicago until my passion for business took over. I pivoted into the real estate investment business. Now, I am working towards my MS in management. I am passionate about yoga, running and mountain climbing.”

Q: Why did you decide to come to the University of Florida? What is the best thing about being at UF/Gainesville?

Zaitseva: “Initially, I came to Gainesville for my love. I met the man of my dreams, moved here from NYC, and got married at the end of 2020. When I visited him in Gainesville for the first time, he showed me the UF campus, and I fell in love with it. I’ve been to campuses of other prestigious colleges in the US, but this one touched my heart. After moving to Gainesville, I started running on campus, jokingly saying to my family it would help me to get accepted to UF graduate school, and apparently, it did. While this move was a big adjustment for me after big city life, the vibrant community the university created made this place my new home. I adore the miles of running trails Gainesville offers and all the incredible resources UF provides to students.”

Anastasiia Zaitseva

Q: What was the most difficult process/thing in getting to where you are today?

Zaitseva: “I grew up in a small, poor town in the east of Ukraine. Being raised by a single mom without any outside help, together with my sister, pretty much everything was difficult. I had to start working two jobs at the age of 14, but I know that I own everything I’ve achieved, and my experiences shaped me into a strong and inspiring individual. Also, I am enjoying the growth immigration put me through. For me, learning never stops.”

Q: Tell us about your home country.

Zaitseva: “Ukraine is a lovely country in Eastern Europe. The Ukrainian language is considered one of the most melodic languages, after French and Italian.”

Q: What do you miss the most about your home country?

Zaitseva: “Sometimes I really miss Ukrainian food. When I recently visited Ukraine, my friends tried to take me out to some fusion cuisine places, and I just wanted to eat traditional Ukrainian dishes all the time. Luckily, there is an eastern European grocery store in Gainesville, and I can still buy Ukrainian sweets there.”

Q: What other languages do you speak? What other countries have you been to?

Zaitseva: “I speak Ukrainian and Russian. I have been to over 50 countries. I am a big-time traveler and hiker.”

Q: Tell us something really cool about yourself.

Zaitseva: “I am a high-altitude mountaineer. My dream is to climb the highest summit on every continent, raising money for kids with congenital heart conditions through my 501(c)3 Summis2Hearts. Right before the pandemic, I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and raised over $5,000 for heart surgeries for children from developing countries. On another expedition to Mt. Aconcagua (22,837’), I was an expedition chef and cooked for 11 people. In high altitude conditions, it required melting bags of snow to get the boiling water.”