When I think back to what I learned in middle and high school in Plattsburgh, I remember seeing an image of Stalin sitting with Roosevelt and Churchill, depicting him as an integral ally in World War II. I don’t remember hearing about the Gulags.
Russia is a complicated place. My trip only scratched the surface, and I can’t pretend that I left truly understanding the land or the people.
Yes, there is opportunity in Russia, if you are willing to seek it out. We were told that it would be smart to have good accountants and good lawyers when doing business there.
My advice: Have thick skin, and don’t smile on the metro.
Lauren Merkel, a Plattsburgh native, is in her final year of the MBA program at McGill University in Montreal. She will graduate this May with a degree in global strategy and leadership. She received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Richmond in 2008.