Soviet emigrant Yuri V. Yepaneshnikov feels his talents are being wasted working in a convenience store.

Yepaneshnikov, who came to the United States a year ago and lives in East University Village at the University of Utah, would like to work for a business that is trying to export its products to the Soviet Union. He feels his background would help a Utah business make inroads in selling items in the Soviet Union.About 18 months ago, Yepaneshnikov had a disagreement with government officials, lost his citizenship and left the country with his wife, Olga, and their son. They lived in Italy for a short time, and 12 months ago the Tolstoy Foundation offered to bring them to Utah.

Foundation officials helped him get an apartment and a job and showed them the intricacies of American life.

He has an engineering degree from the Leningrad Politechnical Institute and a law degree from Leningrad University. He worked for 6 1/2 years in civil and hydraulic engineering and 3 1/2 years as a corporate lawyer.

Olga works for EIMCO and Yuri worked for Bingham Engineering for eight months, but because he didn't know computer-aided drafting there wasn't much for him to do. So, he's been working in a convenience store and also has delivered pizzas.

Yuri believes his expertise about his homeland could be used to a company's advantage because there are 300 million people in the Soviet Union yearning for goods that Americans take for granted.

By Roger Pusey