Ofelya Hambaryan, the Branch Manager of FINCA Armenia Stepanavan branch, joined us in 2011. Although she is also a lecturer of economics at the Agricultural college of Stepanavan, she is totally in love with FINCA. Her favorite activity is to spend time with her son.
How did your career start?
Immediately after graduating university, I came to FINCA Stepanavan as a junior loan officer. Getting a job here was a bit of a challenge for me, first to apply my knowledge then to gain experience and build my career in this sphere. FINCA is a wonderful employer, not a lot of companies would let their employees continue their education while also working full-time.
Did you ever imagine yourself as a branch manager?
The offer was unexpected even though by that time I had been through all of the loan officer positions. I didn’t have any intention of filling this position. And I think the organization saw my potential and valued it before I ever did. When you’re young you think that managing something as complex as a credit organization branch is a job for older people with more experience. But when the company ensures correct role distribution within a team, both you and the organization end up winning.
Was there anything you were anxious about when taking on this position?
I was afraid of making decisions that would affect everyone in the branch singlehandedly. Of course, management of such an institution isn’t only the lending process, there are multiple other aspects, one of them being interpersonal relationships. Now I can say with confidence that accepting the challenge and overcoming those fears was one of the most important steps in my career.
What does being a “leader” mean to you?
First of all, it means responsibility and then devotion. Only through these values can you be a good leader and in turn expect the same from your employees.
In a video call with certain investors you made quite an impression while explaining FINCA and our work in Armenia which then led to an agreement with them. Do you think it’s devotion that comes through in all your actions?
Absolutely, the love and loyalty I feel toward FINCA is what helps me represent our culture and our values so accurately. We value all our customers equally, we know how to empathize and recognize the person’s emotions. I’m glad I had the opportunity to have my input in strengthening our corporate image.
If you were free to change anything in FINCA what would it be?
I see our success in our culture both with customers and with colleagues. I wouldn’t want that to change. I also notice the aspiration for new achievements, there’s constant improvement of products and services as well as new investments. I think we are on the right track.
We’re happy by the fact that we have female managers. What do you think about gender equality?
I think that in terms of rights and opportunities men and women should be equal. In my mind a woman’s strength embodies both a good career and being a mother of the household. I consider myself a strong woman. What makes a woman strong is knowledge, financial independence and most importantly the unshakable trust in her own abilities. This includes not being afraid of failing. I would love to see more women like that in Armenia.
How hard is it to integrate career achievements and family life?
[Smiles]. If this is something you really want, I believe you can figure out a way to do it. Of course, time is a precious commodity but it’s possible to manage your time in a more productive manner. At the same time, I think that parents who are happy and successful in their career are an encouraging example for their children.
Tell us about your son, what does he like to do?
My son Gagik is 5 years old. He is the best thing in my life. Every day I want to create more, be better thanks to him. I want him to grow up an honest, good person. We enjoy all kinds of games together but I emphasize educational ones that aim at his development. He really likes dance and boxing.
Who is your female role model?
My mother and grandmother. They are my best friends, most trusted advisors. They are the ones who truly share my worries, achievements, and happy moments. I truly appreciate everything my mother’s done for me.
Is there anything you’ve learnt from your mother that you could pass on to all mothers?
My mother tells me frequently that she loves me and that she’s proud of me. That’s something I do as well, I tell my son that I’m thankful for him and that he is the best. I think it gives children a sense of inner confidence and strength. And when you know you’re not alone, every little problem is much easier to overcome.
You mentioned that your parents live abroad. Where do you see your and your son’s future?
Armenia is our home. We have to love our country to a point where each and every one of us does their absolute best to develop Armenia. There are no alternatives, we have to overcome all the difficulties. Having lived abroad myself, I came to the conclusion that however established you may be abroad, you won’t feel like home. I wish that all the children of Armenia have a peaceful and quickly developing homeland.
What’s one lesson you have learnt in life so far?
To live with love. I like living life in a good mood, appreciating everything I have rather than feeling bad about what I don’t yet have. The cup is half-full and it’s going to overflow.
What is love?
Mutual respect I think, a desire to stay together, a connection.
What is life?
A series of trials and opportunities. An investment in the lives of your loved ones. Economically speaking – a deposit the percentages of which you either manage to enjoy or simply lose.
Live life with love and positivity.
Do you like cooking?
Oh, I love it. The weekends are my “cooking” days. That’s when I have time to cook something yummy for my boy. When he likes the food I prepare, it motivates me to try new recipes.
“Kidnapping, Caucasian style”
Leonardo da Vinci
Favorite work of literature?
Honest, strong, resolute, a fighter.
Destiny or chance?
Money or power?
Personal comfort, self-sufficiency.