My Way Home

Repat Story
Marianna Vasilyan
Marianna Vasilyan
Yerevan-Moscow-Yerevan repatriate, a mom of two boys, amazing wife and a hardworking professional will tell you about her relationship with Armenia, share her tips on being a good citizen and working in Kamar Branch of Ameriabank, a leading bank in the Armenian banking sector, as the Head of Customer Service Unit.

Marianna, you were born and raised in Yerevan. Can you, please, tell us about that part of your life?
Yes, I was born and raised in Yerevan, very actively engaged in everything you can imagine a child can do. I was brought up by 2 brothers next to me, who have always encouraged me to try something new and live to the fullest. I graduated from school, went to university here and was living quite an interesting life. Honestly, I think the love and the immense support I received from my family have shaped my life and memories of Yerevan. So, if I would describe my life in Yerevan in adjectives, those would be ‘’warm, sunny and joyful’’. 

Your family moved to Moscow in 2001. Was it an easy decision for you to make back then?
A part of my family already moved there before me. So, Moscow wasn’t an unknown place for us, plus I knew Russian very well, which made my adaptation period smoother. However, living full-time in such a hectic city as Moscow is a totally different experience. I was missing Yerevan and its calmness, but there was even no time to let those emotions overwhelm you. 

How did you start building your career in Moscow?
When I started my first job as a receptionist at a Russian investment company, I couldn’t imagine what that could lead to. Few months later, I was chosen to be the personal assistant of our CEO, and a few months after, I met my husband there. So, my first workplace became my ground for gaining experience and learning from top-notch professionals. That was the most crucial part of my successful career. There I also met the love of my life. I had a great opportunity to work at another company in Moscow engaged in the banking sector, where I started as a loan specialist, and shortly became a leading specialist responsible for loans regional policies and VIP customers’ service. 

Moving back to the homeland. How did you realize it was the time?
I realized that sooner or later my husband and I will move back as Armenia has always been our destination. When our first boy was born, my husband started looking for job opportunities to move back to Yerevan. And when our second boy was born, we knew exactly that we were not going to raise our kids in Moscow. In 2009 when my husband was offered a great job, we made the final decision to move. He came to Armenia beforehand and prepared our move. On March 8th of 2009, I received a present from my husband, I opened it and there were 4 one way tickets to Yerevan. That was it.

Your life in Armenia is?
I’m successfully balancing my time for personal life, raising my kids, working, meeting friends and relatives and living my life to the fullest. I can complete so many ‘’tasks’’ during a day in Yerevan, for which I would plan a whole week in Moscow. Everything is close and comfortable. You can go shopping during your one hour break and not get stressed. 40 minutes and nature changes completely. Weekends free with your kids, friends, relatives and entertainment. Weekdays full of business meetings, inspiring work and striving for new heights every single day. I think that repatriates who moved from megapolises, can totally relate to what I’m describing here. Your day in Yerevan can be more productive than your week in a megapolis. I promise you that. 

Pros and Cons of everyday life as an average citizen of Armenia?
I’ll give you 3 pros and 3 cons. My first pro is raising your kids without any stress of constant follow ups. My children are free here, they go wherever they want and I’m NOT stressed about that. They have good friends, many exciting hobbies and the freedom to express themselves. We don’t have this constant idea of preserving their identity, pressing on them to learn their culture, language, etc. Pro N2 is, as I mentioned, the comfort of everyday life. Country is small so your needs can be satisfied really quickly. Pro N3 will and always will be people living here. We surround ourselves with generous, smart, positive and thoughtful people. People in Yerevan are very communicative and open to new friendships. 

Cons will be harder, but I’ll mention. First of all, I would like our city to be cleaner, to see no trash in the streets, mountains, parks and lakes. Here everyone should act. We are the ones who are responsible for this country, so if not us, who else. If I see trash outside during my walks, I pick it up, and throw it into the bin. Right, that’s in the street, not in my house, but we should all treat our country as if it’s our home. Secondly, I wish there were more green spaces in Yerevan. We need parks, a lot of them. And thirdly, I would like our city to have more leisure and entertainment places, like interesting and interactive museums, playgrounds, etc.

Marianna, you work in a leading bank in Armenia, Ameriabank. As a professional, with a lot of experience under your belt, what do you gain from this experience?
I’ve been lucky enough to continue my career in an environment that is very close to my heart. The work ethic that we have here is unique and always follow and admire it. From the bottom to top, we have an ecosystem of mutual trust and respect and these are not just words. Every voice is counted. This is the main and my favorite work ethic component. It’s not just a big corporation, where you come and work for some time, fill in your resume and move on. It’s a ‘’breathing giant’’ and even if a needle cuts its toe, the giant can still feel the pain. This type of ‘’structure’’ always keeps my leadership skills awake, not letting me ignore any signal from every member of my team. 

Another component of my work for Ameriabank, that I adore, is the fact that we are a bank created by people for people. Customized services, top-notch approach, respect for all the customers, constantly developing and improving digital systems, offers and skills. This ‘’giant’’ gives us great adrenalin to work, and be better and greater. I think this can be the short response to this question, though I can talk a lot. 

Marianna, thanks for your time. I think our readers will take this interview into consideration while planning their move to Armenia.
Thank you too. One advice to those who are thinking about repatriation. Please, don’t overthink. Start with contacting Repat Armenia, establish your network, apply to jobs distantly, and move. Good luck!

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