From Software Developer to COO: Hasmik Martirosyan’s (MBA ’11) Success Story
AUA alumna Hasmik Martirosyan (MBA ’11) grew up in a family of mathematicians. Her aspirations to succeed in the tech field have evolved during her student years in school and later at university. With roots deep in mathematics, Hasmik knew right from the beginning of her career that she wanted to switch to a managerial role. She has made her way from a software developer to the chief operating officer of Synergy International Systems, a global software company. Now, Hasmik is ready to share the wealth of knowledge and international experience she has gained during her career with the new generation. Read our inspirational interview to learn more.
How has your family influenced your choice of profession?
My choice of profession was indeed influenced by my family. While I was never forced by them to follow their path, I was definitely inspired by my family members in the process of selecting my future profession. I think both the genes I inherited from my parents and the interest they instilled in me throughout my childhood played their role. I remember that even during our family dinners, we were solving mathematical problems. At first, I attended the PhysMath School [the Physics and Mathematics Specialized School named after Artashes Shahinyan under Yerevan State University] and then earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Informatics and Applied Mathematics from Yerevan State University.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA? Why at AUA?
Though I do love mathematics and I definitely enjoyed software development during my studies and in the early stages of my career, it was clear to me right from the beginning that I would switch to management later on. Therefore, after five years of working as a software developer at Synergy, I decided to pursue an MBA. AUA was the best choice at that time because of its modern approach and very open-minded faculty and students.
It was quite tough to work full-time and study in the MBA program at the same time. I was working during the day, attending classes in the evening, and studying overnight for the next day because in the morning I needed to be at work. But I think good time management skills made everything possible. The whole process was rewarding and fun because learning always makes you more enthusiastic about your work.
Why is it important to support women pursuing education/careers in STEM?
It is important to support anyone who wants to pursue higher education and later a career in STEM. I don’t think that gender plays any role here. It is important to bring more talented people into the field. Currently, I think there is enough encouragement for women to enter the field. They know if they decide to become an engineer, they will succeed if they work hard. There is a gender balance in the tech field. I think there are no gender-related obstacles nowadays. For example, we practice gender equality in our company and not only related to the overall number of employees but also with regard to top managerial positions.
What do you value most about Synergy and your 16-year career there?
Back in 2004, I entered the company as a summer school intern. Synergy has been organizing summer schools for university students for more than 15 years. As a second-year student, I enrolled in the first Synergy summer school, and after successfully completing the summer school, I was offered the position of an entry-level software developer. I worked here as a software developer, then switched to a position in project management, and now I am the chief operating officer of Synergy.
What I value most about working here is the feeling that your daily work, experience, and talents are making an impact here in Armenia and throughout the world, because, as you know, Synergy has been implementing projects in more than 80 countries worldwide. Our projects are impact-driven, as we help governments and non-governmental organizations to provide more efficient services to their citizens. The feeling that your daily work has a huge impact in so many countries is very fulfilling.
What was the most impactful project you have ever led?
While I was working as a project manager I led different projects in various countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and many others. But I think that the most impactful one was the project I initiated as COO related to the transformation of the company to more efficient internal processes. As a result of that project, it was possible to deliver the desired value to our customers in a more efficient way. I played a key role in that project, and I consider it one of my major accomplishments.
What is your key to combining a successful career with family life?
The most important thing for me is to be present at all times. If I am at work, I try to fully concentrate on my work and create the best value that I can. When I am spending time with my family members, again I try to be present and fully enjoy every minute and deliver my love and appreciation to all family members. So, I think being present is a key factor. Good time management skills and the ability to prioritize the wide breadth of activities in your life make it possible to combine the role of a COO, wife, and mother.
You have recently been offered a teaching position at AUA. What role does giving back to your Alma Mater play in your life?
It is one of the most fulfilling feelings that one can experience. Synergy has always been very open in terms of encouraging its employees to share their knowledge and experience with students. Synergy highly values corporate social responsibility. Not all IT companies have the same level of international experience that Synergy has, so our cooperation with AUA can be very beneficial. The mission of AUA to bring a western-style mindset to Armenia trying to help local students to think big and be more open-minded is similar to our approach at Synergy. When I was invited to teach at AUA I realized that it is going to be a big challenge for me but at the same time a very fulfilling experience to have a chance to give back and to share my international experience with Armenian students. I am sure the current generation will be better equipped to make Armenia’s future better. Sharing our experience is the best investment in that future.