HERE AND BEYOND
Why do millennials repatriate?
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Hagop Degermedjian

An important phone call changed his plans forever...

 

What makes Armenia attractive to millennials? Why do they decide to repatriate, change their lifestyle and enjoy being in a long-term relationship with their homeland? 

These questions and more were answered by Hagop Degermedjian, who shared his experience as a millennial repatriate from Aleppo, Syria. He moved to Armenia in 2018 and currently works as a Premium Client Manager at Ameriabank - Repat Armenia’s partner bank. 

Born and raised in Aleppo, Hagop lived in the atmosphere of Armenian culture and traditions. He graduated from Armenian school and Armenian Sunday school. Stories about the latter always make him smile as he recalls his fondest memories. Hagop's love towards his Sunday school led him to continue his studies at an Armenian seminary, where he spent even more time with the Armenian Church and culture.

After his graduation from the seminary, Hagop decided to pursue a career in economics. The degree in economics from the University of Aleppo wasn’t enough for Hagop. He wanted to try something new, so, despite war, he continued his education for a master’s degree in law. 

Hagop started working for different companies, where his legal education and knowledge of four languages created great career opportunities for him. 

In 2017, while Hagop’s career and education were keeping him pretty busy,  he decided to visit Armenia with his mom and sister for the first time. 

“Armenian community in Aleppo was very big. Of course, we were communicating in Armenian with each other a lot, but here everything is different. You are not a minority, this is your country and everyone understands you. I visited all the places every Diasporan Armenian knows and has heard about so much. I just left my heart and soul in Armenia’’.

The first visit to homeland leaves indescribable feelings with every Armenian. “I would love to be back”, “I will be back”, “I want to move to Armenia” were the ideas that came to my mind and I knew that one day I would move to Armenia”. 

When he returned to Syria, the cycle of university-work-war-life continued. The thought of trying to move to Armenia seemed pretty close and logical, despite Hagop’s fears of not speaking Eastern Armenian, not being familiar with the overall employment and living conditions. 

Hagop started his research about the life and career opportunities in Armenia. 

In April of 2018, Hagop made his choice and got actively engaged in the historical event, taking place in his homeland and known as the Velvet Revolution. “I used to walk on Yerevan streets a lot and every time I passed by Ameriabank’s Head Office, I was telling myself how cool it would be to work here. I sent my resume to many companies in hopes to find a job and stay in Armenia. Ameriabank was on the top of my list’’. 

He didn’t hear anything back from these companies during his stay in Armenia. Yerevan-Aleppo tickets were booked for May 17, 2018, but an important phone call on May 16 changed his plans forever. The call was from Ameriabank. He was invited for a job interview.

The interview was held on the 6th floor of Ameriabank's head office which has airport design elements. That was the sign: he should fly to Syria the next day and do his best to return. He got deeply impressed by the first interview and his desire to work at Ameriabank doubled. His second interview was online from Haleppo and was the turning point for him. Hagop left his job and life in Syria, and was excited and eager to finally move to his homeland to start a new life and take new challenges. 

Hagop started as an intern at the bank to get used to what it was like to work for the bank. Then he got the job.

Hagop got quickly accustomed to the new work environment, he loved it. He made friends with his teammates who were always ready to give a helping hand. It was a great opportunity to enhance his professional skills and knowledge. After a year of work as a cashier, Hakob got a promotion and started working as a Premium Client Manager.

My success formula: 

  • I made clear for myself that I am definitely staying here, and it’s not just a one or two-year stay. It helped me to shape my plans and dreams, all of them closely related to my homeland.
  • Before moving to Armenia I did my research carefully and took the risk to fulfil my plans.
  • I am simply an optimist. I was ready to face changes, hardships, I was open for new challenges ahead and believed in my own success.

In fact, Ameriabank made Hagop’s another cherished dream come true and organized for him a free trip to Western Armenia.

 

Source: repatarmenia.org

Updated 03.07.2020, 18:42
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