By Lilit Danghyan
“The moment when you start to believe that you have success is the start of your road to destruction, that is why you should always stay humble, modest and compare yourself to people who stand above you”–this is how Hasmik Khachatryan, an AUA LLM Program alumna defines the key of her achievements.
Even though Ms. Khachatryan states that she has not yet attained her proudest achievements she believes that this awaits her in the future. The dedication expressed in the way that Ms. Khachatryan speaks about her work comes to prove that success will be the payoff of her hard work.
Ms. Khachatryan is the current Legal Council of the Center for Strategic Initiatives, which is an organization established by the Armenian Government for the implementation of fundamental sustainable reforms of the country. However, as a child, Ms. Khachatryan never dreamt of being a lawyer. The choice of the legal career was a circumstantial decision for her, and even after the years of studying law, Ms. Khachatryan considered shifting her profession. But as surprising as it may sound, this utterly changed when she met her professor of Business Law and Financial Law Mr. Varujan Avetiqyan, who displayed the practical aspect of law and exhibited the importance of being a lawyer. Ms. Khachatryan considers this as one of the turning points of her career, as her professor unfolded the formal part of the legal industry and showed what it means being a lawyer in practice. This comes to illustrate how some inspirational people can bring unforeseen changes to one’s life and evoke keen interest in spheres where you could not find it by yourself. The next turning point of her life, as Ms. Khachatryan states, was when she started working for the private law firm TK & Partners. This turning point was related to the influential and motivating people that Ms. Khachatryan met on her career path. She used to work at the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. Shifting from the public to the private sector brought its difficulties for Ms. Khachatrayan, but it taught her loving intellectual challenges and trying to be creative while crafting solutions to legal problems. Ms. Khachatryan associates the turning points of her life with motivating and inspiring people: first – with Mr. Avetiqyan and the second – with Mr. Aleksandr Khachaturyan, who is her current boss and was her boss in TK & Partners as well.
Ms. Khachatryan divides people into two categories: the ones who are inner motivated, have clear career agenda and know the exact steps to attain that and the ones who get inspired of what they are surrounded by. Considering herself as a person who gets inspired by the people surrounding her, Ms. Khachatryan not only associates her professional growth with people but the disappointments and difficulties encountered on her career path as well. She states “I always say it is not very important to me where I am in my life rather than who I am with.” Thus, as much as there were people who inspired her, there were also the ones who discouraged her. Meanwhile, Ms. Khachatrayn claims that it is the belief that will help to handle and overcome these obstacles and difficulties. Even though she thinks that it is difficult to believe in one thing throughout one’s entire life, there are certain things that people should never stop believing in: the crave for work, and the crave for making changes, even if it may sound too trivial or ideological. That is how she handles all kinds of discouragements and disappointments that she faces.
At such young age, Ms. Khachatryan has managed to work in a public sector as the only Legal Counsel of the organization. One of the reasons why she does not believe that she has succeeded in her life yet is that she always strives to compare herself only with people who stand above her. Ms. Khachatryan mentioned that whenever you think that you have success remember that there is fifteen years old girl who became an Olympic Champion in figure skating. Although Ms. Khachatryan does not acknowledge the concept of role models, she considers herself in 20 or 30 years as her role model, who, she thinks, she will not yet attain. By quoting famous actor Matthew McConaughey who once said you need to have a hero to chase Ms. Khachatrayn stated: “I think my role model is myself that I am trying to chase.” The sources of Ms. Khachatryan’s motivation are the people who surround her, the desire to further public good and ambitions.
For Ms. Khachatryan a good lawyer is the one who grasps the entire aspect of the project, the juicy parts of the intersecting disciplines and it is the interdisciplinary education in legal sphere that will help the lawyer to become a better professional. That is why Ms. Khachatryan plans to do her second LLM in the US, where legal education is based on the practical aspect rather than on the theoretical one. However, when speaking about the impact of the knowledge gained at AUA, Ms. Khachatryan claims that some courses and professors had an irreplaceable role in her career path. The knowledge gained from courses such as International Tax, Project Finance, and Corporate Governance is for utmost importance for her as she uses it quite often in her workplace. Meanwhile, the point where Ms. Khachatryan would be more comfortable with her education and academic background would be when she does her LLM in the US.
Being a good citizen, bringing change and staying humble and modest can define the mission and vision of life for Ms. Khachatryan. “I can’t say I have exact goals and desire to triumphs that I want to achieve, I just always want to be a good lawyer, a good person and always stay modest and humble” –this is how a real professional devoted to one’s work speaks about the goals of her career.