From the Peace Corps to PenFed, our colleague Zara Stepanyan can succeed at anything. She left her home in Armenia by herself, and is now building a new life in the U.S. with her husband, daughter, and 2 dogs. Here’s a look at the challenges she faced when moving to America.
I speak five different languages. I speak English: Hello, Armenian: Barev DZez, Russian: Zdravstvuyte, Spanish: Hola, and Dutch: Hallo.
I love to travel and learn about different cultures and different histories, and the best way for me to accomplish has been through learning different languages.
In Armenia, I used to work as a language and cross-cultural facilitator for Peace Corps.
I moved to the United States, from Armenia to pursue my American dream. I started at PenFed as a Member Service Representative in 2009 and have worked my way up through nine different positions, and I’m currently a Compliance Officer.
I also had a full-time job at an elementary school, as a English as a second language, educational paraprofessional.
The biggest challenge of moving to the United States was learning how to drive, how to start a new life without my family and my friends in Armenia, as well as learning about banking laws and rules and regulations.
Embarking on a new career that was challenging, felt very risky, but also very exciting and empowering.