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Women leaders. How women build a career and achieve success in Almaty

25.05.2024

Women leaders. How women build a career and achieve success in Almaty

We met successful women who managed to build a career in the largest metropolis of Kazakhstan and became managers.


Olga Knyazeva, 33, Almaty city, Head of Corporate Marketing Samsung Electronics Central Asia & Mongolia, @olga_knyaz

Women leaders in Almaty

About me

I work as Head of Corporate Marketing at Samsung. I am responsible for brand development in Central Asia and Mongolia.

The beginning of my journey

I grew up in a small village in the suburbs of Almaty. Life in a settlement of 5000 people always seemed boring to me. I felt like I was suffocating and that no one understood me. When I entered the university and found myself in the city, I spread my wings, tried my strength in different spheres, found a business that I wanted to do in my life.

Big cities have high competition. For natives "Almatushechka" means cozy coffee shops, squares and walks along pedestrian streets. For newcomers, it means bus transfers, everyday life and an endless financial race. But it is these complexities that are creating new layers of highly motivated professional staff in this market.

I have always been inspired by strong, successful self-made women. I looked at them with admiration and wanted to be in their shoes, to feel confident, to "stand firmly on my feet".

How can women build a career in Almaty

The chances of becoming successful were slim. But I always wanted to be in control of my life and career, not subject to circumstances. No matter what difficult situation I was in, I always had my own opinion and intuitive understanding of what should be done. Even if there is panic and chaos all around. These qualities have shaped my path.

I have four degrees: a bachelor's in IT and math, a master's in marketing, and two additional degrees in the film industry as a screenwriter and producer.

I only studied when I was sure my education would pay off. At the same time, it has always been important for me to combine my studies with work. Not working is an unacceptable luxury for me. Not because of money at all, but because of the risk of losing relevance and competitiveness. Thirty-year-olds are being replaced by new generations: more progressive, faster, more energetic. Today, no one is surprised by experience, rather the opposite.

In my work, I apply the knowledge of all my degrees at the same time. This gives me a strong base and a unique vision that sets me apart from other candidates in the market.

Career milestones

As a child, I dreamed of being an inventor and creating huge air purification plants. For many years I was on the right path to my dream - my first job was at KazAtomProm. I had an internship in the department that designed the construction of the nuclear power plant at Balkhash. It was the longest three months of my life. I realized that my proactive personality type was not at all suitable for working in state corporations and structures. I wanted movement, development, visible results from my work, a wide scope.

So I found myself in the editorial office of a magazine, and then I was invited to a large digital agency, where I quickly rose to the head of the department. After that, I continued my career in international companies. Nine years after my first job offer, I got the position of marketing director in an international corporation.

About stereotypes and challenges

I still face stereotypes today.

There were teachers who thought that I was not capable of getting good grades and would not be able to go to university because my parents did not have higher education.

There were classmates who thought that I would be better off becoming a «tokal» than studying and working at the same time.

There were colleagues who were sure that I was too young to be provided with a promotion.

how to achieve success in your career

The world still divides women into beautiful and smart, married and «unattached», moms and childless, careerists and housewives. It's all a husk that crumbles over time if you have enough inner strength to be dissenting.

One of the biggest secrets to advancing in your career is to make sure that success doesn't have a gender. The less you put limits in your head, the fewer barriers ahead.

I have faced discrimination and that is partly why I prefer to work in international companies where human rights are not an empty word.

Recommendations

Never give up. Even if it seems like the world has collapsed and there is no hope, you can always find something to hold on to and pull yourself out of the most desperate situations.

Believe in yourself. Don't rely on other people's support. Be ready to stand up for yourself.

Try your hand at everything. Until something in the back of your mind kicks in. Don't let anyone derail you from your dream goal. Protect and cherish your dreams within yourself. Dream of unfulfilled. All material and household needs are likely to be realized within 10 years after graduation. And life is a long thing. Think ahead and do not hesitate to ask advice from your elders. But only from those who have achieved the heights we dream of.


Nargiz Magayeva, 35, Almaty city, founder and creative director of Faenomen Social Impact Agency, @nargiz_magayeva

Nargiz Magayeva

About me

I am the founder and creative director of Faenomen Social Impact Agency. I am engaged in creation of concepts and their visual forms, social impact analysis, team building and project implementation.

I also take part in communications with partners and clients, form the strategy of project development, and give impetus to actions.

The beginning of the path

I was born and grew up in Almaty. I believe that the city influences professional development, aesthetic vision and other aspects.

Successful women of Kazakhstan

I always dreamed of creating what is important for me. I wanted to work with large and well-known companies and brands, to become a sought-after specialist. I have achieved all this. Today my ambitions have led me to the desire to create projects that can change the world and create a dialog between people.

I graduated from Almaty Management University with a degree in Finance, but before I could immerse myself in professional activity, I became interested in design and creativity. Numerous courses, lectures by international experts, traveling and curiosity in different spheres shaped me as a person. The skills I possess today grew out of a desire to try and learn new things.

Career milestones

I have never considered the career path in isolation, rather as life in general. It has been full of surprises and transformations. Each time I grew and changed, and it led me to my favorite business.

From an agency that was only responsible for design, we grew to a creative studio that conducts marketing activities, being responsible for all creative and implementation. And now we have turned into a social impact agency that finds new meanings in projects.

On stereotypes and challenges

I always come across stereotypes. This is especially evident when you create something non-trivial, which can cause a feeling of unpreparedness and fear of the unknown. But you can always find a way to convey to others the idea that anything is possible.

Women leaders in Almaty

One criterion that allows you to cope with difficulties is professionalism. It puts everything in its place, including those around you. Although at the beginning of my career, when I was not so "strong" yet, it was difficult.

In my life and work I am helped by courage, enthusiasm, desire to create something meaningful, tenderness and kindness.

Recommendations

The most important thing is to act. Do not be afraid to try, do not think about what others will say. Then everything will definitely work out.

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