As a young, gifted musician in her home country of Armenia, Svetlana Javakhyan envisioned a career that would take her to concert stages around the world where audiences would enjoy her exquisite viola playing. While that dream came partially true, circumstances led her in another direction, and she now occupies the spotlight on a different stage as vice president of sales at Wolfson Cutler Real Estate.
After studying in Europe, Javakhyan came to the United States where she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music. Throughout her career, she performed in a number of exciting venues, including Lincoln Center in New York and Symphony Hall in Boston, as well as onstage in Italy, Germany and Poland. One of her career highlights occurred when Javakhyan delivered a viola solo for His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, and Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan.
But a neurological issue in her hands derailed her musical aspirations, forcing her to reconsider her future. At first, Javakhyan contemplated law school or a degree in business. But some of her friends were involved in real estate, and, since Boston’s architecture intrigued her, she opted to pursue this professional path.
A New Passion
A perfectionist by nature, Javakhyan immersed herself wholeheartedly in this new endeavor.
“I felt I needed to learn everything fast. All I had known until then was playing music,” she said. “Now I had to learn calculating costs, net profits and other aspects of real estate. I spent many hours studying the first year.”
Javakhyan landed a job with ERA Boston Real Estate and also worked at Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams, where she learned about rental properties, property management and commercial real estate, and oversaw a variety of projects in the Boston suburbs.
A realist, Javakhyan knows that determination, focus and a can-do attitude make a big difference in your professional outcome.
“I can’t say the past six years have been easy, but this is the way it goes in every business. Nothing comes immediately. I have been very lucky,” she said.
Family support has also inspired Javakhyan to do her best.
“They sacrificed a lot for me and I always remember that,” she said. In tribute to her family, Javakhyan “pays it forward” by supporting others. “I love mentoring, showing others the ropes and seeing them ‘get it,’” she commented.
Javakhyan anticipates many more mentoring opportunities in her current role as vice president of sales.
One of the most important pieces of advice that Javakhyan emphasizes to her younger colleagues is the importance of good listening skills.
“Learn as much as you can and listen to colleagues,” she said. “Work hard, but work smart and read a lot. If you believe in something, just do it.”
Community service comes naturally to Javakhyan, who sits on the board of directors of the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief where she attempts to find scholarship opportunities for orphans with musical abilities.
As for the future, Javakhyan hopes to pursue an MBA and create a legacy in the real estate business.
“But right now, I am way ahead of where I wanted to be,” she said.