We take pleasure in featuring successful women in business as they serve as wonderful and inspirational role models for all of us.
Born in Tajikistan, Dushanbe (former Soviet Union,) Anna moved to Queens, NY at the age of 7 where she began second grade. Despite speaking no English when she first entered school, Anna graduated high school with a Regents diploma (the highest level degree in New York State.) Sadly, during her senior year in high school, her dad passed away from a sudden heart attack. Anna calls that time of her life her “fork in the road”. She decided to forgo the University of Miami where she had been accepted and attended instead nearby St. John’s University. This enabled her to go to school in the morning and work at her father’s accounting firm at night to help pay for the bills at home. She majored in Accounting and Pre-Law in 3 years with a 3.4 GPA. Seven months ago, Anna got a job as a paralegal at a midtown law firm. Although she loves every aspect of her current position she has recently admitted her real passion.
You’ve worked at your father’s accounting firm and now at a law firm yet you were yearning for something else. How were you able to fulfill your obligations and find time to explore other options?
I have learned to multitask through all these years. Through that have found my true passion, EVENT PLANNING!!! I never knew how well rounded I was until I was introduced to Mariela Dabbah, who has in essence become my mentor. She has encouraged me to pursue my dreams and gave me the opportunity as one of her Senior Ambassadors to plan the first launch event for the Red Shoe Movement. It has been such an amazing opportunity to be able to put together the vision we discussed with the group of Senior Ambassadors from inception. Since then I have been planning events for LULAC Queens, launched events in different industries as well as birthday parties, weddings and corporate meetings.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your industry and in your job where you would appreciate some help?
As an event planner I face many challenges. One is, how do you recruit a new client unless they physically see your work. I have picked up every client from an event they have attended that I planned, so in essence I understand how important it is to network in my industry.
What do you find the most satisfying part of your work?
Seeing my clients faces when the event is about to start and understanding that I have captured their vision properly.
What are some of the major changes you notice around opportunities for women advancement?
I believe women have come a long way in America especially. I come from a country where women had no say and were not allowed to speak unless they were asked to by a man. They were not allowed to work and mostly had the role of housewives. I remember coming to America and seeing a woman behind the wheel of cars. You had to see the shock my parents and I had in our eyes. I think it’s so amazing that we are all looked upon as equals since gender should not play a role in what each person brings to an industry.
Give us an example of how you’ve become part of a growing number of successful women who are helping other women advance professionally?
I am on the alumni board in my sorority Gamma Phi Beta and am constantly speaking to the new pledge classes of girl who are just starting out their roads to their careers. I encourage them to network and start thinking of their personal growth in their careers as early as freshman year in college. My favorite quote I tell them is, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Could you mention one or more women who have helped you get to where you are now?
I would mention my great friend Teresa Correa who has been the prime example of a woman determined to be the best she can be in her industry and has achieved that with flying colors. She always showed me how to believe in myself and has been a great mentor.
You can connect with Anna on Facebook.