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  • Writer's pictureNiv Lobo Gajiwala

Immigrants of Tech - Armita Maroufi

Meet Armita Maroufi! Armita is the Corporate Subscription Manager at The Logic - a

Canadian news publisher covering business and tech.

Originally from Iran, Armita shares her story, what led her to choose Canada, and advice for newcomers looking to integrate into the local tech ecosystem.

Tell us a little bit about your current role at The Logic.

I work at The Logic. We’re a Canadian news publisher committed to intelligent, nuanced and insightful journalism. We cover business and tech, what happens in Ottawa, EVs, cryptocurrency, e-commerce and so much more. We have bureaus all over the country and our reporters provide in-depth, original reporting on the organizations, policies and people driving transformational change. We’re committed to making Canada a better place to live and work!

I am the Corporate Subscription Manager at The Logic. I manage group subscriptions and provide organization-wide access to our content through subscription and licensing.

Relationship management is an important part of my role - tapping into possible collaboration opportunities with our clients, and thinking of great ways to do things together. I work closely with our Partnerships Manager to bring the community together - that's when real business happens.

What's your story? Tell us more about your path and how you ended up here.

I got my first job while I was a freshman at university at a computer hardware manufacturing company in Iran - where I'm from - as an account manager. I ended up in the supply chain department because I could speak just a bit of English. That was when I knew I had to focus on improving my English - because it comes in handy.

From there I moved to a marketing agency (their sister company), which led to my marketing assistant manager role at LG Electronics in Dubai. They had a liaison office in Tehran - I joined that office and traveled to different countries for work (South Korea, UAE). Part of my job was to train the trainers for the in-store sales staff across the country. It helped me develop a personality that can communicate with different communities. I brushed up on my English and learned how to localize marketing content for sales teams.

In 2018, Trump came into office. He quickly withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and placed severe sanctions on Iran. Iran’s ability to do business with many countries (including South Korea, where my previous company was headquartered) ended. Almost all foreign companies at that point closed their chapters in Iran and a lot of people had to figure out their next move. Luckily, I was still employed by LG Electronics, but I needed to figure out a plan B. I started to think about immigration and moving to Canada and the rest is history.

What led you to choose Canada?

I knew people who had moved to Canada. Colleagues and close friends helped me navigate potential opportunities, making it easier for me to evaluate Canada. I got into a school here to get another business degree.

I had traveled a fair bit before I decided to come to Canada. As an Iranian I often found myself explaining things; I always feared Iran's image and rightfully so. Growing up, I met a lot of tourists coming to Iran. My family hosted many couch surfers back in the day and we met people from all over the world. They would say things like “Oh, this is so different from what we knew of Iran.” I realized that people have some not-so-great ideas about where I’m from. Experiencing racism was a fear for me and Canada was one of the few places in the world that has so much diversity. That gave me peace of mind. I know that racism exists in every society, but I think it exists less in Canada than in other Western countries. I think Canada is unique in that way.

What advice would you have for newcomers who are looking to break into the local Canadian tech ecosystem?

Most people who immigrate to Canada have a community here, which is great - it makes things a lot easier. But it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s easier to enter your comfort zone and then it’s difficult to leave it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to leverage your community, especially in the early days. There are a lot of great Iranians here starting their own companies who support new immigrants, especially in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. But my view has always been: why move so far from home to stay in a bubble? My advice is: don’t be afraid to break into new communities where you won’t feel as immediately comfortable. I am a big believer that growth is found beyond our comfort zone. There is a book called The Comfort Crisis that I highly recommend.

Fluency in English is so important for young immigrants wanting to break into the tech ecosystem. On top of that, knowing the English terms or lingo used in your area of interest.

If you’re in a big city, put yourself out there and learn enough to start conversations. I see students at networking events. I know they want to expand their network, but when I ask to hear their stories, the response is (sometimes) radio silence. These conversations don’t come naturally, especially in a second or third language. So, listen to podcasts about whatever you do or want to do. Have a few written scenarios ready with topics you're going to talk about when you are in a networking situation. Go to the places that will push you to grow and get uncomfortable.

Lastly, it took me a while to find a job that felt like the best fit for me personally and professionally. I want to encourage people not to give up on finding a place where they can thrive. Go for it, apply, and do interviews. Even if you're not going to change your job immediately. Find the company and team that will help you get to the next step. Find the best team that can help you be the best version of yourself. They do exist and you're not stuck. There is no work-life balance - it's all life. And if you don't enjoy working, it's not going to be sustainable. So you better find your people!


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