Women in Business: Stella C. Koukounis

An excerpt of the article on Stella C. Koukounis published by inBusiness online Magazine in August 2014 .

I graduated from Sheffield University in 2003 with LLB (Honours), I qualified as a Barrister of England and Wales (Lincoln’s Inn) in 2004, and was awarded an LLM (Honours) from University College London in Corporate and Commercial Law, in 2005. In 2010, I was awarded a Diploma on Short Story Writing by the London School of Journalism and on Creative Writing by the University of Oxford.

My first job in Cyprus was at as advocate in one of the largest business law firms of the island, back in 2006, practicing corporate law.

I’ve always known I would excel in the services industry because making a difference by adding value to my clients’ business, has always made me happy. This sentiment fuels the long-hours at the office, the persistence to finding innovative solutions, the attention to detail, all of which in the end impact on the level of service my clients receive.

My biggest challenge is to accept that there are often human limitations to achieving a goal which require to be addressed at the right time.

My most notable professional achievements thus far, relate to being consistently recommended by high-profile clients in Legal500 and other portals on the quality of my legal advice, being invited as guest speaker on Cyprus law at local and international academic and professional conferences.

There are mainly two reasons for getting where I am today, hard work and refusing to fit the moulds, patterns or practices of most legal advisors by setting standards that are higher than high.

My advice to young professionals in Cyprus, who are just starting their careers, is to think long and hard about what exactly they want out of their careers. Once they set their target, it is only a matter of time before they actually achieve it. There is no way to ‘sugar-coat’ the difficulty young men and women are currently facing to enter the workforce. It’s probably one of the worst times to be a fresh graduate with no work experience looking for a starting position. Persons who value their careers, however, must know that preparation is a key factor to achieving the best possible result.

It is crucial to have talented women in leadership positions, because women, who lean in, can make a difference in any business, any organization and the society as a whole. I strongly believe there is ample room for improvement on how women are perceived in predominantly male Cyprus business networks. I do not share the view that it is always the men’s fault for this.

The future in Cyprus business is bright because, challenges tend to make those who are prone to improvement, better. Amidst the mayhem of the economic crisis, Cypriots who are proud by nature and culture are changing their ways, adopting new, promising business models, adapting to the technological changing tides to continue sustaining their quality of life. This time, hopefully, for the right reasons.

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