With just $100 in his pocket and a limited knowledge of English, Ruben Karapetyan, CPP, immigrated to the United States in 2000. In 2001, he landed his first American job as a security officer with Guardsmark, LLC.
“As someone who left everything behind and had to start all over again, I knew that I would have to work hard. The first five years in the security industry, I accepted any assignment and was ready to work day and night. I worked 74 hours almost every week.”
Karapetyan’s heavy workload and diligence created an on-the-job educational experience. He was exposed to numerous unique security programs and was mentored by different security managers.
He was promoted through the company’s ranks to the position of site supervisor in 2005, then to relationship manager in 2006, and finally to his present role as branch manager Los Angeles Basin in 2013. Directly reporting to the regional vice president, Karapetyan is responsible for the profit-and-loss and overall management of two L.A. branch offices and supervises 10 subordinate managers and 450 security officers.
Life as a security practitioner means anticipating the unpredictable and responding with no notice, such as having to leave his Thanksgiving family dinner table to attend to a fire emergency on a client’s property. He is on call around the clock. While Karapetyan states that a career in security management is demanding, he highly recommends the profession as it provides a “personal satisfaction in getting the job done. You face challenges
and demands that make use of all your potential, skills, creativity, and intellect to come to the right decision.”
Active ASIS membership for eight years–and access to ASIS’s security education and networking opportunities–also played a role in Karapetyan’s upward career path. “By attending chapter meetings and conferences, I constantly can improve myself and stay up-to-date with security industry changes.”
Guardsmark Vice President Rebekah L. Wells, CPP, encouraged Karapetyan to join the executive board of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter in 2007 as the sergeant-at-arms. He went on to roles of treasurer and vice chair and is the chapter’s current chair.
In his security career, Karapetyan’s success materialized by virtue of exceeding customer expectations, enhancing his business management skills, and staying ahead of the game on industry issues.
When Karapetyan was promoted to management, he went back to school to earn his MBA. However, Karapetyan recognized the need to improve his knowledge in all aspects of the security industry and decided to pursue his Certified Protection Professional® (CPP), which he achieved in 2008. His employer, Guardsmark, was always encouraging.
“My company sees great value in ASIS certification and encourages employees to become certified by helping with study materials and giving them a significant raise upon receiving certification. The certification not only allowed me to understand different aspects of security, but also to share this knowledge with my clients, thereby offering them an added value of service,” he says.