Marika Aquino got into AV in college during a work-study program where she spent four years setting up and troubleshooting AV equipment in classrooms at Babson College. “At the time, I had no idea that there was a wealth of career opportunities in the field or that I would end up in the industry again many years later,” she reminisced.
After she received a B.S. in Management Information Technology from Babson, Aquino got a job working in project and program management at John Hancock Financial in Boston. Around this time, she says, career paths in project management were “new and just starting to take shape.” It was during this time that she got to know Lee Ginsberg, who would later become her business partner.
Within a few years, Aquino’s project management department at John Hancock was outsourced to IBM, where she spent the next 13-plus years building a solid project/program management career working on complex IT projects for clients in the finance, insurance, and retail industries. At some point, Aquino realized she was experiencing burnout and needed a change. She reached out to her old friend Ginsberg, who was serendipitously making a big move, opening AV and IT workforce solutions provider TierPM.
“Cultivating and fostering strong teams, exercising flexibility in my management approach, and my passion for mentoring and championing paved a path for me to move into my current role in helping to lead TierPM,” Aquino said of the job change.
Now one of three managing partners at TierPM, Aquino worked closely with Ginsburg and others to make the new venture successful—and to ensure the company was supportive of its employees and innovation. “We have a tight-knit company,” she said. “There is a strong and established sense of teamwork and having each other’s back. We foster the ability for our employees to bring new and fresh ideas to the table to help the company find and develop innovative solutions for our clients.”
Needless to say, she champions her employees and others in the industry enthusiastically. This outlook comes from personal experience, where others have done the same for her—pushing her to take risks, go outside her comfort zone, and believe in herself. And it’s not just those in the industry who have encouraged her; Aquino is both motivated and inspired by her daughter, Fiona. “I want her to see that for whatever life throws her way, any lesson learned is an opportunity to find new paths and solutions on her journey to becoming who is she and realizing where she wants to be,” Aquino said with a smile.
Aquino is helping to make the pro AV world a better place for young women like Fiona by supporting diversity in the industry through various AVIXA councils. “I, as well as all of TierPM, am really passionate about supporting/championing not only more women coming into the industry, but diversity in the industry,” Aquino said. “We continue to look for creative avenues to help raise awareness that there are great opportunities and career paths in this industry for women.”
With Aquino’s friendly demeanor, ability to grow her business, and passion for networking, she will surely succeed in recruiting diverse populations into the industry. “I am grateful to have gotten to know so many amazing people in this industry who continue to inspire me every day. We have so much new talent in the industry—let’s take the time to help educate them and provide opportunities for them to find a career path and build their network, like others have done for us,” she concluded.
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