5 minutes with… Vivian Papasotiriou
What’s your career highlight to date?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with companies from all over the world – US, Italy, Greece, UK, Australia and the Middle East – all run by brilliant people with the vision and determination to make a difference in their industry. The journey with each client was unique and inspiring in different ways and taught me many new things.
If I had to pick one particular career highlight, I would choose the first deal I closed. There is something unique in feeling the thrill, the excitement and the accomplishment of being part of the journey. It was satisfying to experience it all from start to finish, standing alongside the client and reaching the finish line with them for the first time.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
The best advice I could give to my younger self is the same as I would give to any ‘fresh out of uni’ graduate who wants to work in M&A – they need to be absolutely certain that they like it because it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It can be incredibly rewarding, but requires a lot of your time, effort and energy – and if you don’t like it, you won’t be happy doing it. However, the most important thing that I’ve learned during my career is that no matter how successful the end result, it’s the people we work with and support, not the companies.
You should always remember that they might not have figured everything out. They will make mistakes along the way, might doubt themselves, or simply not know what the next step is. Our role, first and foremost, is to support them and build something together, rather than just executing the steps.
Who was your hero or inspiration growing up?
My mother. She never stopped trying to become a better version of herself and push her boundaries, which inevitably provided me with a strong role model.
She finished her PhD, published her thesis, became a university professor, taught in both high school and university and spoke in various conferences from time to time while bringing up two young kids. In her late 40s, she decided she wanted to move into a consulting role in the Greek educational system, so she did a Master’s degree and changed the course of her career.
Even now, when she is supposedly reaching retirement age, she is writing a new syllabus on ancient tragedy teaching methods.
What brought you to Waypoint Partners?
The people. It is very important for me to work in a team that wants to make impactful deals, shape the industry and be known for that, rather than just the big return. When I met the team, it was clear that they are fully committed to that.
I also enjoyed our conversations and appreciated how comfortable they made me feel, right from the start, which was a huge driver for my decision.
Favourite motivational quote?
A quote from Nazim Hikmet: The most beautiful sea is the one we haven’t crossed yet.