By Ani Matevosyan
“I am always open to opportunities,” says Arpine. She opens her notebook, takes her pen from the middle of the pages, and takes a glance at the conference room of the AGBU. She is confident about what she does because she loved her job. She gets her inspiration from her career and contributes her best effort to the position that she holds.
Arpine Vardanyan, a 2014 alumnus of the Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program of the American University of Armenia (AUA), followed her motivation and ended up working in the financial sector of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) office in Yerevan. Her education and the occupation that she currently has are not directly correlated, but it’s her interests, passion, and motivation that shaped her identity. Throughout several years, she has challenged herself in some spheres ranging from linguistics to political science.
Having her Bachelor’s degree in linguistics Arpine decided to widen the scope of her knowledge. She took the risk of shifting from linguistics and applied to AUA. “I remember being able to work under pressure and working in an atmosphere that very much encouraged critical thinking and giving you the chance to choose, to develop, and to self-realize yourself with what you want to do in your life,” says Arpine. She used to work parallel to studying at the University. She confesses that it was tense and she had to manage both—building a career and acquiring education. “It indeed required a lot of skills and determination, but I was ready to take and overcome the challenge,” says Arpine.
Remembering AUA, Arpine also adds: “I attach great value to this phenomenon of the opportunity to develop critical thinking, and develop yourself as a personality—your personal growth and not only professional.” She states that it’s not only the high-quality education that AUA gave her but also the opportunity to understand what she is capable of doing, what is her potential and how she can put it into practice.
After years of completing internships, she eventually started working. Today, after years of hard work and all-out efforts, she is the Grants Manager of AGBU. When talking about the future of her career path she confesses that she is open to new opportunities, but now she is more into business administration. “I am very much interested in social entrepreneurship, which is quite new in Armenia and is just developing; in this sphere, there is quite a lot to be done, and I am interested in it,” says Arpine.
Arpine is always happy to share her experience with the upcoming generations and students, who are just about to start building their careers. “My only advice would be – do whatever interests you because this has been my vision of why I am here now. As I was doing all these things and I am here now. But if in two or three years I am not in the development field, but in a private business sector, that may be normal for me because I would go for anything that interests me, and I feel that there I would feel happy,” concludes Arpine.
Her motivation has guided her from linguistics to political science and eventually led to development and finance. However, Arpine will not limit herself to what she has already achieved. Keeping an eye on opportunities, being attentive to new challenges, and staying positive about a sudden change, Arpine strives to grow constantly both personally and professionally.