Arpi Grigoryan, CIS ‘08, talks with AUA about her passion for technology and how her education put her on the path to success.
I always loved technology and have been very passionate about math and science in general. When it was time to choose a career, I knew that I should choose something I loved. When you do something you love, your job doesn’t feel like work, and obviously you are more likely to excel doing something you are passionate about. With this in mind, I decided to apply to Yerevan State University (YSU), Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Informatics. Before I even graduated from YSU I knew I wanted to do my master’s at the American University of Armenia (AUA), and in 2006, I applied to the Computer and Information Science (CIS) program. I wanted a new perspective, a new style of teaching and learning, and I knew that AUA was the perfect place for me to get this experience.
When I started studying at AUA, everything was so exciting – the professors were great, the facilities were comfortable, and it was a very motivating environment. My years at AUA were probably the most memorable and life changing years of my life. During those two years I met great people, I won a Balian Award for Best Student at AUA, and I won a Presidential Award for Best Master’s Student of the year. It was a great honor for me and a very humbling experience. During the first year of my studies, I got a part-time job with a US based company as a Java developer, and during the next couple of years I studied and worked at AUA, which proved to be a very interesting and rewarding challenge in my life.
As an AUA alumna, how would you evaluate AUA’s contribution to your current achievements?
AUA had a big impact on not just my career but my life in general. What I value most is that I received much more than just textbook knowledge. I learned how to work as a team, how to improve my communication skills, how to present myself in different environments, and most importantly, I learned to appreciate myself and others. These skills helped me tremendously during the different stages of my career.
What was the role of AUA in molding your future choice of profession?
I chose my profession even before joining AUA. I knew I wanted to be a software developer. Shortly after graduating from AUA, I was promoted to a team lead position and built solid management skills, which was very useful in my future career. My role currently entails development work, project management, and people management. I work with many offshore clients regularly, and the communication and presentation skills that I learned at AUA help me enormously with creating and maintaining a solid professional connection between the company and our clients.
Tell us a little about your current status: what do you do?
Currently I am the general manager and CTO of the Armenian branch of NMX Global Software Inc., which is a US based software development company. I’m also an adjunct lecturer at AUA, teaching software engineering. I can say that I’m probably one of the very few people who like what they are doing. I enjoy my job; software development is my passion and it gives me great satisfaction to be part of a team that creates something new, such as a software that will make someone’s life easier. I enjoy teaching as well, and I love working with students. Their continuous appetite for knowledge challenges me to always look for new ways to improve myself.
In general how would you define success in career?
I think you can consider yourself successful in your career if you’re doing something you love and you are very good at it. To me it doesn’t matter what you do, but it’s important to be good, even great at what you do.
In my opinion that’s what defines success or failure. Unfortunately, nowadays people define success based on your wealth. Financial support is important and you can’t do much without it, starting from good education. However, if you excel at what you do, earning money will be a consequence, not a goal.