Kristine Gevorgyan Gains Practical Knowledge as a CS Student
As we continue to promote the “Yes, Armenian Women Can!” campaign, aimed to raise $2.5 million to establish a scholarship endowment fund to support female students pursuing degrees in computer science and engineering at the American University of Armenia (AUA), we highlight female students in STEM pathways. Recently, we interviewed Kristine Gevorgyan (BS CS ‘20), a junior in the Computer Science (CS) program at AUA’s Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE). Gevorgyan always intended to study in a STEM field. AUA gave her the opportunity to pursue an education in computer science, gain practical knowledge, and even intern as a programmer with the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) in San Francisco. She spoke with us about her studies, financial support, and the IT sector in Armenia.
What attracted you to AUA and the CS program?
I wanted to be a programmer. I heard that AUA has a great CS program that includes mathematics, and I like both math and programming. Also, what attracted me to come here to AUA and not another university is that the knowledge we receive here is more practical. Lecturers work in the sector and they know what is relevant. They can give me the practical knowledge I want.
Tell me about your classes and the knowledge you’ve gained.
Not only do lecturers give us practical knowledge, they also teach us a broad range of skills. I had a class this year in which we studied partial differential equations and we did some equations that came from physics and even finance and it was very interesting. We are getting knowledge from other spheres, too. It will help with my overall understanding and with my future career.
Was your family supportive of you studying at AUA?
Yes, the most supportive person was my mother. She always wanted me to study at AUA. She thought that it would give me more opportunities to broaden my knowledge and choose my professional path.
Have you received financial aid and other support for your education?
Because of my high GPA, I received a scholarship and internship from the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA). I don’t think that I would have been able to attend AUA without this financial aid.
Do you think AUA graduates are more equipped to be competitive in the marketplace, to find jobs, and to be successful?
Yes. During classes, the lecturer gives some information to us, but actually, we are doing a lot of things ourselves. The lecturer encourages us to do our own research so we know how to get information from the internet, how to use that information, and how to learn things ourselves. After graduation and when you start a job, you have to learn many things. As an AUA student, you know how to learn things faster than the others… We learn how to learn.
In your CS classes, are the majority of the students male?
No. I definitely know that there are more females than males. I think we were equal when we entered, but some of them went to join the army and a few people joined us this year and last year. So, now there are maybe thirty women and twenty men in the class. Actually, the IT sphere in Armenia provides great opportunities for women because there is little discrimination. If you have the skills, it doesn’t matter if you are a woman or a man.
Would you recommend AUA to your friends and family?
Definitely. I’m actually recommending them to study at AUA because, in Armenia, I think that AUA gives the best education in the sphere that you choose.
Do you have anything else to add?
I would just like to thank AUA for the opportunity to study here.