Lusine Sargsyan (ME IESM ‘16) Reflects on her University Years
American University of Armenia (AUA) alumna Lusine Sargsyan (ME IESM ‘16) attributes the achievements in her career to her AUA education. She highly values the network she gained at the University and advises current AUA students to keep in touch with their professors both during their studies and after graduation. In the interview, she told us about her incentives to study at AUA, her current occupation, and her definition of success in a career.
What influenced your choice of profession initially? Why did you choose to study at AUA?
I have always wanted to get high-quality education that would lead me to career success. Frankly, AUA is the best option in Armenia. However, at the time when I started university studies, AUA didn’t have undergraduate programs, hence I only had the chance of attending AUA for my graduate education. The first time you enter the AUA building, you feel that this is going to be a completely different learning experience as the environment itself motivates students to work harder and perform better.
I had consulted Dr. Rubina Danilova (Operations Manager at CSE) at the most critical point of choosing a profession, when she explained to me at length about the specialization in Industrial Engineering and Systems Management and went through the subjects I would be learning and the opportunities it opens up for students. After that meeting, I was determined that this would be the right profession I would like to specialize in.
Tell us a little bit about your student years at AUA.
During my student years at AUA, I always felt at home. At the start, it was really hard to manage to get prepared for exams, complete team projects and other assignments; however, now looking back, I understand that all of those experiences and the synergies they created were meant to shape a better professional. Being able to follow strict deadlines and manage group projects are distinguishing characteristics of AUA alumni that help them build successful careers in both well-established bureaucratic organizations and startups.
As an AUA alumna, how would you evaluate AUA’s contribution to your current achievements?
AUA has made a direct contribution to my current achievements. A month after graduation I was able to find a job without the need for any further training. Both during my studies and afterward, I have stayed in touch with CSE faculty who have helped me keep my fingers on the pulse of new developments. For example, working as a teaching associate of the Data Mining and Predictive Analytics course after graduation gave me the chance to refresh my knowledge and exchange ideas with the new generation.
Moreover, my AUA network has facilitated my career path and advancement with recommendation letters from the best professionals in the field indicating that I am a competitive candidate. Thus, I would recommend all AUA students to interact more with faculty and, in general, with the AUA community as this network can really make a difference in Armenia’s reality for building a better future.
Tell us about your current occupation. What do you do?
Currently, I work at the Armenian branch of a U.S.-based company as analytics team lead. We provide data solutions to our customers including real-time predictive analytics. This is something that I have learned and practiced at AUA.
In addition, I provide consulting services to the RA government and international organizations mainly in data analysis, methodology development, and evidence-based policy design. The latter is the result of combining two areas of my specialization: economics, my major during bachelor’s studies, and data analysis skills gained at AUA.
In general, how would you define success in a career?
I think that one’s career is considered to be successful only when one truly enjoys working. It does not matter how much money you earn or what title you have. It is important that you work in the organization you have chosen and perform tasks that motivate you to go to work every day with pleasure. In my opinion, in order to be successful, one should work in an environment where continuous learning and development both professionally and personally are encouraged.
Furthermore, I truly believe that a successful career should also carry some social responsibility. When working on any project, I consider how it will impact society at large and what the ultimate goal of the work I am doing is.