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Arsine Sarikyan and Zaruhi Navasardyan
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Arsine Sarikyan (MSM ’20) and Zaruhi Navasardyan (MSM ’20) Conduct Staff Training

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YEREVAN, Armenia Giving back builds gratitude and creates a community of like-minded, altruistic people. Whether by contributing time or hard-earned money, studies have shown that getting behind a meaningful cause creates trust and stronger bonds, reduces loneliness and isolation, and also fosters an increased sense of belonging and meaningful association with one’s community.

American University of Armenia (AUA) alumni Arsine Sarikyan (MSM ’20) and Zaruhi Navasardyan (MSM ’20) set yet another example of giving back. On February 22-24, 2021, they conducted a three-day online staff training in MS Excel. This was their way to show gratitude to their alma mater and an opportunity to share their data analysis methodology knowledge and skills with participants, equipping them with tools useful for increased productivity.

In our follow-up interview with these two alumni, we asked them to share their thoughts about this giving-back experience and also about their years at AUA. Sarikyan, a recipient of the AUA Ministry of Education and Science scholarship, remarked: “Studying at AUA was a dream come true. I was especially motivated by the talented and smart people who opened new horizons for me and forced me to always strive for success. While this was somewhat unusual in terms of training representatives of the institution that gave me the knowledge and skills that I was sharing, the feeling of giving back to the community was awesome and reassuring.” Sarikyan has been working as a Senior Explainable Data Specialist for Metric since August 2020. She kicked off her career as a Marketing Specialist in MyZcapital back in 2017, and now she is enjoying putting into practice the knowledge she had gained at AUA. 

The two friends not only work in the same company, but also share the same perception of AUA and its impact on their careers. “AUA MSM was a short experience but a real breaking point in my life. During my study years at AUA, I understood what I wanted to specialize in and that’s how it all started,” says Navasardyan, who currently works as a Senior Data Scientist at Metric. “As AUA graduates, it is our responsibility to make our Alma Mater proud of our success. I appreciate all the knowledge and skills I gained studying at AUA. The training was a great experience to take one more step forward as a community member and share knowledge and skills with University staff.”

The large number of participating staff and the positive feedback received are indicative of the potential usefulness of Excel skills. The two alumni were awarded certificates of appreciation for this service to alma mater. 

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values. 

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