Creation and Self-Expression Through Music and Programming4 min read
Contributed by Dalita Avanessian (MSCIS ‘22)
Studying Computer Science at AUA
Deciding what profession to choose was somewhat daunting for me. Thankfully, in the process of deciding my major, I received helpful advice from different people, and especially from my family.
After lots of discussions, I made up my mind and chose to study computer science and engineering, for which I am extremely happy. This is one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.
Nowadays, computers are literally integral to everything we do. Computer science is a field of major innovations, new ideas, and creativity, it is very challenging, yet so dynamic. A profession in computer science offers future opportunities without any boundaries, and it is a field that drives you to think out of the box. All of these factors combined influenced my decision, and are the main reasons why I love this field. I love to be a part of the evolution of technology.
I did a lot of thinking about becoming a programmer after experiencing a professional career in singing, and every single time I was reassured that these two professions complement one another. Music and programming, both are forms of creation and self-expression, both are innovative fields and rather challenging. Living with both of these professions never gets boring, instead, I feel motivated and driven to do my best in both worlds.
My freshman year at AUA was a little hard, learning to manage deadlines and classes, but I eventually got accustomed to the schedule. Looking back, I miss those four years a lot, because during my student years at AUA I discovered so many things and some even about myself. I developed my learning skills and abilities and, in the end, I developed personally, not only as a computer scientist but also as an individual. My student years were the most significant in my life, years during which I met so many wonderful people, great professors who still teach and guide me through my academic (MS) and career life, and good friends who have now also become colleagues.
Commitment to Both Singing and Computer Science
When I first entered university, I dedicated most of my time to attending classes at AUA. I had very little time to focus on new songs. However, I got many invitations to sing at concerts and even travel to perform at international festivals. When I was invited to Malta to sing at the “Armenian Days in Malta” festival, my professors were delighted to hear about it. And I remember that after rehearsals I would come to my hotel room, go through course slides, go over some mathematical proofs in preparation for a midterm scheduled right after my return to Yerevan. I was and I am still trying hard to do my best in managing two careers, since both were my own choice, and I love to stay committed to the choices I make.
I’m grateful that besides my singing career, I also had time to try myself in acting. I managed to participate in an American TV series and even starred in a movie recently.
So, basically, I go back and forth between my careers and try to stay active.
At AUA, I was very excited to learn that master’s students get internship opportunities. At that time, I was not working yet and was really looking to gain practical experience. I did an internship as a software engineer and since then my interest in web engineering has grown. I believe that internships are a great way to learn and evolve as a professional, and the internship course offered at CSE (Akian College of Science and Engineering) provides a great opportunity for students like me who are planning to enter the industry or to discover their job interests.
Currently, I’m working at several places: as a front-end developer at WiCastr; as a teaching associate for several courses at AUA (Introduction to Algorithms, Database Systems, Introduction to CS); and as a teacher associate at ArmSoft. What I love about my TA experience is that I can relate to students, I try to help them by giving useful feedback. I love to share knowledge and experience with students.
I’m grateful for my current status, and I’m engaging in all types of different activities with pleasure. I love being busy and gaining lots of experience. I think a programmer always has room to learn, as our field is expanding, new technologies are evolving, and we have to stay up-to-date, learn as much as we can to create modern applications.
Receiving “The Best Diasporan Student Award”
It’s a huge honor to receive “The Best Diasporan Student Award” at the State Educational Awards in the field of IT, which means everything to me. It means that my years of hard work and dedication paid off. I’m very honored to get valued and acknowledged. I’m grateful to my amazing university, AUA, to my wonderful professors, to my dear family for years of help and encouragement. I’m thankful to every single person who granted me an opportunity in the field of computer science. This award will remind me that I still have to work hard, grow more, continue having that thirst for knowledge, become a better professional for my own country, and develop its IT industry.
I love AUA with all my heart, it’s like my second home. I’m grateful to be a member of AUA’s big family. The whole CSE faculty, each of the knowledgeable professors at AUA have had their contribution to my current achievements. Thanks to their guidance and support, I am where I am today. I still have many things to learn and discover which is why I decided to pursue a master’s degree at AUA.
My definition of career success is when I’m doing work that’s meaningful when I enjoy that work and feel fulfilled by it every day. For me, career success is also when I’m valued and recognized for my contributions; when I have the opportunity to grow as a professional, have an influence, stay authentic and create strong professional relationships. And of course, achieving financial stability in life.