AUA Students Visit Picsart

AUA Students Visit Picsart

3 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia — How does a global unicorn company operate? On February 26, American University of Armenia (AUA) undergraduate students in adjunct lecturer in the Zaven P. and Sonia College of Science and Engineering Ruben Osipyan’s Creativity and Technological Innovation course recently enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look during a visit to the offices of Picsart: the first Armenia-born unicorn startup. 

Students were first taken on a detailed office tour and had the chance to briefly meet and speak with several teams at Picsart. The tour was not only an introduction to the office and opportunity to meet several Picsart team members, but also an opportunity to learn how corporate culture is built at Picsart and how this culture governs the placement and structure of the office space. The tour was conducted by AUA alumna and Picsart’s Communications and Corporate Affairs Senior Specialist Laura Hovakimyan (BAEC ’20).

Following the office tour, Hovakimyan, Organizational Development Senior Specialist Varduhi Janoyan, Organizational Effectiveness Senior Specialist Zaruhi Amatuni spoke with the students about the founding and development of Picsart, its values, and mission. During the presentation, students learned about the most recent products launched by the company. The Picsart team also discussed how Picsart is engaging in Generative AI. Moreover, students learned about the company’s diverse and multicultural team working from different locations (United States, United Kingdom, Romania, and other countries), as well as how diversity impacts the corporate culture.

Students took advantage of the opportunity to engage with Picsart staff and ask about various aspects of the company’s journey, with questions reflecting their in-class learning.

Following the presentation, Robert Gasparyan, Agile Coach at Picsart, presented the Agile methodology that is applied at Picsart. The presentation was content-rich, enabling students to better understand how a customer-centric approach impacts the operations of the business and why it is important to cultivate an agile mindset within the team in order to be able to deliver a quality product that takes into account customer wants and needs. Several real-life examples were shared, highlighting how customer feedback is captured and analyzed and the quality management philosophies that are applied in Picsart’s day-to-day activities.

The Picsart visit helped students connect the dots between a company’s vision and culture and how these influence office space structure, as well as how the agile methodology mindset is applied in day-to-day project management activities.

After the visit, the students took time to reflect on their impressions from the tour.

Ruzanna Frangulyan (BSCS ’27) shared: “During the presentation, Picsart team members asked us if we knew that Picsart is an Armenian application when we started using it. I was among the students who didn’t know that, and it was interesting to reflect on how I started using Picsart. The most impressive part of the visit was the office tour and the wall with the quotes written by Picsart’s guests.”

“Seeing how this innovative organization works from the inside helps strengthen our theoretical knowledge,” noted Arevik Agopian (BSCS ’22). “During classroom discussions, we covered the topics of corporate culture and innovation process as theory, and seeing how these shape a real-life company’s way of working really helps finish the puzzle.” 

Gor Kzhdryan (BAB ’27) added:“Witnessing the process of Picsart’s product development provided insights into the work of a unicorn company. I explored the Agile and SCRUM methodologies applied in their work practices. The only thing I would do differently is to heavily showcase and promote the Armenian roots of Picsart locally and internationally in order to broadcast Armenia on a deeper scale in the international startup ecosystem.”

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 and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.