Armenian Volunteer Corps

Welcome to the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) blog. Here our volunteers and alumni reflect on their experiences living and volunteering in Armenia. For more information about our programs, visit our website, follow us on Facebook or drop us an email: .

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lena Maranian

Name: Lena Maranian
Age: 25
Hometown: Encino, California
Birthplace: Basingstoke, England
Internships: Smart Consulting, Children of Armenia Fund

In April of this year, I was accepted in to graduate school, to pursue an MBA starting in the fall of 2006. I quickly realized that I should figure out somewhere to go for my last summer before returning to school. I pulled out my long list of places around the world to explore when it occurred on me that I should focus more on something to do, rather than somewhere to go. A volunteer opportunity seemed like an excellent pre-text to business school and since I had visited Armenia twice before, I knew the country had many options for volunteering.

I gave up my job as a business consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and set off for a two-month journey to Armenia with hopes that I could transfer the project management skills I had learned at work. Since being in Armenia, I have helped develop various project management materials, and conducted a seminar on the subject of project management for a group of business and economics students. I found the experience extremely rewarding especially during our ‘question and answer’ section. We discussed the differences between Armenia and the United States in terms of work ethic, employee motivation, salary and bonus structures, business readiness, barriers to entry, and knowledge management. I learned that there are boundless opportunities for me to use project management techniques here and that the workforce in Armenia, especially the student population, is eager to adopt new ideas and develop their skill sets. I also realized how much Armenia has to teach me about living life, enjoying our heritage, and developing deep ties to the homeland, such that I am always called back for more.


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