First Undergraduates of AUA

Shahane Arushanyan – BS Computer Science

When I was in high school, I knew I was going to be a programmer, but wasn’t really sure which sub-field I would choose. I was expecting to find “something” I was best at, to find a job that would be both profitable and enjoyable for me, to make a real change, and I’m still halfway through.

I’ve gained a lot from AUA. It gave me an opportunity to try myself in various areas including 3D modeling, bioinformatics, cryptography, and finally data science which I’ve been focusing on for almost a year. The studies at AUA allowed me to not only learn the theory but, more importantly, to practice a lot, which was of major importance for me. Studying at AUA helped me find the field that I really love and working in which is not an effort but rather a joy.

To make AUA better, I would include more courses that offer real-life projects and, of course, much more professional seminars and workshops. What is unique about studying at AUA is that it is more than just knowledge that students find here: they learn how to learn, which allows them to confidently enter adult life and always fit in, no matter the community they find themselves in.

A lot has changed throughout the years. I would say that initially, my plans were worse than vague. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted until the last year at the university, and all my plans have grown from more or less “zero” throughout the four years at AUA. I’ve made friends for life, including some of the instructors I’ve had a chance to meet. I’ve become more caring, patient, and diligent, and I always make sure that I do everything that I decide to do in the best way possible.

My plans for the future include pursuing a Master’s degree at AUA, apart from working in the big data field and enjoying life to its fullest.

I would give one piece of advice to Freshman students: work a lot on yourselves, and do so outside of the classroom as well; do not ever miss a chance to participate in various professional seminars and workshops. It might make a huge difference for your future choices. At the end, don’t look at these four years only from the perspective of acquiring knowledge and having high GPAs. Make crazy memories that will be worth telling your children.

Narek Jilavyan – BS Computer Science

My first experience with a computer dates back to when I was 2 years old, when my father first acquired one for his work. So, it was natural that for my major, I’d choose something that I had explored for many years. I was familiar with some of the areas while I was in basic school, and the most exciting one for me was and still is IT security. When graduating from high school, I was already well aware about the path I’ve chosen, and I’ve become more confident about it since I have entered AUA and met people who are experienced in that area, especially my capstone supervisors.


I met many different and awesome people (students, professors, and staff) who inspired me a lot and supported during hard times. Being in touch with these people made me start looking at life more positively. From the professional viewpoint, I got to learn about certain emerging areas in computer science that have started to become mainstream during the last few years due to the computers becoming more and more powerful and cheap.

I also enjoyed (most of the) general education courses. It was very interesting to gain some introductory, yet very practical knowledge in filmmaking, music, law, psychology, and many other areas not directly connected with computers and math.

What I’d change at AUA is the class registration server. Well, it’s a joke, though in this case that would also be a good change. Some improvement of the website  would also be amazing. As for the academic part, I would add new courses, both professional and general education. I’d also make new sections of same classes, so the student would have choice to register for a morning or afternoon classes, as I personally had difficulties waking up in the morning. However, I know that financially this is not feasible at this moment, so there is no solution for this currently.

I am satisfied with the knowledge gained at AUA, but that knowledge can’t really be put to professional use anywhere. Existing knowledge, and this is particularly true in the case of my sphere, has a tendency to become outdated over time. For this and many other reasons, it is essential that one never stops learning and explores their field(s) of interest continuously.  

My plans for the future include enjoying the “state of freedom” a little bit, while also attending IT security courses and finding a job in that area.

To Freshmen: enjoy your time at AUA. Although it might be stressful sometimes, these four years are the best years of your life. They will pass very quickly, but the memories will stay for a long time, so do something that you won’t forget and will always remember with a smile. Also, value the people who are currently with you. The chances that you will get separated after graduation is very high, as all of you would have different jobs or study in different universities.

Noemi Akopian – BA English and Communications

I wanted to be an actor and a writer when I was graduating from high school. I still do, but now I have a few more dreams.

AUA helped me improve my writing and critical thinking skills. I learned a lot from the Filmmaking, Music, Art and Literature courses, in particular. Most of our classes were introductory courses, so they gave us the necessary tools to continue studying the subjects.

Perhaps the biggest change was in my attitude towards translation. At first, I was dead set against taking any translation courses, but ended up taking them and genuinely enjoying them because the professor, Shushan Avagyan, was fantastic and made it very interesting. Thanks to her, I gained a new appreciation for that form of art.

What would you change at AUA to make it better?Please install proper theatre lights in the Large Auditorium!

And get rid of the “clusters.” There are so many interesting courses that we couldn’t take because they didn’t fit into our clusters.

I gained some knowledge about many things, but not enough to be a professional in one field. E&C is a very broad major that introduces you to many topics, but in order to be a professional, you would  have to continue your education.

I cannot say that I am unsatisfied because it was never my goal to become a professional in the offered fields. I wanted to expand my knowledge of various subjects like creative writing, literature, philosophy, psychology, music, and art. The courses at AUA, especially the electives,  put me on the right track, and if I wish to further my studies alone, I will know where to start. I will say, however, that I enjoyed some of the required courses more than I thought I would.

My plans have changed, but not that much. At first, I wanted to be an actor, but thanks to the Drama Club, I discovered a passion for directing as well. Now, I want to do both.

I felt more comfortable at AUA than any other school I have been to. I am quite adaptable but I really felt at home here, which allowed me to become more confident, assertive, and sure of myself. I also met some of the most wonderful people who have impacted my life in more ways than I probably realize.

After graduation I will, first of all, sleep and do nothing for a while. After that, I plan to take a year off, work, read, write, travel, and do theatre. Then, I plan on going back to school somewhere and studying directing.

My advice to Freshmen: don’t take yourself too seriously. Be bold, take risks, try new things, meet people, push buttons, don’t overthink things (but you probably will anyways), join/start clubs, and just have fun. These four years will go by very fast, even though at times they will feel endless. Don’t let them go to waste.

Lilit Mamulyan – BA English and Communications

When I was graduating from high school, I did not have a particular career path in mind that I wanted to pursue. However, I knew AUA would help me figure out my future plans. When I found out I was accepted to AUA, I was expecting to have the most exciting four years full of new experiences, friends, and memories.  

These  four years at AUA helped me not only to understand what I want to do professionally in the future, but also to gain the necessary knowledge and skills. AUA changed my perspective on a lot of things. I have learned how to think and question things. I have also realized the importance of being creative and staying open to communication.

I would like AUA to offer new undergraduate programs, so that students have more options to choose from and to have limited opportunities in terms of choosing a profession. Also, it would be great if students had the opportunity to take more classes directly related to their majors.   

I am satisfied with the knowledge AUA provides, as students are not imposed with tones of textbooks and reading materials. Instead, they are taught to make their own choices. Practical knowledge gained from AUA will definitely help me in the future.

My plans did change while studying at AUA. Communicating with other students and also professors made me I realize that no matter what I decide to do in the future, the most important thing is to make a contribution to the field you are working in and never stop thinking out of the box. I came to realize that my dreams of becoming an Ambassador or opening a school depend not only on what kind of education I receive, but also on how I decide to make my dreams come true.   

Besides knowledge and skills, AUA contributed to my personal development. I became more independent, confident in expressing my opinion, and be open to new things. Most importantly, AUA helped me understand what real friendship is, and I’ll always be thankful to AUA for my friends.  

After graduation, I plan to get a Master’s Degree and find a job that I will be enthusiastic about.  

When I was a Freshman at AUA, everything seemed new to me and I was mainly concentrated on classes and assignments. Unfortunately, I had little time to be involved in other activities around AUA. If I were to be a Freshman again, I would definitely be more involved in AUA clubs and activities. So, my advice to Freshmen is to be actively involved in AUA life and contribute to the development of our university as much as possible.  

Sofya Dallakyan – BA Business

My dreams  were quite unusual. I was very terrified by the thought that after graduation I will be smothered by tedious dress code rules and a grouchy boss, so there was one option left: to work in an animal shelter somewhere in Australia.

AUA helped me construct a whole system in my brain where I understood how the real world is working. The construction materials included professors’ experiences, club activities, day to day communications and etc. I would say that AUA would be a better place if has more qualified foreign professors for major classes.

I am both satisfied and unsatisfied with the knowledge I gained here. I can consider myself a professional based on the projects that were implemented during studies, as they gave me the most practical insights both in terms of professionalism and in working with people.

My future plans have changed a lot during these four years due to particular people and classes that I had at AUA. I had an opportunity to meet people with whom I can find common interests and share ideas and whose activities inspire me to do more.  They are people all of different professions and backgrounds, but looking back I see that due to their impact either directly or indirectly I gained many life lessons.

I’m still thinking about plans after AUA, cannot tell you my life strategy plan, but for now I will try to do different things, where I can use my university knowledge and interests and see which option works the best.

For Freshmen students – Don’t stress out that much on GPA, I have witnessed the sufferings of many people. Study whatever interests you and try not to fail the rest.



Marina Babayan


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