Nicholas Zoraian

AGBU Inaugural Boston Summer Internship Program Successfully Comes to a Close

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WATERTOWN — Interns ages 18 to 23 from around the world spent eight weeks in Boston this summer, as part of the inaugural Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) program here.

The program allowed students to explore fields in STEM, medicine, business, journalism, education and more.

The AGBU program includes opportunities to see the city of Boston, as the students live in the dormatories of Northeastern University (NEU) downtown. The program allowed students to walk the Freedom Trail, go whale watching at the seaport, tour numerous Armenian and American museums, etc.

Considering the nature of an internship, the students were not only able to find experience in a professional setting, but were also able to form lasting connections that will allow them to foster their budding careers. These interns not only form new connections with their employers and fellow employees, but also with interns in the AGBU program who are interested in different careers. This allows the students to explore different aspects of the professional field, while also learning how different fields interact.

The interns were also able to meet many professionals in various industries, forming great business connections with a vast network of people. Interns were given many opportunities to meet with AGBU Young Professionals throughout the program. Interacting with professionals in the field in which one studies gives the interns a sneak peek into the real world they wish to enter.

The interns spoke very highly of the program. One of the interns, Julia Samuelian interned as a research assistant, professor’s assistant, and ancient Armenian coin decipherer at Harvard University. She discussed how the program affected her. “I love to be involved with the Armenian community,” she said, “and this program has made me even more determined to be involved.”

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Another intern, Andrey Badalyan, was very positive about the program. AGBU got him an internship at the world renowned Broad Institute.

“The internship itself has been very valuable in terms of experience and getting new skills…It was invaluable for me to gain new skills in specific areas of biochemistry.” He continued, “Throughout these eight weeks I had terrific opportunities being exposed to new techniques in the lab. My supervisors have been amazing and helped me along the way and I have gained a very, very important experience for the future”

Another one of the interns, Lea Eknadossian, who was able to work for a surgical pathology and histology lab talked about how this AGBU Summer Internship Program has made her want to become more involved. She grew up in Lebanon where she has been involved with various AGBU programs throughout her life. She said, “This internship program has inspired me to be more engaged and participate more, and be more involved in all the programs and take more leadership positions.” She also mentioned that seeing the Armenian Heritage Park and going whale watching were the highlights of the summer.

Among the interns, everyone seems to be very grateful for the life-long friends and connections they made in the program.

At the end of the summer cookout, held at the AGBU offices in Watertown, some of the intern supervisors spoke to the audience. Aram Arkun, the executive director of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the US and Canada and assistant editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, spoke about how pleased he was with the performance of their intern, Nick Zoraian, and even promised involvement from the Mirror-Spectator in next summer’s program.

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