EU supports programmes in Armenia, such as “Boosting Technological Development in Shirak marz” dedicated to supporting the economic development of marzes through skill enrichment of unemployed young population and business development of local IT community.
Facts & Figures
Implementing organisations: Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia
Duration: 24 months | December 2016 – December 2018
Location: Shirak marz
CRIS number ENPI/2016/381-213
For Sona Israelyan, one of the programme’s students, the location of “Boosting Technological Development in Shirak Marz” was a big factor: she came back to her hometown Gyumri all the way from Russia, where she worked for her parents’ business for a few months. Before moving to Gyumri, Sona worked for some time in Aparan in Aragatsotn Marz.
“I lived and worked in Aparan for five years before deciding to come back where my friends, my city is,” she says. I feel tranquil here. I’m gonna stay and work in Gyumri for sure. In Aparan, I had a high salary, great opportunities, but at a certain point, work got stagnant. There was nothing new to learn and nowhere to grow. I applied to transfer to the Gyumri branch, but that didn’t work out, so I handed in my resignation letter. They thought I had lost my mind, but I always warn employers at interviews, though sometimes they don’t take me because of it. When there are no new opportunities to learn, I just get up and go. Growth is my priority.”
This curious combination of desire for incessant internal change and outer consistency always has the mark of goal-setters and achievers. It seems like coming back from Russia was worthwhile after all: Sona was one of the handful of students selected by local IT companies only after the 6-month training stage and is working on projects that constantly require the acquirement of new skills.
“They picked one other girl and me from our group. The learning process continues. Programming for me is an art form: one is always looking for elegant solutions when tackling the next challenge. A lot of the times I teach myself the necessary techniques for our projects. We’re working on a website for a tobacco company. Next one up is digitalising a taxi service. The specialty I chose is PHP, website programming. Another team is working on the app creation,” Sona says.