Article by Ksenia, Russia, UWCD’16, who also participated in the summer internships as a reporter and writer.
Economics is an essential profession that many young leaders all over the world choose to study. Professionals in this area are especially valuable in countries like Armenia where this knowledge can be applied for developing state’s economic independence.
Two alumni who graduated in 2016 came back to Armenia after a year at the university to employ in practice what they had learned during their economics classes. After graduating from UWC Dilijan Bakani from Zimbabwe and Aldin from the Czech Republic continued their education in the United Kingdom, and this summer decided to come back to the country they had called home for two years. They said that the opportunity to go for an internship to Armenia looked both as a good way to gain a valuable experience in their career and to visit the places, they had great memories with.
“I thought it would be a good experience, in the area I really like and want to learn more about. Also, the chance to be back in Armenia was an added benefit. I was excited to be back and to see how Dilijan and the school have changed” – Bakani.
“I am currently studying Economics and Development Studies, and an internship in economics in a developing country such as Armenia really fitted my field of study. Additionally, I have been considering embarking on a career in the field of research once finished with my studies, so this was an opportunity to see for myself what does a job in research look like. And finally, doing something potentially helpful in terms of development of Armenia was an opportunity to at least start giving back the little I can to a country which has been so welcoming to me and UWC in general”. – says Aldin.
Even though Bakani worked in Yerevan only, he visited Dilijan and the School. He was glad about the way the town has changed and realised that a year is a long time.
Aldin, in turn, also worked with the Central Bank of Armenia but was located at the Research Centre in Dilijan. He looked into the topic of Effectivity and Developmental Potential of Financial Education in Armenia.
“I had to do the necessary reading and data analysis to be able to write a research paper and to create a presentation showing the findings of our research. Of course, as an intern, I was supervised and helped throughout the process, so that not all the responsibility lied in my own hands. But I was generally responsible for carrying out the research once provided with the available materials and data”.
Aldin marked that during the internship he used the skills gained during the two years living in Armenia, such as confidence in presenting and working with academic English.
“Having lived in Armenia, I benefited from knowing the general socio-economic context of the country during the research. More importantly, however, I have been able to use the knowledge gained in the last year at my university, which allowed me to understand formal economic texts, work with econometric data and think about those in terms of development”.
For Aldin, this month in Armenia was an opportunity to look at the country from a new perspective. Even though the internship was a very different experience from his school time, he still felt very comfortable and nostalgic spending time here.
“It was very different in that I had a working schedule, and whilst I was learning a lot, I was not really studying most of the time. Additionally, while there were other interns from abroad, the collective was predominantly Armenian, so I felt like rediscovering Armenia a bit. And I must admit, too, that it was interesting to see how much Dilijan has changed over the past year”.
Both interns are already back home and preparing for the new year at the university. The internship gave them a chance to see real Armenia beyond UWC and got a whole new perspective of the country: Aldin and Bakani now realise that the professionals they are going to be are indispensable, and the researches they made were just a small step for making the world a better place.