NYSIP 2015 HYE FIVE for Week 5 in Review

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 Stephanie Ayanian

On Tuesday, filmmaker, Stephanie Ayanian, director of the documentary film A New Armenia, met with our interns at AGBU headquarters.  Interns were excited to meet with an Armenian professional from the creative film industry and learn more about film production. Ayanian began her presentation by saying that most representations of Armenians focus on the genocide.  Her objective for the film she created was to teach a worldwide audience about another dimension of Armenian culture. The film follows five Armenian-American families, including Michael Aram’s family, who are reinterpreting what it means to be Armenian and thrive one hundred years later.  Interns really liked her approach of emphasizing the future of Armenia and the Armenian people, rather than focusing only on our past struggles.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 Roundtable with Diron Jebejian

On Wednesday, Diron Jebejian, managing director of Credit Suisse Securities LLC, met with our seven finance interns at AGBU headquarters for a roundtable discussion.  He gave advice about career development and succeeding in the field of finance.  In particular, he told the interns that a career, not a job, is a vehicle for leading a fulfilling life.  He also touched on the importance of skill development for the first two to three years of any career.

Mr. Jebejian used his own career path as an example for the interns.  When he took his first job at Bank of America, he did not necessarily know what kind of position he wanted within investment banking.  “Along our pursuit of a career, the decisions we make can (and will) change, when you make a decision, you commit to yourself to follow through,” said Mr. Jebejian.  Interns were very interested in Mr. Jebejian’s untraditional path into finance and couldn’t stop questioning him. The discussions were very engaging and overflowed to an improptu dinner near AGBU after the formal roundtable.

Friday, July 17th, 2015 YPGNY NYSIP Mixer

On Friday, our interns attended the YPGNY Mixer at a cool, New York City lounge, The Ainsworth.  The mixer was designed as a fundraiser for NYSIP.  With over 150 NYSIP alumni, YPs, and Armenians from the greater New York area, the support for NYSIP was overwhelming. The event provided a fun opportunity for networking with the Armenian community while enjoying an exciting night in the city. Interns said that it was one of their favorite nights this summer and look forward to future YPGNY events. It is so great to see interns already giving back to AGBU.

For those interested in donating to NYSIP, please contact Christina Lalama at nysip@agbu.org.

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 Uptown Funk

On Saturday afternoon, our interns were eager to visit Tom’s Restaurant. We travelled uptown to sit in the very diner famed by the hit TV series Seinfeld. The interns enjoyed milkshakes with fries while talking about some of their favorite episodes.  We also took this opportunity to tour Columbia University’s Morningside campus, which was right next to the diner.


NYSIP 2015 We’re Halfway There: Week 4 in Review

Monday, July 6th, 2015 UCB: Comedy Show & Katz’s Delicatessen

On Monday, our interns began the week with a trip to the East Village for a comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre (https://east.ucbtheatre.com/).  The UCB, which was created by comedienne Amy Poehler in 1996, offers classes and shows in improvisation, sketch, and stand-up comedy.  The evening’s highlight was a stand-up sketch by comedienne Janeane Garofalo.

After the show, interns headed to New York City’s iconic Katz’s Delicatessen (http://katzsdelicatessen.com/) for a late night dinner.  We enjoyed a variety of classic deli sandwiches including the reuben sandwich.  All in all, it was a classic New York night.

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015: Dinner at The Meatball Shop

On Wednesday, a group of interns enjoyed their first Italian dinner at The Meatball Shop (http://www.themeatballshop.com/locations/#64-greenwich) in the West Village.  This restaurant is known for its creative combinations of meatballs and sauces, like the classic beef meatball with marinara sauce, or a turkey meatball with creamy parmesan sauce.  The delicious food and great company made for a lovely Wednesday evening.

Thursday, July 9th, 2015: Holy Cannoli! Dinner in Little Italy

On Thursday, our interns explored Manhattan’s Little Italy.  They began with dinner at Lombardi’s (http://www.firstpizza.com/), the country’s very first pizza place which opened in 1905.  After they scarfed down margarita and white pizzas, there was just enough room left for dessert at the famous Italian bakery Ferrara (http://ferraranyc.com/).  Choosing from classic Italian sweets such as biscotti, cannoli, tri-color cookies, and gelato, we all got another taste of New York City.

Friday, July 10th, 2015 MoMA Mia!

On Friday, our interns took advantage of the free admission to the Museum of Modern Art (http://www.moma.org/).  The MoMA houses works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and Gustav Klimt.  The interns liked Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night and Claude Monet’s Water Lilies.  After touring the exhibit, our interns relaxed in the museum’s sculpture garden.

Saturday, July 11th, 2015 Mid-Summer Check-in

On Saturday morning, the NYSIP interns gathered together in the NYU dorms for a Mid-Summer Check-In group meeting.  Interns shared their experiences thus far in their internships, including successes they’ve accomplished and challenges they’ve faced at work.  With the help of each other, the group discussed ways to overcome obstacles to achieve their goals and make the most of the remaining weeks in the program.

NYSIP Scavenger Hunt

After the meeting, interns were tasked with completing the NYSIP 2015 Scavenger Hunt.  Interns were divided into teams of 4, and went off to complete six challenges that took them throughout the city to complete activities that were out of the ordinary.  From recreating an image of President Washington in the Washington Square Park fountain to taking a photo with a NYPD officer, the teams saw the city in a different way.  The scavenger hunt led each team to the final location Brooklyn Bowl, one of the city’s most fun bowling alleys in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg.  The winning team, “Team Paul Blart Mall Cop,” with teammates Karlsen Termini, Artoun Festekjian, Julia Vanian, and Isabelle Karabajakian, arrived at Brooklyn Bowl first and played one round of bowling.

Sunday, July 12th, 2015 Bastille Day!

On Sunday, a small group of interns participated in New York City’s annual Bastille Day (http://www.bastilledayny.com/) street fair, a festival to celebrate France’s Independence Day.   We (and many other New Yorkers) enjoyed live music, sampled French delicacies, and took fun group pictures in an Eiffel Tower themed photo booth.  The interns ended the weekend with a relaxing Sunday night of making pilaf in the NYU Senior House lounge.  Stay tuned for what lies ahead in Week 5…


NYSIP 2015 Becoming New Yorkers: Week 3 In Review!

Monday, June 29th, 2015 – Magnolia Bakery

On Monday, our interns began the week with a trip to Magnolia Bakery (http://www.magnoliabakery.com/).  Founded on Bleecker Street in 1996, this bakery offers all kinds of cakes, cupcakes, cookies and ice cream.

Earlier, the interns took part in a murder mystery game during our trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The winners, Artoun Festekjian and Ari Kazanjian, were rewarded each with a free cupcake.  Congratulations to our winners!

The crowd favorite was the red velvet cupcakes.

Our winners Ari Kazanjian (on the left) and Artoun Festekjian (on the right)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 – Bridesmaids

On Tuesday, some of the interns unwound after a long day of work in the city with an outdoor movie screening of Bridesmaids at Solar One Park.  The interns relaxed and enjoyed a rooftop view of the East River and Queens.

Although we all had seen the movie many times before, we still enjoyed free giveaways from the event’s sponsor, food, and drinks.  A particular highlight of the evening was listening to intern Isabelle Karabajakian’s interpretation of the lines in the movie.

Watch for our next free movie outing to see Edward Scissorhands at Riverside Park South on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015.

Sera Muratyan (on the left) and Christina Ohanesian (on the right)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 – Sirius XM Radio Tour

On Wednesday, NYSIP ‘96 alumnus Alex Nalbandian hosted the interns on a tour of the Sirius XM Studios NYC headquarters.  The studio is home to a variety of radio personalities including Howard Stern.

After the tour, the interns gathered in a conference room where Alex explained the importance of staying connected with the NYSIP program.  He worked as a NYSIP activities coordinator in 2003 and 2004 and has served as a NYSIP mentor every year since starting at Sirius XM.  He ended the discussion on a hopeful note, encouraging the interns to maintain the connection to their Armenian heritage with a quote by William Soroyan:

“For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.”

Friday, July 3rd, 2015 – Free Kayaking on the Hudson River

On Friday, interns kicked off the holiday weekend with kayaking on the Hudson River.  They spent the morning racing each other and snapping selfies on the open water.  The group then headed to brunch at Sarabeth’s (http://www.sarabeth.com/) and returned to the dorms to rest and prepare for the Fourth of July.

Saturday, July 4th, 2015 – Independence Day

On Saturday, the interns took in the Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular from FDR drive.  As they waited for the show to begin, the interns played a game of Heads Up, the cell phone version of the game Who Am I?  The night ended with a beautiful view of the river, a great place to reflect on all that the 4th of July holiday signifies.  .

Sunday, July 5th, 2015 – New York Athletic Club on Travers Island

On Sunday, the Festekjian family kindly hosted NYSIP interns at the New York Athletic Club on Travers Island, in Westchester County just 20 miles north of New York City.  The interns were pampered the whole day – they took a yellow school bus from the NYU dorms, and bagels (also provided) on the ride up.    The Festekjian’s welcomed the interns and together they spent the afternoon around the club’s pool and many other outdoor amenities, such as the basketball court.  The highlight of the day was a delicious barbeque and buffet where the interns had a chance to get to know the Festekjian family.

NYSIP thanks Mr. and Mrs. Festekjian for their generosity and continued support of AGBU NYSIP.


NYSIP 2015 Staying Busy in the City: Week 2 in Review

Monday, June 22nd ,2015 – Big Gay Ice Cream

On Monday, our interns got a chance to learn more about each other and their new neighborhood with a trip to Big Gay Ice Cream (http://biggayicecream.com/) in the West Village. On the walk from the dorm, the group broke the ice with a game of “Who Am I?” At the ice cream shop, the interns chose house flavors, such as American Glob and the Bea Arthur.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 – “Telling Your Story As You Build Your Career” with Arda Haratunian

On Tuesday, AGBU Central Board member Arda Haratunian led the second NYSIP professional development workshop at the AGBU Central Office. In her lecture, she discussed the basics of career development for those taking their first steps in the global workforce. She highlighted three aspects of professional behavior that we should all remember throughout our careers: things to know, things to do and things to get.

Things to know: all interns stay informed about current events; know their weakness and how to counter them; and know what makes them unique.

Things to do: stay two years at each position; come early and leave late every day; proofread and always use proper grammar, capitalization and spelling in all correspondence; and give examples in your cover letter and interviews.

Things to get: get uncomfortable by challenging yourself to achieve your professional goals; get training, experience and practice; get ready for interviews.

Arda left the interns with a homework assignment—to “cold call” (or email) a professional whom they admire before the end of the internship. This summer is just the beginning and if the interns make this summer count, they will be able to know themselves better as budding professionals.

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 – Roundtable with Dr. Vicken Pamoukian

On Wednesday, NYSIP’s medical interns met with Dr. Vicken Pamoukian for a roundtable discussion about careers in the medical field. He shared the wisdom he gained over his 13-year career as a vascular surgeon at Lenox Hill Medical Center. He encouraged the interns to seriously evaluate their motivations for entering the medical profession and painted a realistic picture of the day-to-day challenges of life as a surgeon. He ended the candid conversation with tips on applying to medical school, emphasizing the importance of publishing in academic journals by assisting in scientific and medical research labs. The interns will see Dr. Pamoukian again later in the summer to observe one of his surgeries.

Thursday, June 25th, 2015 – Trip to Grand Central Station

On Thursday, a few interns explored Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street where they met for dinner at one of New York’s most famous burger joints, Shake Shack.  The interns from California couldn’t help but compare it to the West Coast rival In-n-Out Burger.

After dinner, two interns took part in one of Grand Central Terminal’s longstanding traditions.  Standing at opposite ends of the station, the interns were able to hear each other thanks to the special design of the marble arches.

Friday, June 26th, 2015 – Huyser Music Ensemble

On Friday, the second work week of NYSIP ended with an evening performance by the Huyser Music Ensemble at the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral.   The concert brought together Armenians from the tri-state area to spend the evening enjoying modern renditions of traditional Armenian songs.  By the end of the night the interns had gained insight into the cultural scene of the New York Armenian community, and developed a greater appreciation for Armenian heritage.


Saturday, June 27th, 2015 – Murder at the Met

On Saturday, NYSIP welcomed the second weekend with a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art…with a twist.  Activities coordinators came up with a way to help the interns appreciate the museum’s vast collection through a murder mystery game.  Interns were tasked with figuring out clues that led them to eight of the museum’s most quintessential pieces, including a bob lob law century Armenian khachkar, Vincent Van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypress, and the ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur.

Winners of the murder mystery, Ari Kazanjian and Artoun Festekjian, were treated to a Magnolia Bakery cupcake on Monday.

Sunday, June 29th, 2015 – Cooking with Christina

On Sunday, the interns took some time to relax and gear up for the week ahead.  Some of our interns joined the crowd of thousands at the city’s annual Gay Pride Parade, witnessing an unprecedented historic moment for the United States. After the parade, interns headed back to the dorms in the evening to cook as a group.

On the menu was the Armenian classic, cheese boereg, which the interns prepared in an assembly line. With the leftover phyllo dough, one intern suggested an Armenian twist on an American classic—the apple turnover. By the end of the night, everyone headed back to their rooms with full stomachs and bags of sweet and savory boereg for lunch the next day.