NYSIP 2015: We Made This Summer Count! Weeks 7 & 8 In Review

Tuseday, July 28th, 2015 – YPGNY Mentoring Night

On Tuesday night, the 2015 interns and YPGNY mentors joined each other at AGBU for a a professional development panel discussion.  Three talent recruiters at different companies shared their knowledge and offered tips and tricks for the interns as they embark on their job searches.  After the panel discussion, interns had an opportunity to network with all of the mentors in attendance, and the panelists.  The interns showed up prepared, each with multiple copies of their resumes to be reviewed by the mentors and panelists.  Medical interns were treated to an intimate roundtable discussion with medical professionals who are members of the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization.

The evening was a great success, providing a valuable opportunity for the interns to get constructive feedback about their resumes and multiple perspectives on how to navigate their job searches.

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 – Dinner at St. Vartan Cathedral, Armenian Apostolic Diocese

On Wednesday, the NYSIP interns toured the St. Vartan Cathedral of the Armenian Aspotolic Diocese.  After the tour, they met with Archbishop Khajag Barsamian for dinner.  The meal began with a thoughtful prayer and conversation shared between interns and clergy.  At one table, the Archbishop talked with interns about their goals at work.  At another table, the conversation consisted of Armenian art across the world.  The evening closed with a group discussion led by the Archbishop, who said, “No matter where you are in the world, the church will always be there to welcome you home.”  Interns asked thoughtful questions about the challenges the Armenian Apostolic church faces while learning more about the role of religion in the Armenian diaspora.

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 – Scout Tufankjian

On Monday, Scout Tufankjian shared her story of creating her newest book, There Is Only The Earth: The Armenian Diaspora Project with the interns and members of the public at AGBU.  As a photojournalist, Scout followed Armenians across the world captured the nuances of the various diasporan communities throughout the world.  She shared with the group her personal definition of what it means to be Armenian, and will even be in touch with them in the future.  For more information about Scout and her work, visit her website:


Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 – Supervisors’ Reception

To celebrate the conclusion of yet another successful summer in New York City, AGBU NYSIP continued the longstanding tradition of the Supervisor’s Reception held at the AGBU Central Office on Wednesday night.   Local alumni, interns’ parents, friends of the program, the interns themselves, and most importantly their supervisors gathered to reflect on the summer.

Interns Karlsen Termini and Lusine Dokhoyan spoke about their experiences with NYSIP and how they have grown over these past eight weeks professionally, personally and  culturally, andAram Sethian, NYSIP 2015 Supervisor and NYSIP 2009 alumnus, shared how NYSIP has impacted his life professionally since he was first an intern.  After a tribute to the supervisors who were in attendance, the program concluded with closing remarks from Sarkis Jebejian, NYSIP Co-Chair and AGBU Central Board Secretary.   He discussed  the global impact of AGBU NYSIP on the diasporan communities and the importance of internships and professional development opportunities for all young Armenians.

NYSIP would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to the supervisors of 2015 for making this summer such a success.

Friday, August 7th, 2015 – Farewell NYSIP 2015 Dinner

As a final “NYSIP activity,” the Hajjar family generously hosted the NYSIP 2015 interns and staff for a Goodbye Dinner at the Lebanese restaurant Byblos (http://www.byblosny.com/), located  in the Gramercy neighborhood of New York City.  They enjoyed the crowd favorite lahmajoon as they recounted all of their NYSIP memories.  The interns grew professionally and personally over these eight weeks.  Though  the program has ended, this is not goodbye, but “See you soon.”  Best of luck to the talented 2015 cohort of the AGBU New York Summer Internship Program, who will continue to Make this summer count!.

AGBU NYSIP 2015: The End is Near! Week 6 in Review

Monday, July 20th, 2015 – Village Vanguard

On Monday, a group of interns treated themselves to a night of music at the New York legendary jazz club, the Village Vanguard.  Located in the heart of New York’s West Village, this club has hosted legendary jazz musicians by John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins for 80 years.  Performing that night was the Grammy-award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, playing standards and original compositions by the band’s founders Mel Lewis and Thad Jones.

Interns also enjoyed meeting the musicians after the set, in particular tenor sax player Ralph Lalama. It was a great night and a wonderful way to beat the Monday “blues.”

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 – It’s a Trainwreck

Tuesday night took our interns to the local movie theater to see comedian Amy Schumer’s  new romance comedy , Trainwreck, a story about a woman  navigating life and love in New York City. Interns did not stop laughing throughout the entirety of this sold-out film.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 – Repat Armenia with Raffi Kassardjian

On Wednesday, the CEO of Repat Armenia, Raffi Kassardjian led a discussion with NYSIP interns at the AGBU Central Office.  He opened the discussion by sharing his personal story that led him to move his family to Yerevan, Armenia.  He discussed the relationship between the country of Armenia and the Diasporan communities, and answered questions asked by the interns.  To learn more about the work of Repat Armenia, visit their website at http://repatarmenia.org/eng/.

Friday, July 24th, 2015 – Everyone is Kung Fu Eating

Dim Sum, Dumplings, and Duck pancakes – our interns had a smorgasboard of items from this popular authentic Chinese walk-up known as Prosperity Dumplings. Made fresh to order, we watched as the cooks in the kitchen expertly prepared the dumplings one at a time. To burn off their calories, the group enjoyed a walk around New York City’s Chinatown.

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 – Water Fight and MoMA PS1

Saturday was an exciting day for our interns. We headed toLong IslandCityfor an outdoor art exhibit and music festival at MoMAPS1. Recommended as an activity by one of our interns, the event was a favorite amongst the rest of the group.  MoMAPS1 is programmed by a curatorial committee selected by the museum to represent a wide spectrum of expertise and experience in music, sound, and the performing arts, resulting in a unique lineup of artists that explore, interpret, and combine genres. The interns loved hearing the artists while taking in the art.

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 – Visit to the New York Armenian Home and  Mets v. Dodgers game at CitiField

To connect deeper with the Armenian community in the greater New York area, our interns journeyed out to Flushing, Queens to visit the New York Armenian Home.  With flowers in hand, each intern sat with a resident of the home and learned more about the amazing lives and legacies of the older generation.  One group of interns spent their time with a World War II veteran, while another intern provided some musical entertainment and played the piano for the residents.  The elderly took interest in our interns lives and our interns enjoyed the older men and women’s company.

After the visit to the New York Armenian Home, interns then headed to CitiField to watch the New York Mets take on the Los Angeles Dodgers .  Thanks to the generosity of the Dr. Levon Nazarian family, we watched the game from a box suite right behind home plate.  Our group was divided, with many local interns rooting for the NYMets, while our West Coast interns showed their support of the Dodgers.  The game was exciting, making it into extra innings.  Ultimately the Mets beat the Dodgers 3-2.  Many thanks to the Nazarian family for hosting us – it was a blast!


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.


NYSIP 2015 Is Off to a Busy Start! Week 1 in Review…

Move – In Day, Sunday June 14th, 2015

On Sunday June 14th, 2015, AGBU NYSIP kicked off its 28th season.  Our twenty-four interns arrived in New York City to our NYU dorms located near the prime Union Square location of 13th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.  This year’s interns hail internationally from Lebanon, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, and the United Kingdom and domestically from California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin.  This year’s NYSIP rooms are like the United Nations—roommates are from all across the globe.  The interns will be able to learn not only about New York City, but they’ll learn more about about each of their home country’s cultures from one another throughout the summer.

Orientation, Monday June 15th, 2015

After Sunday’s Move-In Day, the interns and NYSIP team gathered at the AGBU Headquarters on Monday, June 15th, for the program’s orientation.  Led by Christina Lalama (NYSIP Program Associate), Carin Kellzi (NYSIP Activities Coordinator), and Kiersten Johnston (NYSIP Activities Coordinator), the presentation highlighted the theme of this summer: “Make This Summer Count!”  Over these eight weeks, our interns are expected to grow professionally and personally, and unlock their potential.

NYSIP interns were given an overview of the program’s 8 weeks which include Professional Development events and daily activities that will help them each experience the city to the fullest.

Tasked with thinking about and writing down the professional and personal goals that they plan to achieve this summer, each intern will take an active role in behaving professionally, being a stellar mentee, managing their time well, and staying active and involved throughout the summer.  NYSIP interns will challenge themselves and stretch outside their comfort zones to Make This Summer Count.

First Day of NYSIP Internships & “Building Your Professional Brand” Workshop, Tuesday June 16th, 2015

The majority of this summer’s internships started on Tuesday June 16th.  Interns traveled uptown to Columbia University Medical Center to conduct research, downtown to hedge fund offices in the Financial District,  across the rivers to shadow a physician atStaten Island Hospital, and over to Brooklyn Heights at a leading real estate development company.

Later in the day NYSIP’s Professional Development event series started with a workshop about “Building Your Professional Brand” with NYSIP 2000 alumnus Serge Kassardjian.  Serge advised the interns to begin building their own “Personal Board of Directors,” a network of advisers from all walks of life who they can turn to throughout each phase of their  careers.  A solid, objective, and varied sounding board of professionals will be integral to making decisions throughout the interns’ careers.

Serge ended the workshop with a challenge to all interns: Be A Unicorn.  Today, being unique is even more important than your credentials to making yourself stand out among the competition in the job market.  Owning your strengths is the first step to becoming a unicorn.  We hope all interns will grow to Be Unicorns!

NYSIP 2015 Welcome Dinner, Wednesday June 17th, 2015

On Wednesday, the NYSIP 2015 interns all gathered for a Welcome Dinner at one of New York City’s best burger joints 5 Napkin Burger in Union Square.  The interns bonded over their likes and dislikes of food,and discussed what they hope to get out of their internships this summer.  The dinner provided the perfect atmosphere for friendships to grow and the 2015 cohort to bond as a group.  In addition to the great conversation, rest assured not a fried calamari went untouched.

AGBU YPGNY Mentoring Program Meet-n-Greet, Thursday June 18th, 2015

Each year the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York Chapter collaborates with the New York Summer Internship Program to create a Mentoring Program, where each intern is matched with a mentor – an established professional who works in the interns’ industry of interest.  On Thursday June 18th, 2015, the mentors and interns met at a very successful Meet-n-Greet event planned by the YPGNY chapter.

At Amity Hall in the West Village neighborhood of New York City, each match had the opportunity to talk and get to know each other in an exclusive area meant only for NYSIP interns and YPGNY mentors.  The conversations were lively as interns and mentors learned about each other, their interests, and even met other members of the intern and mentor groups.  Many of this year’s mentors are alumni of the AGBU Summer internship Programs and were able to share their own NYSIP experiences with the current interns.  The interns were inspired and encouraged to pursue their goals and make every moment count in their internships this summer.  Thursday was the beginning of a summer-long professional relationship that will benefit both the interns and the mentors.

Dinner at Chelsea Market & Walk Across the High Line, Friday June 19th, 2015

Friday offered a relaxing end to the first week of internships with an outing to the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.  Interns bought dinner at one of the many food stands at the iconic Chelsea Market – from tacos to sushi, seafood to Thai food, and everything in between, the interns ate around the beautiful light installation surrounding the classic Chelsea Market clock.  With the food, came the questions about Chelsea’s history.  They learned about Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle which brought attention to the poor working conditions in the meat-packing industry that took place in Chelsea.  Such insight satisfied their intellectual hunger.

After dinner, the interns walk along the revived elevated rail line that spans across 10th Avenue, the High Line.  The interns watched the sunset on their very first week in New York City, and welcomed  their first NYSIP weekend.

Brooklyn Smorgasburg, Saturday June 20th, 2015

Despite our first Saturday being a rainy one, the interns ventured across the East River to the Williamsburg food festival, Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, New York.  We perused the many food stands and sampled some of the best food that New York City has to offer.  A NYSIP favorite was the Ramen Burgers  – a fushion of the American classic hamburger and the Asian classic ramen noodles.  The interns enjoyed their lunch and a foggy view of the New York Skyline from the small beach in East River State Park.

(For more information about this exciting new burger, check out this article on the Huffington Post.  It’s not to be missed!     http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/06/ramen-burger_n_3713382.html)

To burn off the calories and take cover from the rain, the interns shopped around at Williamsburg’s Artists & Flea indoor flea market.  With unique custom jewelry, fun vintage records, and one-of-a-kind thrifty clothing, we got a taste of what Brooklyn’s best local stores and artists have to offer.

Our next trip to Brooklyn will include a walk across the historic Brooklyn Bridge.  Stay tuned!

Picnic in Central Park, Sunday June 21st, 2015

The Sunday forecast luckily provided the interns with much a needed sunny and warm day.  We enjoyed a picnic under a shady tree in Central Park’s southwest corner near Columbus Circle.  Interns brought their own lunch and got to know each other better.   Some of the interns reveled in the park’s playground swings while others decided to explore other areas of the vast, historic park.

Stay tuned for NYSIP’s attempt to beat the Monday Blues with an evening trip to Big Gay Ice Cream tonight…


NYSIP 2014: Week Five

Week five of NYSIP marked the middle of an eight-week program and began with a tour of the Upper West Side.  Despite the rain, interns gathered on Monday, July 14th to enjoy the famous burgers at Shake Shack.

On Wednesday, July 16th 2014, Jamie Metzl, an American novelist and Senior Fellow at the Asia Society, shared his insights about U.S. foreign policy in Asia and his doctoral research with AGBU interns.  Metzl focused on the Cambodian genocide.  Having served as the Senior Advisor for Information Technology, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and Senior Coordinator for International Public Information at the U.S. Department of State, Metzl is well-versed in human rights and diplomacy, and he shared his experiences and expertise.

Author and partner at Cranemere, Inc. Jamie Metzl with Deborah Devedjian of Copernicus Learning Ventures and the 2014 AGBU NYSIP participants

On Thursday, July 24th 2014, the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York organized their annual Mentoring Night, providing feedback on interns’ resumes and job applications during a career fair styled event which featured dozens of young professionals from New York from varied fields and backgrounds.

Intern Geoffroy Baghdassarian with Mentor Elin Thomasian of Goldman Sachs during Mentoring Night

On Saturday, July 19th 2014, William and Nick Nazarian, former AGBU NYSIP interns, invited the 2014 participants to enjoy a barbeque.

Mentor Taline Andonian of the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addication Services with Intern Erika Dersarkissian during Mentoring Night




NYSIP 2014: Week Four

The fourth week of NYSIP began with an outdoor movie in Bryant Park, where the interns gathered for an after-work picnic and a screening of “Blazing Saddles” as part of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival.

On Tuesday, July 8th, Alex Nalbandian, a NYSIP 1997 participant and active member of the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York group, led a tour of the Sirius XM Radio offices, where he is the Senior Manager of Music Programming Operations.  Nalbandian gave an overview of the station and current trends in the commercial-free music industry, which the interns discussed afterwards at a dinner in the West Village.

On Thursday, July 10th, Chris Bohjalian, critically acclaimed author of 17 books, including nine New York Times bestsellers, presented his most recent novel, “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” for the interns and the local Armenian community.  Bohjalian read passages, reflected on his writing process, and autographed copies of the book, which many interns purchased.

Author Chris Bohjalian signing copies of his book "Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands" after his presentation at the AGBU Central Office

The series of NYSIP social events continued on Friday with an evening of classical music on the Great Lawn in Central Park. The interns enjoyed the program presented by the New York Philharmonic that included R. Strauss’ Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Smetana’s Vysehrad from Ma Viast, and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. The concert was followed by fireworks.

Intern Lori Baitarian of Beirut, Lebanon standing outside the doors of her internship at Human Rights Watch..

Finally, on Saturday, July 12th, the multi-national group of interns watched the World Cup final game together..