ABN Announces Upcoming Career Day Event in Boston
The Armenian Business Network has announced its upcoming Career Day for high school seniors, college students, and recent college graduates. The event will be held on Sat., Feb. 20 from 1-6 p.m. at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Cambridge, Mass. The event aims to provide young adults in the community with the opportunity to connect with established professionals in numerous fields.
The Career Day will feature presentations from experts in a variety of industries, including biotechnology, healthcare, engineering, IT, finance, sales and marketing, the arts, education, law, politics, real estate, and manufacturing. The day’s program includes a keynote speech, three 50-minute breakout sessions and Q&As, and ends with a reception and networking session. The keynote features Dr. Jerome Isaac Friedman, the recipient of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics; Inessa Rifkin, the co-founder and CEO of the Russian School of Math; Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian; and Anna Ohanian, a professor of political science at Stonehill College.
The Armenian Business Network was founded in 2010 by Jack Antounian, a member of the Gyumri Information Technology Center’s Board of Directors. The network was born out of a desire to help young Armenian adults make decisions about their education and careers. “I helped a couple of them land a job and I said, if I can make it available to them, why not make the network—I was very well-connected on LinkedIn—why not make that network available to other kids? In essence, that’s what really started it.”
Antounian’s personal experience as a student and a young professional heavily influenced his mission. “I really didn’t have a mentor, so I had to kind of do things on trial and error on my own, and try to take advantage of the resources that were available to me, and there wasn’t really somebody there that I could trust that had knowledge or could assist with choices and set me on the right path. So my thought later on, [after] I navigated through it and became a professional, [was that] kids today are having the same challenges.”
This year’s Career Day is the first of its kind, but Antounian hopes to make it an annual event. “This is our first one, we’ve never done anything like this before so we’re learning as we go, but our plan is to have this event every year…Our primary focus is on professional development and helping individuals realize their professional dreams through mobilizing our network. The Career Day is basically an extension of that, where it’s more of an active program rather than a passive program.”
Its executive team, consisting of Antounian, Arlette Yegumians, George Haroutiounian, and Karina Demurchyan, organizes quarterly networking events featuring presentations on a variety of business-related topics. Previous speakers at these events have included Garo Armen of the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), Jacqueline Karaaslanian of the Luys Foundation, Michel Davoudian of Apaga Technologies, and numerous others representing a broad range of industries and interests.
“We felt that there were several areas [to focus on], either personal or professional development, business growth, support and growth, and community activities, whether it was organizations that were doing fundraisers or community events, enabling them to succeed and reach out to our members who could benefit.”
Geared initially toward young professionals, the Armenian Business Network’s appeal quickly broadened. “A few years back when the economic downturn hit, we found that even senior professionals or professionals that were out of the market that were affected by the economy [were interested], so it kind of evolved and expanded beyond just the students.”
Though the majority of its membership is based in Greater Boston, the group has attracted members from around the world, increasingly from within Armenia. It is now the largest Armenian business community in the world, with roughly 10,000 members. The group has seen tremendous organic growth over the past 5 years, increasing from 100 members to 10,000.
“For the most part it’s been word of mouth, and members inviting other members, the primary growth has been that.” With this new outreach to the next generation of Armenian professionals, that growth is sure to continue.
Registration and more information about the Career Day can be found here. Space is limited to the first 160 registrants. The Microsoft NERD Center is located at 1 Memorial Dr. #1 in Cambridge.