“Do your best today for better tomorrow” by Arno Muradyan

01 August, 2020
There is no alternative to studying. All the applicants who want to pursue their studies should apply without any hesitation and should never give up. Often one has to move mountains, break down all the barriers, push forward and follow their dreams – and only then the difficulties become just challenges.

Arno is a graduate of the MY STEP Foundation’s Scholarship Programme and has studied at University College London (UCL), MSc Development Administration and Planning Programme. UCL is one of the top 10 universities in the world,and the programme that Arno studied at UCL is ranked top by the chosen subject worldwide.

In his letter to the My Step Foundation, Arno wrote the following message:“I would like to inform you that I have joined the Armenian Territorial Development Fund as an Adviser to the joint program of the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Asian Development Bank.I will follow my profession and have high expectations to share my knowledge and experience for the improvement of Armenia.”.

Such letters are very welcomed by the Foundation. These letters demonstrate that the Scholarship Program is on the right track. Granting of scholarships is conditioned upon the returning to Armenia and working in the Homeland for at least 3 years.Arno's decision was undeniable, it was not forced and was driven by an individual sense of responsibility: to return and to make every effort to apply his profession in Armenia, and also to share the obtained knowledge.

From both perspectives as an economist and the citizen, Arno's vision about Armenia is to build a strong country, for which he expresses his willingness to contribute his professional skills, energy and motivation to achieve this idea.

Paris – Yerevan. Returning Home

I was born in Paris as my parents were working in France during that period. Then they made a life-changing decision to return to Armenia. The year 1996 was extremely challenging. Armenians were emigrating,whereas my family decided to move back to Armenia.I am sincerely glad that my parents made this decision, due to which I had the opportunity to grow up in Armenia. I have been surrounded by Armenian love and warmth, despite the fact that my other compatriots in Diaspora have this lack.

Why an Economist?

From school, I had the well-defined decision to become an economist.My maternal grandfather (who was an Economist himself) greatly has influenced my decision making. While in college, I had the opportunity to learn from the real experts in the field of economics and due to them, I could recognize the potential challenges that Armenia has been facing. I also understood that my knowledge was not sufficient to address socio-economic problems and to give them appropriate solutions.It was a step forward to enhance my skills.Unfortunately in Armenia, there is no educational institution that has the programme that specifically focuses on Economic Development subject. Therefore I was no alternative, except to go abroad and study the desired programme.

University College London

I remember my first day at university when I entered and received my student card during 5 minutes, I had access to all UK libraries. For me, as a student, It was a dream to read and find the desired professional literature.The first thing one gets from the very beginning is the message“You came here to study and the only thing expected from you is to learn”. This approach is very powerful and encouraging.In addition, during your studies, you meet with the best professionals in the field, and they are always ready to communicate and give advice to their students. Also, academicians encourage active participation of young scholars in various professional debates.

Offer to Stay in London

One of my lecturers in London (a researcher at the World Bank who has been coordinating a project in Africa) offered me to join his working group if I choose to stay in the United Kingdom. However, I reminisce that I left Armenia with strong anticipation of returning home.There is no doubt that huge efforts and reforms are being carried out in Armenia. Consequently, my objective is to become a contributor to these reforms and to engage in the state-building process, where I can direct all my knowledge and to move from words to real actions.

Time to think. Returning home

My return to Armenia was not forced and I am very grateful to the MY STEP Foundation for offering the scholarship recipients the opportunity to stay abroad for one more year after graduation.I also had this option, but at this stage it is significant for me to stay in Armenia and support today's institutional changes. Thus, the question was closed for consideration.

Representative of Armenia

There is a very active Armenian community in the UK. I have been in touch with them and made lifelong friends from the first day in London. We have organized various events and invited representatives of other nationalities, our strong community presented them Armenian culture and cuisine.Over time, such official events turned into lively and traditional Armenian gatherings. The Armenian values were especially shared by fellow students from Lebanon and Greece. We danced kochari (an Armenian folk dance) with representatives of 25 nations. These ties are very important and I am sure will contribute to the further cooperation between our countries.

How does Arno see Armenia?

Professionally educated people must be involved in the implementation of the country's reforms, the team spirit and common work will give more inclusive and long-lasting outcomes.

I chose the field of study based on the assessment of the needs.Personally, I knew what I would like to do when I came back home. I joined a very professional team that work on the strategy to make territorially integrated, sustainable and developed Armenia.

The opportunity I have today emerged from the announcement by the Foundation. This was truly a unique chance and I am happy to be a recipient of the scholarship. In fact,to receive a scholarship is a big responsibility, because, first, you have been chosen from thousands of applicants, and second, large funds are allocated. This fact is both motivating and sobering.

By the way, scholarship recipients today have a great desire to return to Armenia. We are all united by the idea that the development of our country largely depends on us.The question is if not us, then who? And if not now, then when?

My daily goal and driving force is to create an ''added value" that means to do my best today for better tomorrow.


01 August, 2020
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