WESTWOOD, CA – As part of its ongoing campaign to reach out to college students and inform them about the many opportunities available for current students and recent graduates to be involved in the Armenian Cause, Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian spoke to the UCLA Armenian Students Association about internships, networking, and employment opportunities available through the Armenian National Committee Capital Gateway Program.
Kassakhian spoke about the importance of interning and working in Washington, DC. As a former internship program coordinator and college activist, Kassakhian stressed the importance of being involved in an array of programs and activities in college and balancing the involvement with internships in the professional fields.
“One of the goals of the ANCA is to use our contacts to help young Armenian Americans learn the interview and job seeking process in Washington,” commented Kassakhian, who studied History at UCLA as an undergraduate. “There are much more opportunities available to Armenian college students today than 10 or even 5 years ago. We need to help the next generation of leaders achieve their goals.”
The ANCA Capital Gateway Program is designed to give qualified college students and graduates an opportunity to explore various part-time internship and full-time job opportunities in the nation’s capital. Through the years, the ANCA has developed many relationships in and around Capitol Hill and identified a wide range of opportunities in the Washington, DC area. The program is designed to utilize these resources and contacts to help candidates identify and secure a permanent position or part-time internship that fits their interests and needs. The program also offers short-term housing to certain qualified applicants.
Kassakhian also spoke about the important role that University students play in raising awareness about the Armenian cause. He spoke about the watershed achievement of the UCLA ASA back in 1997 when the Turkish Government attempted to establish a chair of modern Turkish History at UCLA and was rejected by the History Department. Kassakhian was president of the UCLA ASA at the time of that decision and spearheaded the student effort to block the transfer of funds from the Republic of Turkey to UCLA.
In addition to the Gateway Program and addressing activism in college, Kassakhian promoted the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship program now in its 20th year. The program provides student leaders and activists an opportunity to participate in an eight week intensive program designed to give them the tools necessary to effectively advance issues of concern to the Armenian American community on the federal, state and local level. This program requires a separate application process than the Gateway Program.