Ari Kazanjian, Class of ’12, Reflects on His AGBU Internship Over Summer

Photo courtesy A.G.B.U. Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School
A.G.B.U. Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School

This summer, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and embark on a journey to New York as a part of AGBU’s New York Summer Internship Program (NYSIP). With several months of preparation, speaking to the program coordinator to find the most suitable internship for me during my stay in New York, I set out on June 14, not to return until two months later. Of course, I had no idea what to expect. I was apprehensive to be so far away from home, particularly because I’d be away from my mother’s cooking. However, I ensured to greet every situation with an open mind and gain as much experience as possible during my time there. While living in the heart of Manhattan, I was beyond lucky to be matched with an internship that was beyond anything I could imagine.

I spent a majority of my time as a volunteer research assistant at the New York Psychiatric Institute at the Columbia Medical Center, facilitating experiments being run at the lab. Aside from this wonderful opportunity, I was also able to shadow an ophthalmologist, who allowed me to sit in on multiple Lasik eye surgeries, and a vascular surgeon, who performed multiple surgeries—one being a leg amputation—within five feet of me. Aside from the professional experience, I also felt a revitalization of my understanding of my culture, as we had multiple cultural events to show us how Armenians today are changing the world. Overall, my experience with NYSIP was professionally, culturally, and socially enriching, and I will always remember it as one of the greatest summers I’ve ever had.

A.G.B.U. Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School, 2495 East Mountain St., Pasadena, (626) 794-0363 or visit




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