CAPITAL GATEWAY FELLOW – FALL 2008
LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT, REP. LLOYD DOGGET (D-TX)
I contemplated my move to Washington, DC for several months before I learned about the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program. At the time, I had made a career for myself, lived a comfortable life, and was surrounded by family and friends. What I did not have was passion for what I was doing. My interest had always been in politics and policy so I knew Washington was where I wanted to be. Leaving everything in my life to explore this goal was another question. I learned about the CGP through a friend and suddenly the decision became clearer. It is often difficult to pick up one’s life, leave loved ones, and move across country to pursue a dream. But, the CGP provides the resources, mentoring, and encouragement to significantly ease the burdens such a drastic life change may entail. Before I arrived, the ANCA had already graciously arranged my housing.
When I arrived, I was immediately welcomed by alumni of the Gateway Program. And within days, the ANCA helped me secure an internship on Capitol Hill. The experience derived from my internship ultimately led to a position with Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), where I was fortunate to work at a time when the Administration and Congress set out to enact important reforms. Having worked in Congress, I can attest to the overwhelming volume of legislative issues facing Members of Congress and their staff. To advance Hai Tahd, there must be a voice in that arena of decision-makers to bring much needed attention to our issues. The CGP aims to do exactly that by helping Armenian Americans find careers in the political and policy realm where they can be that voice. And even if we are not always successful in enacting the policies we seek, success can also be measured in more modest terms. We will always achieve success so long as CGP Fellows continue to use their positions to spread awareness among their colleagues and employers.
If you are interested in public service, the political process, and Armenian issues; this is where you belong.
ANCA LEO SARKISIAN INTERN 2008
FORMER CGPAC CHAIRMAN
CONSULTANT, BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON
In the summer of 2008, I participated in the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship program. During my time as an ANCA intern, I examined the influence of countries in the Caucasus Region on U.S. policy, contributed to a nation-wide congressional and constituent database, and met with members of Congress to familiarize them with Armenian American and human rights issues. My first job in DC was with Booz Allen Hamilton: a strategy and technology consulting firm with nearly 25,000 employees. At Booz Allen, I utilize my education in organizational psychology and experiences working with the ANCA to find novel ways to improve government processes and create new ones as needed. I am doing what I have always wanted to do at Booz Allen, and I am here because of the ANCA.
During my final round interview, one of the primary interviewers asked me a series of detailed questions about my time as an ANCA intern. After I responded, he rummaged through his papers and pulled out a press release I wrote one year prior as an ANCA intern about my experience meeting with my congressman. The interviewer smiled, admitting that he had “Googled” me, but let me know that he appreciated the breadth and significance of my experiences with the ANCA. My experience with the ANCA made me shine in the eyes of a hiring manager at one of the leading government consulting firms in the nation. I was lucky enough to secure a position before moving out to Washington, DC, but the comfort of knowing that I had the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program (CGP) to assist me if the offer did not go through, made my transition from California to the nation’s capital much easier. Ever since, I have worked closely with the ANCA to help establish and later chaired the Capital Gateway Program Advisory Committee (CGPAC).
The ANCA CGP recognizes the difficulty in finding and securing a job. In doing so, the CGP provides its fellows with much of what they will need to be successful, from relevant resources and networks to free housing and office access. To top it all off, the ANCA has a team of dedicated CGP alumni and DC professionals who volunteer their time to help its fellows succeed and start their careers. The CGP is an invitation to jumpstart your career in the nation’s capital. Take advantage of it.
CAPITAL GATEWAY FELLOW – FALL 2008
FINANCE ASSISTANT, MARK SCHAUER FOR CONGRESS
The ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program (CGP) introduced me to Washington, DC. Prior to my move out there, I had never been to the nation’s capital and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The program helped me with housing, building a resume, and getting my career started with an internship in a U.S. Senate office. Not having to worry about where to live alleviates a lot of stress, and allows recent graduates to focus on finding a full time job in DC.
Moving out to a new city is hard – moving out to Washington, DC, to find a job within a few short months sometimes feels nearly impossible. The CGP provides a safety net to young Armenian Americans looking to make a change – whether in the non-profit sector, on Capitol Hill, or in government consulting. The CGP helped strengthen my resume and introduced me to a network of public policy professionals. The ANCA staff provided me with guidance on career moves and choices, even after becoming a successful alumna of the program. My career goals in the Fall of 2008 were very different from my career goals today.With the help of CGP alumni and their network, I was exposed to new thoughts, advice, and other people’s experiences on how to advance my career. Finding jobs, and even building a career inside the Beltway is not easy, by any means. It takes a lot of hard work, hundreds and hundreds of cover letters and many informational meetings… but both ANCA staff and CGP alumni are there every step of the way to help each graduate get a head start.
ALEX DER ALEXANIAN
ANCA LEO SARKISIAN INTERN 2007
CAPITAL GATEWAY FELLOW – WINTER 2010
QUALITY ASSURANCE ASSISTANT MANAGER,
THE LOUIS BERGER GROUP, INC.
The ANCA Capital Gateway Program (CGP) was an invaluable resource for my job search in Washington, DC.Through the guidance, mentorship, and support of the CGP Committee, I was able to set myself apart in the competitive DC job market and secure a rewarding position in the government contracting industry.
CAPITAL GATEWAY FELLOW – FALL 2007
FORMER CGPAC CHAIRMAN
PROJECT MANAGER, POLITICAL MEDIA, INC.
With alumni working in Congressional/Government offices, educational institutions, think tanks, lobbying/public affairs, government contracting, non-profit organizations, international aid/development, political consulting and many other fields, the Capital Gateway Program is a full-fledged network of Armenian American professionals reinvesting in our community. Yet despite the vastly diverse industries represented by our CGP fellows, each and every one of them is an ambassador of “Hai Tahd” in their own way. The CGP is about believing in a Cause that’s bigger than yourself and paying it forward.