Jerair Nishanian Foundation Scholarship Program recipient Mariam Kocharyan is a fourth-year student at the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia. She is only 21 but has managed to pave a way to an international career of software engineering, 3D drafting and modeling of architectural and structural projects.

One of Mariam’s lifetime goals is connected with her birthplace Dilijan, a town located in the Tavush province. For her current diploma work, Mariam wants to create a “Children’s Center in Dilijan” where arts and crafts of all disciplines will be merged into one building. “I moved from Dilijan when I was a kid, however my memories of the beauty of Dilijan’s nature have remained indelible. Dilijan is not only a place where I spend my holidays, but also an environment that ignites my inspiration to create architectural and structural projects,” says Mariam. On top of this, she also addresses the problems of the town: “Dilijan doesn’t have a proper art center or gallery; there is neither a cultural hall for the youth to hang out, nor a library to borrow books. Thanks to Nishanian Family, many students like me have been provided with an opportunity to study at one of the leading universities of Armenia and to get the profession of an architect to realize their dreams. With my diploma work, I want create a crossroad of arts and crafts combined in 4 major buildings of “Children’s Center in Dilijan”, where the youth can study, make performances, and debate their views and ideas to later convert them into projects.”

Mariam’s cooperation with the Starbucks Corporation kicked off in August, 2016, when she applied to the Merit Partner online platform to get a freelance job. Since then, she has implemented about 6 modeling and 3D drafting assignments for the corporation. Mariam’s primary responsibility with Starbucks includes the provision of drawing and drafting services on the basis of the calculations or measurements of an existing area. “I am very busy at the university, so I cannot juggle several tasks at once. This freelance job has provided me with an opportunity to not only create a comprehensive work portfolio I’ll use in the future, but also master skills in Revit 3D modelling, AutoCAD, Drawing, and drafting programs. More importantly, I have expanded my knowledge in the American standards of construction and design which is one of the key pillars of my profession,” says Mariam.

With dedication and determination to constantly learn, Mariam has shown that software engineering is not only a man’s world. Being still a student, she has been awarded certificates from architectural workshops in Italy and France. Mariam’s penchant for architecture comes from her father – a construction engineer himself, and she accredits much of her success to him.

In the future, Mariam sees herself as an architect who will do her best to make her dream, the “Children’s Center in Dilijan”, come true. “I want to study here and I will study here. It’s my desire, and it is definite. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine myself away from Dilijan, now I can’t be away from Armenia. Having said that, I am sure that my academic record will help me to find a good job and to develop the Armenian architecture.