SATENIK HOVSEPYAN: A WOMAN OF STRENGTH, ETHICS, AND INDEPENDENCE
Fab Lab Armenia’s creative crew just got bigger. With the addition of Satenik Hovsepyan to the team, as Editor in Chief for the Armenian staff with big ambitions and world-changing ideas. Born to a traditional Armenian household, Satenik would grow up under the tutelage of her parents to have an open mind and a free spirit.
She started developing her creative mindset when she spent time with her grandfather. He taught her everything she knows about being an independent individual who goes after what she wants. Satenik goes as far as to say that without her grandfather’s constant encouragement, she would probably be a lost girl, still figuring out what she wants to do in life. A favorite quote of hers that exemplifies these traits is:
“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”–Hillary Rodham Clinton
Satenik’s opinion about Armenian society, the role of women, and how Armenians can build a better future are things worth an interview in and of themselves. Like many other female figures striking it out in the world, Satenik wants to see women gaining more status in a society that still doesn’t recognize the full range of their amazing abilities.
She also believes that parents should not be so strict with raising their children on traditional principles, which may stifle and deprive them of freedom in some cases. Instead, parents should nurture children’s creative side, imagining, trying new ways of doing things, and experiencing the world around them. They would help develop critical thinking in children and foster creative problem solving and important achievements.
Regarding professional career development, Satenik believes that nepotism should be driven out of every institution. Nepotism only weakens employees’ trust and ability to do good work. An individual should be judged by their skills and skills alone.
Moreover, Satenik describes it that if you put people into boxes, you’ve already killed their potential. People should be given a chance to have their own unique experiences and not wait for someone to come and inspire them with some great deed. Overall, Satenik is a change agent with her art and the powerful social messages she conveys.
JOURNALISM, LIFE-LONG LESSONS, AND THE BIRTH OF AN ARTIST
Thanks to her upbringing, Satenik would go on to attend School N33, named after an Armenian poet, writer, and activist, Michael Nalbandyan. Her success in high school paved her way to Yerevan’s state university, where she studied media and communication. Satenik briefly describes school years as difficult.
They had to study in cold buildings and had strict and conventional teachers with a soviet mentality; they kept pushing students to become better the hard way. Her school success would spur her to try out her first real job as a multimedia journalist. That job allowed Satenik to explore various communication styles, show the world her personality, and develop many digital editing skills she would later use.
Among her most surreal moments was being a Luys volunteer (Luys Foundation Education) during her first year at Yerevan State University. This role was her first as a journalist, surpassing all her expectations. Some of the most challenging lessons Satenik shares are the importance of staying diligent, authentic, and motivated.
Dreams and goals take time to achieve, and journalism was a great way to work on those mental abilities needed for success. Overall, Satenik remained a multimedia journalist for eight years.
Another highlight of her career includes working as a photography teacher during the war for Artsakh refugee children in Tavush, where she learned what it means to be human and find the strength to inspire others to not give up on their hopes and humanity.
Satenik’s passion for photography and videography grew as her graduation drew near. She explains how the visual arts make her appreciate the finer details in life in a way that everyday activities don’t.
In a way, creating small snippets through photos and videos allows zooming in on the slow-moving parts of something. It reveals how angles, shapes, and sizes come together to create exquisite beauty and aesthetic pleasure that everyone else can watch in awe.
Satenik’s graduation presented new challenges for her, and she had to figure out what she wanted to do over the long term. Thankfully, her diverse interests, a strong portfolio of work, and volunteering experience would lead her to the next chapter in her professional life. She would travel to Dilijan for her next great adventure.
THE PATH TO GROWTH: FAB LAB ARMENIA AND A CHANCE MEETING
In 2019, Satenik moved to Dilijan in search of new opportunities. Dilijan is known for its great workplaces and extraordinary meetup events that change people’s lives forever. As fate would have it, Satenik found out about Fab Lab Armenia and was excited about exploring the prospect of working there.
Encouraged by friends, who saw a great learning experience at the Lab, she soon found herself doing a lot of video editing with the academy staff members. Satenik praises Fab Lab Armenia’s “Learn by Doing” methodology. She thinks that many educational institutions would benefit from implementing this practice at all school levels; skills learned through practice remain for life.
Months passed, and to Satenik’s surprise, she soon came across Jacqueline Karaaslanian, who had just accepted to take the leadership of Fab Lab Armenia as Interim CEO. Jacqueline and Satenik had met when Satenik was still an undergrad student, and they deeply appreciated each other’s professional work; It was no surprise that Jacqueline asked the talented Satenik to join the team, and of course, the ambitious artist accepted the offer.
CURRENT GOALS AND BEYOND, MESSAGE FOR FUTURE STUDENTS, AND MORE
Satenik describes the kinds of projects she works on at the Fab Lab Armenia as giving her a tremendous sense of purpose and self-fulfillment. She is always eager and motivated and enjoys working with the amazing people around her. She is always looking for ways to improve herself. She supports the Fab Lab Armenia to grow and continuously reaches out to local and international creative communities.
Nowadays, Satenik wishes peace for the people of Armenia and seeing her dear country be able to rise to the challenge of being a world player on the global stage and in many fields of knowledge. Armenia has many talents that need peace and an opportunity to express, create, and shared.
Her advice for aspiring students everywhere is simple: keep going no matter how hard things seem. If you step out of your comfort zone, you will only be able to discover new things about yourself and progress in life.
And, for those aspiring to take part in the world-changing ideas happening at Fab Lab Armenia, Satenik says if your interests include mixing the arts with the sciences, then you’ll feel right at home. All crazy inventions begin when someone puts their ideas, small or big, into practice, so take pride in your inventiveness and dare to do.
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