Nver Sargsyan, Head of Programme at the UNHCR country office in Armenia, and participant in the TSD Master in Management of Development, shares his success story with us.
I am Head of Programme at the UNHCR country office in Armenia. I have a background in diplomacy, media management and the management of development. My previous professional experience covers such broad themes as the formation of civil society by strengthening the NGO sector, human rights, gender issues, the prevention of forced labour and trafficking in human beings, humanitarian assistance, integration and advocacy.
I participated in the 2005/2006 edition of the Master in Management of Development in Turin. This was a door opener for me, since I had the chance to interact with people of world caliber. Our teachers were experts with an established reputation: I had previously read about them in newspapers or heard them on the radio or TV news. In the beginning, it all seemed difficult and challenging. In the classroom, few of us had any educational background in economics or experience of managing projects. Thanks to the Centre’s modern interactive teaching methodologies, combined with a blended learning approach, I was able to manage. I gained competences not only in the field of development, but also with regard to its different levels and aspects, and the processes leading to it. Theory was accompanied by real-life examples. It was one of the best courses I have ever attended.
After my graduating from Turin, and being exposed to the unique world of the ILO, my competences were very well matched to the labour market. Studying at the ITCILO is not only valuable for gaining knowledge and skills, but also conducive to building networks, which has been extremely useful in my professional work. I am still using my ITCILO network to seek professional expertise and exchange experience in different fields.
Currently, I work for the UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – as Head of the Programme Unit. Though a UN sister agency, the UNHCR is a different world, where you work with people who have lost everything and are trying to start a new life. I constantly use the knowledge and skills gained during the MA course in the Management of Development, particularly in managing the programme unit as a whole, working with sister UN agencies, and linking humanitarian assistance to development. I feel very proud of being a graduate of the Management of Development programme, and also lucky to have had the opportunity to be a participant.