Hermine Karapetyan, 28, is a fieldwork manager in Youth Studies Institute since 2013. She coordinates research works and the work of interviewers in Yerevan and in other regions of Armenia. She also has working experience in the past in finance and insurance. Hermine’s cross-area experience inspired her to come up with an idea of platform “Contact Students” that she later started to design. The idea also derived partly from one of the market demand studies by the Institute on “Prospects for institutionalizing cooperation among employer, youth, and educational institutions”.
In 2017, Hermine participated in the Start-up Cup on Education organised by the EU-funded UNDP Kolba Innovations Lab within the framework of “Innovation for Development” project”. Out of 150 submissions, her application was among the 7 shortlisted ideas selected by jury to participate in Start-up Cup National Challenge on Education. Interestingly, 5 out of 7 winning ideas were proposed by women. Hermine led the work of her team with the mentors from education sector towards the implementation of the platform.
At present, the platform is at design and testing stage. It will connect the two main user groups - employers and students, serving as interface for them. Employers will look for human resources and particular profiles that they seek; they will also outsource some small-scale thematic researchers to students from relevant faculties. Students will be connected with potential employers, among other things, through access to an inventory of practically-grounded study projects required by employers. After finishing, they could publish their works on the platform, thus increasing their visibility and demonstrating their capacities and skills to potential employers. The platform will be piloted in IT sector – one of Armenia’s booming development areas - connecting large IT companies with many students with various profiles. The platform is also gender sensitive. While it is overall based on the merit, it will also enable to see and analyze gender-disaggregated information on the progress of female and male students, their academic profile, etc.
From September 2018 data loading starts into platform and the pilot is expected to be running by end-year.