Goodbye Ciara - we'll miss you heaps!

By Gretchen Fauske, CED Associate Director

Ciara Zervantian

Ciara Zervantian

One of the great joys of working at UAA is hiring students to join CED. They each bring unique skills to our team and make a real impact before they move on to new opportunities. In Ciara’s case, she brought openness, curiosity, and artistic talent to all of her work…. and we can’t count the number of times we shared a bout of uncontrollable laughter.

Here’s Ciara’s description of her time at CED:

I was studying sociology and psychology during my final semester at UAA when I started my job as a research technician for the Center for Economic Development. I remember being asked during my job interview what I knew about the economy and thinking I might have not answered that question as they would have liked. I turned in a test assignment a day after the interview and got the job! I was told that my research experience during college was a big reason for the job offer. It was a relief knowing that I was graduating and had a good job that was flexible, especially when I was facing such a difficult time in my life with the news of my mother’s cancer diagnosis and her passing.

The leaders at CED have made me feel like part of the team since day one. They have helped me grow in ways that complement my skills and interests. My first few months, I was using Excel and data websites to gather information for reports. That changed over time and I began creating interview questions and interviewing professionals as well as doing creative work. I knew little about the entrepreneurship scene in Anchorage before attending entrepreneur catalyzers. Now I feel like I am part of this amazing entrepreneur community. This year has been a transformative experience. I have my colleagues to thank for bringing positivity, openness, and opportunities into my life during a tough year. I am sad to say goodbye but excited to say that I will be working abroad in Australia.

As leaders, we encourage our staff to pursue professional and personal development opportunities, knowing that someday they’ll outgrow their positions at CED and be ready for new challenges. Ciara, we wish your “new” wasn’t so far away but we are so excited for you to embark on this adventure and look forward to hearing stories about your life in Australia!