We grabbed coffee with Christiana Aghjayan, Account Coordinator in our Gaming, Lifestyle and Digital Entertainment team to chat about the importance of AAPI Heritage Month, her passion for innovative technologies, and the underrated brilliance of the game L.A. Noire.
How do you like your coffee?
I love a double espresso with a splash of caramel oat milk creamer. Sometimes I’ll skip coffee and just have barley tea.
How did your heritage shape who you are today?
I think having a history of my Armenian culture leaves people like me with an aching diaspora. Through this, though, I found such beauty (almost an obsession) in learning about many other cultures more deeply and thoughtfully, even leading to me learning my sixth language: Korean.
What traditions does your family have that are important to you?
Unfortunately, I don’t live close to a lot of my family – most live on the coasts or abroad. When we do get to spend time together, though, I take advantage of cooking traditional Armenian meals, such as Lahmajun, Sarma, and Kofte, with them and learning about our recipes that have been passed down for generations. Eating together is also really important in Armenian culture. It’s a bonding ritual.
Why is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month important to you?
We have our own holidays and celebrations within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)community, but most of the time people outside of our communities don’t know about or recognize these occasions. I love that this month offers a chance to celebrate the beauty that’s found within the diverse AAPI groups in a collaborative way. Most of our cultures and traditions date back to practically the beginning of humanity, and unfortunately due to more recent news, a lot of that beauty has been washed away by ignorant fear. This month gives us a chance to see past xenophobia and embrace acceptance.
Why did you join BerlinRosen?
I have always been intrigued by the rapid innovation we see in our everyday lives through tech, so I was immediately drawn to the Tech and Innovation vertical at BerlinRosen. I started as an intern in 2021, and during my internship, BerlinRosen launched the Gaming, Lifestyle and Digital Entertainment Tech team. I appreciated the company’s dedication to our modern, ever-changing world and jumped at the chance to join when I finished the internship.
What do you do at BerlinRosen?
I work for the Gaming, Lifestyle, and Digital Entertainment Tech team. More specifically, I work with clients in gaming, NFTs, the Metaverse, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain. I work to make these sectors more attractive and digestible. These technologies are too cool to not have everyone who is interested understand them and be able to participate.
What has been your favorite highlight of working at BerlinRosen?
First, every single person I work with is absolutely incredible. Professionally they are top-notch, and personally, they are brilliant and hilarious.
I also love the Slack channels. I feel I can really relate to people through the Employee Resource Group (ERG) channel, and I like to chat about everything from food and travel to anime and skincare on the other channels. The casual channels as well where I can talk about food and travel and anime and skincare. They really made the virtual working experience super personal and I’ve made such good friends through these outlets.
Tell me about a life-changing moment that helped shape who you are today.
I bet this is a common response but I have to say it anyway because it’s true: studying abroad has truly changed my entire perspective on life and the world. Traveling internationally without my parents for the first time pushed me to take the lead and do more research about the places I was going to and through that, I was able to understand them in a new way. With this independence, I learned so much more about the culture and people in a new place that I wouldn’t have if my parents made all the arrangements and booked everything on tours. I took slightly less planned routes, meeting locals and learning from them about their homes. It was such an enriching experience.
⚡️ Fast Facts
Last TV show I binge-watched: Hunter x Hunter, an anime classic I’ve been meaning to watch.
Favorite video game: LA Noire, this game is really not given enough credit.
Restaurant I’d recommend to close friends: Take 31 in NYC, it’s a fun twist on Korean cuisine and has a really nice atmosphere.
Best album ever: The King by Sarah Kinsley, truly a work of art.
Book that changed me: but I am not really a reader, but so many people told me to check out Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Now it is one of my favorite books and I recommend it to absolutely everyone.
Movie I’d see again and again: Midnight in Paris (fun fact: Owen Wilson passed me riding on a bicycle when I visited Paris)
My heroes are… Without a doubt, my maternal grandmother. Not only did she raise her two siblings in a war-torn country at 12 years old, but she also raised her five children by herself and moved them to the United States. She’s so strong and always has such a happy and positive outlook. I look up to her more than anyone.
Advice I’d give my younger self: Stop focusing on regrets. Being extra hard on myself about what I could’ve done better in the past has never helped me in the present or with opportunities in the future! I would tell my younger self that stewing on things that happened is not the way forward.