Senior politics major Seda Ambartsumian’s job this past summer sent her on a business trip — to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Ambartsumian applied for summer jobs knowing she wanted to work in Russia, where her family currently resides. One of the jobs she applied for was with Bosco Sport, the Moscow-based company that supplies all the uniforms for the Russian Olympic teams.
How does a young adult from the United States land a job with a Russian sporting goods company and get to work with Russian athletes at the Olympics? Perhaps it is Ambartsumian’s grasp of several languages. Although she calls Potomac, Md., home and English is her native language, she grew up speaking both Russian and Armenian fluently. Her grandparents lived in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa and she learned to speak French from them. She also picked up conversational Italian while working at a Swiss summer camp and by studying the language briefly.
When she wasn’t working in hospitality for the Russian company, Ambartsumian was free to attend any of the Olympic events. She was at the opening and closing ceremonies and saw many of the basketball, tennis, gymnastics and volleyball competitions. She also got to meet the U.S. swimmers and the members of the U.S. men’s basketball “Redeem Team.”
She wrote an e-mail during the games, saying, “It’s ironic because I am always wearing Russia gear, but deep down I am supporting the U.S. athletes.”
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