CAYN Young Professionals: Diana Durusbek kyzy, CAYN 2011 alumna from Kyrgyzstan

Diana is an enthusiastic multipotentialite(read further to find out what it is) with a solid academic background, impressive career, and zillions of hobbies. She’s got it all — the list of her achievements goes on and on. Today she is sharing with us some useful tips on how to land a job fresh out of college, what’s that in networking, why it’s worth to be a CAYN fellow, and a lot more.

Diana, could you please introduce yourself briefly?

I received my BA in International and Comparative Politics from the American University in Central Asia (AUCA) and my MA in Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies (MECASS) from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Currently, I work at “Dordoi” association in Kyrgyzstan, one of the leading trade and market complexes in the Central Asian region. Furthermore, “Dordoi” has construction, design and furniture production branches, provides medical and business consulting services, sponsors a fledgling football team “Dordoi” (that has competed internationally), and carries out charity and sponsorship activities.

As an assistant to the CEO of “Dordoi” association, Mr. Askar Salymbekov, I undertake different tasks including international and public communication, business process management, and organizing events. A typical day at work includes meetings with about 15–20 people with diverse profiles in business, politics, arts, and diplomatic missions. Once a month, I accompany delegations from other countries visiting our association.

As in the time of the “Silk Road”, Central Asia is a key area for countries to come together politically and economically.

You’ve been in academia for a while, both as a student and an instructor — share some tips on how to make the most out of every (even the most seemingly boring) class?

Be fun and strict! Clearly stated rules and tasks are important. Interesting case studies keep students motivated. Field trips are informative and essential for students to relate their theoretical knowledge with practice.

On November 10th devoted for Youth Day, with International Relations class we visited the UN House and met with the UN Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan Mr. Alexander Avanessov. I am so proud of my students’ professionalism and excellent questions they raised. During the seminars, we have both case study presenters and rapporteurs.

Rapporteurs are evaluated for their constructive criticism of presenters’ arguments but also for their effective facilitation of discussions. As a result, there are more students doing readings and participating in debates. And I always have hard time convincing students that Quizzes are useful but also FUN!

How to find a job being fresh out of school with little to no professional experience? How did you find yours?

Having a multi-disciplinary and broad academic background, I became rather a “multipotentialite” (see talk at TED by Emilie Wapnick) with many interests in international security, development, policy making and entrepreneurship. After completing a research internship at International Crisis Group “Central Asia” project, I knew I want to be involved in all these fields, which my current job well if not perfectly matches. Knowing well your interests and having appropriate skills for that is one of the determinants to find a right job.

Why is it worth being a CAYN fellow?

CAYN — is a network of beautiful minds, Central Asian leaders contributing to better trajectories in the region.

CAYN — is a professional network of bright individuals for exchange of experiences in different fields starting from business, politics, and economics to arts.

CAYN — is unique network platform that encourages innovative ideas, collaborative team-work, all for secure and sustainable development of Central Asia.

Diana, could you share with your aspirations, if any?

Building long-term international cooperation and interdependence in politics, business, peace and security are my aspirations. I strongly believe that these can be achieved by building sustainable relations between nations, states, business groups, entrepreneurs, and markets.

Although global e-commerce start-ups and hi-tech related trends are stimulating international interconnectedness, the role of person-to-person contact will always be a significant factor for communication, negotiation, and realization of multi-national projects. I would like to become one of those professionals who connect people for continuous exchange of information and skills and network building, in a way that is mutually beneficial.