Meet the AIWA-SF Board: Viktoria Ter-Nikoghosyan


Meet AIWA-SF Board Member: Viktoria {Vika} Ter-Nikoghosyan, PhD Biophysics, Personal & Professional Coach, Hypnotherapy, NLP


Join us on September 9, 2017 for an incredible Parenting Workshop with Vika. For more information & tickets click here!


{Q} What is your fondest memory of traveling to Armenia? 

{A} I was born and raised in Armenia. During 1993-2000 I was intensively traveling and working in different countries but always was back to Armenia for different periods of time to work there and bring back with my new knowledge and skills to share. I left Armenia in 2000 but was visiting almost every summer to consult clients, conduct short workshops and take part in different conferences on Armenian development. Those years I was asked to teach dealing with problems and how to overcome them.

Last three visits were different and the most exciting! There were groups who asked me to train them not on how to overcome issues and relieve suffering, as before, but teach advanced skills. That was a dramatic turn. Finally, there are more and more groups of people who left “survival mode” and want to live, I call it, “out of fascination”. I was asked to teach how to become happy at the Happiness Club of Armenia, team-building and soft skills at the Union of Information Technology Enterprises and Microsoft Armenia and advanced parenting and communication skills at the Edurex, among many others.

{Q} What does being on the AIWA-SF board mean to you?

{A} I joined as an AIWA – SF board member last year. I was, and still am impressed by the intelligence, drive and dedication of the board members in empowering women in Bay Area and in Armenia. I am happy to be part of that mission.

Being on the board helps me to stay in touch and continue contributing to Armenian development but mostly focusing on women empowering, which resonate with me. Members bring me broader perspective and that takes the support I have been providing individually to a higher level that is going to be more effective.

However what make me enjoying being on the board are every member’s very special professional and human qualities combination and the dynamic of work: new ideas come, short discussion, decision made and projects are on. Love it!

{Q} What is your favorite Armenian tradition?

{A} It is to joke about everything, including ourselves! Armenian humor has no limits! Our jokes are short and educational. My favorite one reflects deep observation of human behavior and psychology.

“A tourist approaches a local man on a street of Yerevan and asks for directions to a theatre. The local man stops and answers, “Since you respectfully asked you MAY take any direction!”

This joke helped me a lot in living and working in almost 6 countries: you need first respectfully ask, then you might be granted to do whatever you want to do. I learned that from a joke!

Another tradition I love is using the word “jan”, which can hardly be translated and it shows tender attitude towards who you speak with and creates a special level of caring communication.

{Q} Who inspires you?

{A} My grandmother has had a profound influence on me. She taught me that life is the way it is and I am responsible for anything in my life, including my emotions.

Dr. Richard Bandler, a man who turned behavioral psychology around in 1970: instead of studying problems he has been studding how people excel and teaches that to others. His teaching changed my life on 180 degree: I learned how to be in control of my emotions without controlling and be effective in whatever I do!

{Q} If you could use technology to do one thing, what would it be?

{A} If I could use technology to do one thing, I would create a program to help children and adults easily learn skills to become happy and feel good for no reason. Actually, I am working on a home study course for adults but have no idea yet how to make it an educational game/program for children.

{Q} What do you love most about where you grew up? 

{A} I grew up in Armenia and I love our humor and jokes. Our jokes, in my opinion, are philosophically deep and reflect our people’s wisdom and observations. Our jokes precisely reflect what people care much about. In so many countries, especially in former Soviet Camp, I was asked to tell them jokes which usually start “Armenian Radio was asked…” or “Radio Yerevan…”

When in 1997 I prepared a government decree to announce Information Technology Industry, as a priority sector for Armenian Economy I was a bit hesitant to submit it because I was not sure that the society was ready. I decided to check if people were telling any jokes about computers. I wanted to find out how widely accepted the use of computers were in peoples mind, I heard three jokes and realized that if people joke about computers, it means the usage was enough spread and familiar that we were ready:

‘Armenian Radio was asked: What kind of antiviruses to use when a computer is infected?

Armenian Radio answered: Put garlic next to it!’

‘Radio Yerevan warns: A person entered to Internet and got lost. But fortunately he managed to find his way back: he came back through neighbor’s’ printer two days later.’

‘Armenian Radio was asked: Can computer get bird flu?

Armenian Radio answered: Yes, if a chicken used it.’

{Q} Do you have any hobbies?

{A} Designing jewelry, mostly rings and earrings with big precious stones, is one of my favorite hobbies. I usually have them made in Armenia.

I hone my skills of reading people’s nonverbal communication constantly and practice everywhere just for fun.

Playing bridge. I lived in New York for ten years and as a member of United Nations Women Guild’s Bridge Club I played there every week, which was also a fundraising event. I moved to Bay Area 1.5 years ago and I have not yet found a group to join. Still looking.

{Q} Where is your favorite place to go in the Bay Area/San Francisco?

{A} Any place with a view of the ocean! Cliff House in SF is one of my favorites so far.

{Q} What is your life philosophy?

{A} Freedom and choice are the most important values for me! Curiosity is a driving force behind all my actions: I am constantly learning new things in new fields. My strong belief based on my own experience is that everybody can learn to be happy for no reason.

{Q} What languages do you speak?

{A} English, Armenian, and Russian.

{Q} What advice would you give your younger self?

{A} Learn Emotional Intelligence right away in order to enjoy whatever you do even more.




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