By Estefania Szapiro Akl
“I am constantly looking at the world around me”
As our event Career Night for the Arts approaches, we wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of the accomplished alumni that will be joining us for the night. Today, we are talking to Daron Manoogian’98 who is currently the Director of Communications at Harvard Art Museums. He has progressed and succeeded in the Communications industry working in Public Relations, Marketing, and Communications. Join Daron and other talented alumni to get insight into their careers and lives, and take the opportunity to do some networking.
Daron Manoogian had two academic careers at BC. He had originally enrolled in CSOM in 1984, but in his junior year as he got into more classes with his major realized he had made the wrong choice. Daron immediately took a leave of absence and spent 10 years working in various jobs in retail, nightclubs, and healthcare before returning to his education. In 1995 he enrolled in the Woods College of Advancing Studies and majored in Communications. After being in the workplace for a decade, he finally knew where his interests were. Father Woods allowed him to begin where he had left off, and had all of his previous credits transferred. He spent the next 3 years working full time during the day and going to classes part time in the evening. Daron received his diploma in 1998 and was ready to join the communications industry
(Photo of a new Harvard Art Museum renovation by Renzo Piano, courtesy of The Boston Globe)
I read some of your articles published in The Heights from when you were a student here at BC. Could you discuss your involvement in it as well as your involvement in other creative BC clubs or organizations and how it impacted your career?
I think that I’ve always had an interest and knack for writing, so the Heights was a great outlet. When I was in the College for Advancing Studies, I didn’t have much time for extracurricular activities.
You have worked in the Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations departments of different institutions and have progressed. Could you describe and talk about this progress and how you got hold of your current position as the Director of Communication for the Harvard Art Museum?
I’ve always tried to be selective about what kind of organizations that I chose to work for. I don’t have the ability to put my heart into a company or product that I do not feel is important. Working for WBUR was a great experience — a quality news organization. After learning about the opening at Harvard, I thought that it could be interesting, and a place to grow. Here at Harvard for 10 years, I have grown from being the Public Relations Officer with one staff member to being the Director of Communications overseeing a staff of 15 in the areas of PR/Marketing, Design, and Editorial. The Harvard Art Museums have offered me the opportunity to really express my creative side, and we enjoy brainstorming and working as a team on a range of print and digital materials, advertising and marketing, social media, media relations, and special events.
What is it like to work in the arts? Have you always had an interest for the arts?
Yes, I’ve always been a creative person, taking art classes, and I enjoy music. I feel that the arts are a very important part of education and life. That is why I support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math), instead of the more popular STEM curriculum.
What are the top 3 qualities, skills, or abilities that might help a BC student succeed in your field?
Working collaboratively with others, having the right mix of thinking fast and taking the time to make the right decision, and creativity (thinking “outside of the box” as they say).
How do you incorporate creativity in your day to day and how do you manage to stay creative?
I am constantly looking at the world around me, not to copy anything necessarily, but to inspire my own ideas. Having a staff that includes younger people with fresh ideas and a better sense of what is trending.