Name: Tereza Bagdasarova
Undergraduate Major: Business Management, Minor in Communication
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
LinkedIn page (or personal website): https://www.linkedin.com/in/teresa-bagdasarova
How did you discover urban planning? Why did you choose the MCMP program at U of Utah?
I was captivated by architecture as a child and loved exploring the general construct of buildings. Throughout the years and after some traveling I began to recognize and appreciate how urban landscapes play a part in community growth and economic prosperity.
Having grown up in Salt Lake City, I had a front-row seat in the advancement and development of the city’s urban landscape. I started to follow journals and participated in lectures that offered me an opportunity to observe how the things I’m passionate about; small businesses, culture, art, and redevelopment are interdependent and contribute to the urban landscape. I wanted to find an area of study that would complement my work experience and challenge me through hands-on practices, which led me to this program. After visiting the admissions department and researching the projects past students took part in, I made a decision to apply to the program.
If you have work experience or have completed an internship, tell us about that experience.
I completed a number of internships in the past including interning at the Unified Police Department, Salt Lake Prosecutor’s Office, Salt Lake Mayor’s Office, and Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts. Right after I graduated from Westminster, I accepted a position at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, working with entrepreneurs and the local small business community to provide training and resource assistance. After 2.5 years of working there, I transitioned to United Way of Salt Lake, working as a Network Director overseeing the South Salt Lake school network.
Outside of my work, I’ve sat on a number of committees and am currently the co-chair of the South Salt Lake Women in Business Committee and am on the Dual Immersion Academy board. Through my work in South Salt Lake, I co-founded an arts non-profit to serve low-income and BIPOC students providing mentorship, arts programming and leadership opportunities while working with local organizations to contribute to the urban development scene.
What are your career goals?
I would like to become well-versed in crafting and implementing policies to facilitate desired change and move in the direction of finding a career in economic development, city planning, and building a sustainable, art-based community that reflects the cultures and diversity that make up Salt Lake City. I also hope the graduate program will help me push forward my current endeavor in building a non-profit focused on social justice, community growth, and cultural programming.
Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.
I am a proud Armenian and own an online baklava business called Mosaic Bakery. I started it with my business partner to celebrate our cultural backgrounds and the diverse communities that make up Salt Lake. We have over 20 kinds of traditional baklava!