Daniela Konova (’23) on Combining Passions with Academics

April 21, 2023 Frantsiska Kutevska
Daniela Konova (’23) on Combining Passions with Academics

Daniela Konova is a fourth-year student at the American University in Bulgaria, majoring in European Studies and Political Science and International Relations and minoring in Modern Languages and Cultures with French. Coming from the small Bulgarian town of Vidin, she prefers the fall at AUBG to her home as campus life is more vibrant. 

Listen to the interview with Dani to learn more about her passion for sustainability and how she feels as a graduating student. 

“During the semester I don’t really have time to focus on anything else but throughout the years I realized that my passion is everything related to sustainability,” shares Daniela Konova, a senior student at AUBG. 

Sustainability Club 

Dani has always wanted to participate in sustainability initiatives. That is why when the Sustainability Club was founded at AUBG, she took the opportunity and applied for it. Now she is the Treasurer of the club.  

“Our goal is to make people care and to inspire people to do all kinds of different small habit changes so that we all get into this mindset that everything we do matters,” says Dani. 

One of the Sustainability Club’s most recent events was a Thrift Bazaar where people could sell and buy clothes. The initiative was called Black Wednesday and was an attempt to tune down the consumerist character of Black Friday. 

European Studies 

Dani managed to combine her passion for sustainability with her majors at AUBG, which are European Studies and Political Science and International Relations. 

“You can definitely connect it to everything, especially politics and European Studies because we need the people who take more decisive action in climate policies,” says Dani. 

In fact, she has come up with the idea to do a master’s degree in climate policy at a later stage of her life. 

Trip to Brussels  

As a part of one of her European Studies courses, Dani went on a trip to European Union institutions in Brussels.  

“What I liked about that was that it wasn’t just an institutional visit. We had more open conversations with people who work there, more of a Q&A session in every place where we went to, and we had the opportunity to ask whatever we wanted to. It was more of a friendly conversation with all the people we met rather than just “This is what we do. Thank you for your visit,”she said. 

She also adds that the personal element of the meetings was what really mattered to her and what inspired her to believe that she could also do it. 

AUBG journey

What was Dani’s path to AUBG?  

It was her best friend, who attended a presentation about the university, that made Dani seriously consider applying for AUBG. Even though she was not sure what she wanted to study, Dani knew she wanted to come to AUBG.  

“I know where I want to study, and I knew that I didn’t have to have a clear idea of what exactly I want to study because of the liberal arts system.” 

Piece of advice

Although Dani is at the end of her university path, she still remembers what it was like to be a high school student and emphasizes the importance of going out of your comfort zone.  

“Be brave and have confidence in yourself and don’t be afraid to try new things…it might be a cliché but that’s how things work and don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. That’s how you learn and grow and see what’s really out there and see what’s for you particularly.”