Elena Ruseva (EMBA ’17) is a General Manager of the Bulgarian branch of the Swiss IT company GARAIO. Before this position Elena had more than 10 years of accumulated professional experience in the fields of consumer lending, corporate banking and venture capital. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovations in the wellness industry – Elena is founder of Runner.bg, a web platform that promotes running as a mass sport in Bulgaria, and co-founder of the mobile app Cardio Athletic, which gamifies the outdoor physical activities and promotes healthy and active lifestyle.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the AUBG Executive MBA program, we are talking to some of the alumni who were part of this journey.
Elena shared with us more about her journey at the AUBG Executive MBA program.
Why EMBA at AUBG
At the time when I enrolled in the program I had already had my bachelor and master’s degrees in Finance and Financial management from a leading Bulgarian economical university and I was on a management position in an innovative consumer lending company.
I have always wanted to get an MBA degree because I believed that it would helped me to achieve more in my professional life.
At that point I had known AUBG graduates, and all of them were established professionals in various fields. After a few discussions with them and a little bit of research on my own, I found out that AUBG is the best place for MBA in the region.
The Executive MBA program was a huge inspiration for me.
During the program I have learned how to work effectively in a team, and how to speak and present myself better publicly. The program helped me building my confidence and broadening my horizon – I have started seeing a lot of new opportunities. The EMBA gave me a global thinking and prepared me for the international business environment.
I remember my first presentation in front of my cohort. It was during the “Leadership Communication” course taught by Vladimir Borachev. This course gave me the practical tools to communicate effectively in order to achieve certain business goals within different teams and it improved my presentation skills.
Prof. Yusaf Akbar extremely impressed me. He taught us how to think globally in his course on “International business” with many real-life business cases. He was brilliant in making us think in different perspectives.
My favorite project that I made during the program was for the “Social Entrepreneurship” course taught by Elvin Guri. I had the opportunity to present my own project in this field, Runner.bg, and to hear the priceless feedback from a successful entrepreneur and investor.
I believe that the EMBA program had significant impact on my professional life with the practical knowledge that it gave me. After the program I had the chance to advise some of the largest companies on our market as a Relationship Manager Corporate Clients and a Business Clients Adviser for two of the top corporate banks in Bulgaria. After that I was an Investment partner in a venture capital fund where I was exploring the opportunities to invest in the most promising startups here. Currently I am managing the Bulgarian branch of a big Swiss IT company.
Also, I have started ventures on my own – Runner.bg, a platform that popularizes running as a mass sport, and Cardio Athletic, a mobile app which gamifies the outdoor physical activities, for which I am looking for new partnerships and investors in order to develop the project further.
Piece of advice
Do not hesitate to enroll in the program – it is worth it!
If you want to develop personally and to excel in your career, this program is the right choice for you.
I really miss the days with the team projects (there will be many team projects, be prepared) – it was a lot of fun for me, and I am happy that I have made so many new friendships. Do not underestimate the program – it is tough and it is time consuming, but it is really rewarding.
Inspired to pursue EMBA?