AUBG Employee Spotlight: Vesselin Drobenov, Graduate and Executive Programs Recruiter
What is your role at AUBG?
I fit right between the role of coordinator and the role of recruiter. I organize elective and executive programs and courses in AUBG’s Elieff Center in Sofia but I am also responsible for the enrollment of new students for the EMFBRE program (implemented in joint cooperation with SDA Bocconi), and the long-lasting and famous AUBG EMBA program. The Sustainability, Leadership and Innovation program (SLIP) is also under my supervision.
Tell us a little about your background?
My first education was in Gene Engineering, a very specific and demanding field with a lot of challenges and perspectives. When I decided to step out of the laboratory and focus on more agile tasks with rapid results, my initial knowledge and skills led me to the field of innovations, corporate social responsibility, and education. I became a recognizable expert and have been working for the European Institute for Innovation and Technologies (EIT), the European Commission, World Bank and REC. At some point in my life, however, my family decided to settle down and come back to Bulgaria for a while, and that is how I joined AUBG.
What is the most important project you have worked on recently?
The most important and significant projects I took over recently are the SLIP program and my work on securing the sustainability of the EMFBRE program, both of which bring significant value to Bulgarian business and education.
What do you like most about AUBG?
The flat management structure and the fast pace of work makes the university really vibrant. The open communication with the senior staff and their skills for strategic adaptation are also incredible. One can learn a lot from them.
How does a normal day look like at your workplace?
It is difficult to describe our workflow. Sometimes there is a significant overload; sometimes there is time for rest. We usually work with mid to top level managers, senior executives and company board members, and those people expect 24/7 assistance and availability. Take us (my dear colleague Polly Atke and I) as Master Degree Concierges. We account for every small detail in order to support our students and secure the learning flow.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job; what makes it all worthwhile?
The commencement ceremony is probably the most heart-touching experience. Still, the most rewarding thing about my job is seeing the real impact of education on the self-esteem of students, their dedication and drive to grow. When one meets a successful person who is a former student and active alum… well, it is galvanizing.
What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
One day I wish my answer would be “to sit on the couch and not think about anything”… but for now this is not possible. I do sports. Actually, I am a semi-professional ice-hockey player, playing with my team Torpedo in the national ice-hockey league. Also, I love to travel, to see new places and people; I am fascinated with cultural diversity and art, both ancient and contemporary.
What's something about you few people know?
I will share one small secret here… I also play Bulgarian bag-pipe and guitar, and I can read music notes. So yes, ice-hockey and music :-), an odd combination.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
It is hard to choose the best place-- I simply love places that have preserved their history and keep many stories. I love to walk in the streets of cities that are considered to be the cradle of human civilization. Places such as Rome, Cairo, Alexandria, Istanbul (Constantinople), but also Beijing and many more. Still, probably the most bizarre place I have ever been to is North Korea. More shockingly, I was there with my wife on our honeymoon. I’d rather share the details of this story in person.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I suppose the typical answer is that I wouldn’t change my profession: persuading people in the importance of education and in investing in their personal and professional development gives you the confidence that your job is really extraordinary. And yes, this is the truth for me right now. However, I just want to remind everyone that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is knocking on our door. When an AI passes the Turing test (estimated for 2035), the concept for professions will no longer exist and humanity (if it is wise enough) will be empowered to grow intellectually to unimaginable levels. So stay tuned and have dreams for your future.