AUBG Job & Internship Fair 2019: A Record Number of Companies, a Record Number of Alumni

April 04, 2019

For the 26th year, the AUBG Job & Internship Fair gathered together some of the best employers in Bulgaria and some of the region’s most talented students. Over 60 companies from industries ranging from IT to NGOs to PR attended the AUBG campus April 3. Among them were a number of AUBG alumni, many of whom themselves have landed their first job thanks to the fair and have now returned to Blagoevgrad as recruiters.

AUBG President Steven Sullivan greeted the companies at the fair. “This is a great time and an important step for our students,” he said during his welcoming speech. “I’m sure you’ll agree that we have a lot of amazingly talented and ambitious students. And what we do here at AUBG is that we not just support our students to learn some things in the classroom, but we encourage them to do things outside of it.”

Karina Khristich (‘18) from Kazakhstan was among the company representatives at the event. “Last year, I was going to AUBG’s Career Fair to try my luck and find a job,” Khristich wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m so excited to come back this year as a recruiter.” Khristich currently works as a Brand Ambassador at Centroida. Established on the AUBG campus and by AUBG students in 2016, the software company now has a team of 50 developers based in Sofia.

“The event was very well organized, and the students showed true professionalism in their preparation for the fair,” Khristich wrote. “Only after graduating did I realize the true value of our education and the amazing foundation that we've received. And it's not about the diploma, really. It's about the experiences we've had there, the people we've met and the way we learned to think.”

All the representatives of global business and technology company INDEAVR were AUBG graduates. One of them, Mario Strahinov, Managing Partner, Strategy Services at the company, got his EMBA degree from AUBG in 2012. “Every year that we have been here, we have recruited at least one person,” Strahinov said. “It’s one of the universities where we consistently find exceptional talent.”

And while the AUBG job fair is most popular among the graduating seniors, a lot of first-year students also used the opportunity to meet with prospective employers and practice their interview skills. "The job fair was a fantastic experience for me,” said first-year student Petar Hristakiev. “I’ll definitely make use out of it.” 

One thing that employers say differentiates AUBG students is their practical experience and knowledge in more than one area. “As an alumna, I know that the opportunity to study two majors allows for the best combination of skills we look for in our new hires in ITCE,” said Alexandra Dokleva (‘18), ServiceNow Consultant at ITCE.  Dokleva herself studied both Business Administration and Information Systems at AUBG. Venelina Mazneva (‘13), Senior HR at TRADING 212, agreed with the sentiment. “I know that along with the theory, there are a lot of practical projects at AUBG that further help students develop their skills.”

According to a recent survey, 99.8% of the AUBG graduates receive a job offer or get accepted for a master’s degree within a few months after they receive their AUBG diploma. “I really quickly managed to get a job after graduation, which is one of the fantastic opportunities AUBG provides you with,” said Mario Pinalov (‘18) who now works at telecom company NETERRA.  

AUBG alumnus Kristian Nikolov (‘16) recently got accepted at the prestigious MSc in Analytics at Northwestern University in Chicago. He will study there on a Tchaprachikoff scholarship— a scholarship fund set for AUBG graduates from Bulgaria who get accepted at a top 20 U.S. school. Nikolov believes that what helped him get there was his solid academic preparation combined with his valuable professional experience at award-winning data analytics firm GemSeek. Just within two years of working there, Nikolov—a mathematics and economics major at AUBG— became the youngest employee at the company to be promoted to a Senior Analyst. How it all started? With an internship at GemSeek Nikolov landed as a student during the annual Job & Internship Fair at AUBG.  

Story by Dimana Doneva and Bilhen Sali
Photos by Ilda Duka

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