AUBG Scholarship Donor, Trustee Dimitar Tsotsorkov: “The Most Sustainable and Largest Effect on the Community Goes Through Education”
AUBG member of the Board of Trustees Dimitar Tsotsorkov has established five full scholarships for the four-year course of study of first-year AUBG students. The Prof. Dr. Lachezar Tsotsorkov Distinguished Scholarship is set up in memory of Lachezar Tsotsorkov — a prominent philanthropist and businessperson and father of Dimitar Tsotsorkov — and will support Bulgarian students who have demonstrated a strong commitment towards social causes and community service.
Dimitar Tsotsorkov is Chairman of the Board of Asarel Medet, the first, biggest and leading Bulgarian company for open pit mining and processing of copper and other types of ores. He holds two Bachelor degrees respectively in Economics and Finance and Computer Science from Richmond American University and a Master degree in Information Management and Finance from Westminster University in London.
Dimitar Tsotsorkov believes that it is only through helping others that one can achieve happiness and success. In this interview, he talks about the reasons why he has embraced AUBG as one of his causes, what it means to lead one of Bulgaria’s largest companies and what is the importance of supporting your immediate community as well as acquiring knowledge and appreciation of other cultures.
You and your company have embraced corporate social responsibility and have been awarded many times for your contributions to society. What is the importance of giving back?
Giving back, especially by focusing on your local community, is an essential part of our culture — both our company culture and our family culture — because it is not enough for an institution or а company to be successful only within its own compounds. An essential part of happiness and sustainable development is for everyone in the community to be happy and to be successful. It is important to give back and support your local community in order to create an environment of successful people: successful people that are not only part of the community but are the community as a whole. This is the best practice from what we’ve seen around the world. You cannot be happy in an unhappy environment.
Why did you choose AUBG, and in particular donating to scholarships, as one of your causes?
AUBG is one of the leading academic and democratic institutions in Bulgaria. We believe that the most sustainable and largest effect that one can have on the community goes through education. When you support leading academic institutions such as AUBG, you create the greatest effect for Bulgarians and for the Bulgarian nation. We believe that helping AUBG creates the largest possible effect for Bulgaria as a whole. I personally know many AUBG alumni and I’ve seen that they have been quite successful entrepreneurs and people. We believe that by helping AUBG, we are helping the country a lot.
One of the requirements for eligibility for the scholarships in the name of Prof. Dr. Lachezar Tsotsorkov is that students have demonstrated a strong commitment towards social causes and community service. Why is it important that students think about social responsibility while still at university?
Starting to instill values in our young ones, in our next generation from a young age -- as early as possible -- teaches them the importance of social responsibility. Giving back to your community is an important tool to instill values in the next generation of people because it teaches them to respect their roots, their local culture, their local communities. Thus, the youngsters grow up to become responsible people thinking not only egoistically about themselves but about all the people in the community. This reflects, of course, on their success in life. We have observed and it is part of our family’s culture, and our father’s culture, that in order to be successful you have to make other people successful. Teaching that to kids and to our next generation is essential.
At AUBG, we have students coming from over 40 countries and we believe that diversity is instrumental in one’s personal and professional growth. You yourself have an extensive experience studying and working abroad. In your opinion, why does international experience matter in life and work?
Observing other cultures with their peculiarities helps you see the perspectives of others and respect them. A lot of people do not understand why they do not advance in their careers or in their life and it is simply because they only look at things from their own perspective. Understanding other people’s perspectives helps you deal easier with problems and not only think about yourself but about other people as well. This makes it easier to motivate other people and get their support.
What played a role in your decision to return to Bulgaria?
I believe that it is a duty of every Bulgarian no matter how much we travel around and learn about the world, to help Bulgaria advance in one way or another. We have a substantial investment and asset base in Bulgaria and I’m governing one of the biggest companies here so it is our duty to be patriotic and help the country. And Bulgaria needs all the help it could get from all the prosperous companies and individuals.
As a person with a lot of professional responsibility and experience, what would you advice a young graduate on building a fulfilling life and career?
I would advise them to have sound universal humanistic values. And these values – as we have observed in our company and in my family – they are universal and they have not changed since the time of Aristotle. These are: to work hard, to be brave and industrious, to be balanced, to be tempered, to be wise, to learn about the world and always be curious and, lastly, to be just. If you want to be successful you have to be just to yourself and to other people. That is what I would like to wish tо the graduates. And good luck, of course!
Interview by Dimana Doneva