Elitza Ivanova (‘04), Marketing Manager at Heineken: “The AUBG Education was Fundamental in Shaping My Career”

Elitza Ivanova from Bulgaria graduated from AUBG with a major in Business Administration in 2004 and has ever since built a remarkable career in marketing in Bulgaria and abroad. Elitsa currently works as a Marketing Manager at Heineken. She visited the AUBG campus to present her company Feb. 27 as part of the Marketing in Practice series, an event that often brings business experts to campus to share career tips and meet with AUBG students.                            

What was your first professional destination after graduation?

I started working in a media shop just for a few months after I graduated and then I moved to an advertising agency where I spent almost three years. It was great training for my next job which was a junior brand manager at Heineken Zagorka. For the past 12 years, I’ve been there, developing my career in different positions in marketing in Bulgaria and outside.

I’ve gone through all levels of brand management, starting from junior to group brand manager. I spent two years in Slovakia, working for the Heineken company there. Then I came back to Bulgaria as a marketing director.

What tips could you share with AUBG students and recent graduates on finding a good career and building a fulfilling life?

It might sound like a cliché but it is quite important to first experiment, to find out what you feel fits best, and then to stick to it. And to also be ready to do some payoffs along the way. Just as a small example, when I started one of my career moves, I accepted an offer that was twice less than what I was getting in the job before but it was an investment for the future.

In what ways did your AUBG education shape and help you find the right career?

I think my AUBG education was fundamental in shaping my career. It was not that much the textbook education that I got that prepared me for my career but the ways that I got this education. All the groups we studied in, all the presentations, all the due dates and deadlines, they are very good preparation for real life afterward.

Imagine a prospective student is now considering applying to AUBG. What would be your advice to them?

Don’t hesitate. Just do it. I think that the style of education that AUBG offers, together with the Bulgarian culture and surroundings is quite a unique combination that you can, in fact, get nowhere else.

How did you enjoy life in Blagoevgrad?

I still like it a lot, I find it a very charming small city that can offer a surprising variety of experiences.

Interview by Dimana Doneva

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