First Cohort of AUBG and SDA Bocconi's EMFBRE Program Receives International Diplomas

December 03, 2018

The inaugural cohort of the Executive Master in Finance, Banking & Real Estate (EMFBRE), a joint venture of SDA Bocconi and AUBG, received their diplomas Dec. 2 at Elieff Center in Sofia. The 20 top professionals from Bulgaria and the region were greeted by Italian Ambassador to Bulgaria Stefano Baldi, AUBG special envoy and former president of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev (2012-2017), president of AUBG Steven Sullivan, and program director Leonardo Etro.   

“The EMFBRE program is a wonderful collaboration between two top universities,” said Ambassador Baldi. “For Italy this initiative is extremely positive. It shows that our two countries can work together at top educational level.”

Bulgaria is the first country in Eastern Europe to host the SDA Bocconi program and this Sunday the EMFBRE program graduates joined an alumni network that includes former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, President of the European Banking Federation Alessandro Profumo and Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao.

“Receiving an academic degree is a major turning point in a person’s lifetime,” said Sullivan. “Each and every one of you, graduates, exemplifies the success of the joint efforts of AUBG and SDA Bocconi. We are very proud of you, and we look forward to your many successes and accomplishments we expect you will attain in the years ahead.”

President Plevneliev also offered his congratulations to the graduates, saying that they are “ready to take responsibilities, ready to lead and ready to bring results to what they believe is right for their country and for the planet.”

“I know it was very hard, you had to work a lot and you studied a lot but finally you did it,” said Etro, who is Director of International Development at Bocconi. “Now you are graduates of two great schools- AUBG and SDA Bocconi School of Management.”

The senior speaker of EMFBRE Class of 2018 was Anastas Petrov, Executive Director and Chief Security Officer at NN Bulgaria. In an emotional speech, he offered a summary of his educational journey over the past year. “I have many friends who graduated AUBG and their reference was excellent,” he said. “I also have good friends who have studied at Bocconi and many of them are now at major corporations and institutions, including the European Central Bank. When I saw these two great universities get together it was a no-brainer for me.”

Krum Aleksiev, Head of MID Corporate Department at UniCredit Bulbank and another EMFBRE graduate said the program was challenging but extremely beneficial. “The most important thing I learned is that everything is possible and that everything can be achieved if you have the willingness and the power to follow your dreams,” he said. “I would advise people who are considering enrolling in this program to be brave enough to apply and join it.”

Story by Dimana Doneva

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