Pirinsko Marketing Director Branimir Bratanov ('05) on How AUBG Helped Him Grow
Branimir Bratanov graduated AUBG in 2005. After majoring in Business Administration and Economics, he is now the marketing director for the Pirinsko brand at Carlsberg Bulgaria. He returned to campus on Oct. 11 to share insights on the world of marketing with business students at the Andrey Delchev Auditorium.
Like many recent graduates, Bratanov had many decisions to make after finishing AUBG. But he was sure in one thing – he wanted to see how business works outside of the books. “I didn’t have any specific idea what I want to do, so I started looking for traineeship and internship opportunities in Sofia. That’s how I started working in Kraft Foods*,” shares Bratanov.
After working for a while at Kraft Foods, he learned that knowing business theory is not something that big companies expect from fresh undergraduates. “They don’t want you to be a guru in marketing theory. They want you to be analytical, hardworking, and this is what you actually learn to do in AUBG,” he says.
Another important lesson Bratanov learned was how to deal with life on his own. Being originally from Sofia, he preferred to study away from his family, but moving abroad was not an option back then. AUBG managed to attract him with the foreign type of education and close proximity to Sofia. He also enjoyed the liberal arts education model, where students can have an all-round education by having the opportunity to choose from different subjects.
Like many other students, Bratanov used to spend his summers in the United States on the Work and Travel program to help cover his expenses. “The whole experience of living on campus and paying your own bills is what really made it for me and what really taught me that I have to be on my own. As much as I appreciate the academic part, the AUBG life is what changed me the most,” he says.
He reminisces about his favorite moments in AUBG, like the orientation week that he organized as part of his Resident Assistant duties. All the excitement, new friendships and diversity trainings erased the tiring hours on the front desk.
“It was a long time ago, so you kinda forget all the bad stuff and remember only the good ones,” he laughs.
One of his biggest challenges was learning to live with three other roommates. But despite the difficulties they may have had, Bratanov continues to meet his roommates, also his best friends, every week, more than 10 years after they graduated. He believes the atmosphere on campus serves students well in helping them establish friendships for life. That is one of the reasons why many alumni visit the university after they finished their education.
“After I graduated AUBG I was coming back almost every weekend, staying with some friends, meeting people from the other classes and going to our favorite place – Underground,” he says.
Bratanov’s advice to current students is to not be afraid to take risks and opportunities, and to enjoy their student life as much as they can. He assures that life gets even better once you graduate AUBG.
Story and photos by Nadezhda Yankulska
*Kraft Foods is now Mondelēz International