Radostina Pavlova ’99: “AUBG cultivates in its students the ability and the confidence to be agents of positive change in the world”
AUBG is alma mater to many talented and accomplished individuals who try to make the world a better place through everything they do. Exemplifying such modern-day heroism is Radostina Pavlova, who graduated AUBG in 1999, majoring in Business Administration and Journalism and Mass Communication.
While at AUBG, Pavlova worked at the University Relations Office and the Career Center as a workstudy assistant and worked as a French tutor. She also enjoyed many extracurricular activities, such as playing basketball and writing the independent student newspaper, The Vox. When asked if she continues to pursue her college hobbies, she explains: “I now find it difficult to have hobbies, as, for better and for worse, I have long ago merged what I like to do for work with what I do for my own pleasure. But I like going out with friends to cafés and pubs, traveling, seeing art exhibits, doing yoga, and cycling.”
After graduating from AUBG, Pavlova worked in Sofia for a few years in the media and advertising sector before moving to Toronto, Canada to pursue a Master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies and Political Science. She afterwards began working for the Canadian federal government as a Communications and Project Officer at the Statistical Agency while completing a second Master’s degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies. In 2009, she became a Policy Analyst at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration in Ottawa and shortly afterwards returned to Toronto to work as Program Advisor at the Regional Office of the same state department. After working for the Canadian government for nearly seven years, Pavlova decided to return to the University of Toronto to attain a law degree focusing on Public, Constitutional, Administrative, and International Law.
When asked what AUBG means to her, Pavlova explains, “The four years I spent at AUBG were a very important time in my life, a time to put in the bases and develop the skills for future learning, explore possible areas of professional interest and expertise, and most importantly, meet so many exceptionally talented people from the region and the world, and establish life-long friendships. I know that AUBG continues to recruit exceptional people and instill in them the values underlying the liberal arts tradition. I do believe that there is much more to AUBG than an educational product to be purchased at a relatively reasonable price; it was and it is special.” In addition, she shares her belief that “AUBG cultivates in its students the ability and the confidence to be agents of positive change in the world, whether they choose to work in big international business, or in a small and unconventional start-up, or perhaps in public service, politics, academia, or the non-profit sector.”
In addition, Pavlova says, “In many of my fellow AUBG graduates, I see intolerance for mediocrity or ignorance in an organization, which leads them to push for creativity and innovation; I also see a desire to establish fair and transparent rules and observe them. With time and experience comes the realization that this ability to drive positive change brings a moral duty to do so, and it does not matter whether this is in a country that is considered to be ‘in transition’ or in an established democracy with a stronger market economy.”
Currently, Pavlova is working as Legal Advisor and Project Coordinator at a Center for Legal Aid that provides pro bono legal advice to migrants (primarily asylum seekers) and advocates for legislative and policy change. When asked what advice she can give to AUBG students, she says: “Do not give in to fears, remember why you are doing what you are doing at the time, and do not let short-term or unimportant concerns like money or other people’s expectations distract you. Everything works out just like it should in the end.”
The story of Radostina Pavlova gives hope to all young people that they can change to world if they work hard and persevere through difficulties. It also shows that nothing is impossible when one believes “in the beauty of his or her dreams” and when led by good intentions.
Story by Nelly Ovcharova
Photos by Anna Bashuk and Venera Nikolaeva