Rositsa Zaimova (’11): “AUBG gave me the basis and courage to go chase chances”
Rositsa Zaimova is a wonderful example of an AUBG alumna keen on cross-border learning, management and innovation. Zaimova graduated from AUBG with majors in business administration and economics in 2011. She then earned a master’s degree in international management in Spain, worked in Mannheim, Germany for two years and finally landed in Brussels, Belgium, where she works as a product manager at Real Impact Analytics.
“At AUBG you meet people who stay in your life for good,” Zaimova said. “It is the similar mindset of the people or the special atmosphere at AUBG, or both, that really creates lifelong bonds. AUBG also made me curious about what is out there and gave me the basis and courage to go chase chances.”
These days Zaimova has a busy but rewarding lifestyle. She works at Real Impact Analytics, an IT company with offices in Brussels (Belgium), Sao Paolo (Brazil) and Cape Town (South Africa) that produces applications for telecommunication companies. Zaimova’s job involves extensive travelling and communication with clients from countries in Central and South America and Africa.
“It’s extremely interesting because you are in an environment in which you build innovative products,” Zaimova said. “In the company I work with, you have lots of room to create. If you have an idea about a new application, you can always take the initiative and start developing it.”
Along with her professional duties, Zaimova participates in many other entrepreneurial projects. She is a member of the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum, which gathers young visionaries from all over the world. Zaimova said these people inspire her and show her that everything is possible when you have a clear goal in mind and believe you can achieve it.
Zaimova’s desire to connect successful people with those who are just entering the labor market has grown into an ambitious project she is currently working on with a few friends from Mexico and Germany. The project called Complementors represents an online platform that connects people with similar or compatible interests, views, qualifications and professional focus.
The AUBG alumna came up with the idea about Complementors around a year ago when she thought about the help she had received throughout the years from people from different areas.
“I know I would have never done what I’m doing today if I hadn’t met the people who pushed me forward and gave me valuable advice and directions,” Zaimova said.
Zaimova and her team believe that the shared knowledge and experience represent an amazing resource for all of us. They give us access to valuable information and opportunities, which can in turn help us find the dream job. With the help of a special algorithm, Complementors will connect people who can learn from one another by sharing the knowledge and experience they have acquired.
“I want to build a borderless community of people with a similar way of thinking,” Zaimova said. “It doesn’t matter whether I will be in Bulgaria, the USA or Kazakhstan.”
Zaimova and her Complementors colleagues first conducted a survey among roughly 650 people from 92 countries. The positive feedback inspired them to move forward with the project. The survey further showed that the interest in such a platform is greatest in the entrepreneurial world and among young people seeking advice and assistance to grow professionally. The team started developing a prototype in June 2015. The first version of the application should officially be released in a few weeks.
Zaimova is not the only Bulgarian involved in the project. Responsible for the design of the application is Stela Stamenkova, who works full-time with Telerik and contributes to the development of Complementors as a freelancer.
“The platform will encourage the people to both look for mentors and act as mentors themselves,” Zaimova said. “As a person who works in a particular sphere and develops some product, I need a mentor. At the same time, I myself can help someone else.”
In its essence, Complementors puts the popular lifelong learning principle into practice. Zaimova is convinced that learning and professional development depend on communication and exchange of ideas. Thus, mentors and learners shouldn’t be seen as two separate categories, Zaimova said, because they help one another in a long but rewarding two-way process.
“Finding a mentor is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your career,” Zaimova wrote in an article published in the World Economic Forum blog on Oct. 29 2015. “Whether you are an entrepreneur or a goal-oriented professional, you need advice from someone who has already been where you are headed. A good mentor can help break psychological barriers when starting a new company, propel your career or simply challenge and inspire you.”
Zaimova’s conclusion says it all: “Everyone has something to learn from others and yet, something else to teach others. It’s never too soon to start learning and sharing – and great leaders never stop.”
Those interested in Complementors can sign up for the beta version of the platform by visiting www.complementors.com and leaving their email.
As to her life outside of work, Zaimova said she misses her relatives and friends in Bulgaria as well as the Bulgarian nature and cuisine. At the same time, she has over the past few years made friends with people from diverse cultural, social and political backgrounds who help her feel at home all over the globe. Zaimova lives with just enough luggage to feel comfortable enough, travel, explore, learn and innovate.
Story by Daniel Penev