Svetlozar Shivarov ('10): Just Mentioning AUBG Opened Doors for Me

Alumnus Svetlozar Shivarov ('10), Business Administration major at AUBG who currently works as Investment Director at RCapital, shares his university experience and career success story.

What was your first destination after AUBG?

The first company that I have joined after AUBG was one of the leading PR agencies in the region. Unfortunately just couple of months later I had to leave because of unexpected family issues which changed my life and my vision for it entirely.

What have you been up to ever since?

I have been through many things for the last 6 years. While seeking for the job and business that will fit me most, I have worked for different companies in totally contrasting sectors: corporate travel and event management, e-commerce and digital marketing, automotive industry.

In 2012 I thought I was ready to start my own business. I was partnering with a guy from the U.S., trying to develop a big international web project based on the affiliate marketing principles but unfortunately after almost a year of hard work we did not manage to launch it. Life again showed me that there might be a discrepancy between your plans and the final outcome.

How did you become interested in your professional field and what do you enjoy most about your current career position?

Back in the years, I worked for one of the premium commercial real estate advisory companies. This was my first experience of that industry after the Real Estate Club at AUBG.  Last year, by chance I met a property entrepreneur with over 25 years of global experience.  I was looking for a new challenge and fortunately for me, he had space on his team.  Since then I have become the Investment Director for R Capital – an international investment and development company.

The two things I enjoy the most:

- Traveling to new places and exploring new markets – currently I am involved in projects in the UK, Croatia and here in Bulgaria.

- Wherever I travel I meet the top professionals and the biggest names in the sector. This gives me the opportunity to have access to the most substantial and appealing deals (most of them off-market).  The feeling that you know something that your competitors don’t is great – in that business it is all about contacts and information.

In what ways have your AUBG education and experience had an impact on your career and who you are today? What were the most useful assets you acquired at AUBG?

AUBG taught me many things but the one which I use the most today is how to communicate with different people from different regions and how to analyse and know them better – it is about ethics and business ethics. In every business structure, in every negotiation process – the essence is hidden in the people involved.

Also, I have realized that real business is different than the one in books – it is all about practice. In many cases the diploma is for prestige – after just mentioning AUBG the doors were open for me.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments ever since Commencement (both personally and professionally)?

I have been through different hardships, both personal and career ones, since Commencement, and I am happy that I did not lose hope and never gave up – in my opinion this is an accomplishment as well.

If I have to speak about particular awards, for example, I was chosen as “Most Perspective Employee” in one of the UK companies I used to work for; another company have chosen me to represent them at a huge global forum in Abu Dhabi.

Of course my current position and the opportunities I have are my greatest achievement up until now.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I always try to spend some of my free time with my parents because at the end they are the most important people for each one of us. My parents are great. My dad, Valentin, had a great career in international trading and my mom, Pepa, started as a banker and then switched to international trading as well. Unfortunately, 6 years ago my father had an accident, so now both of them are retired.

Otherwise, I love hiking in the nature or playing sports with friends – some basketball maybe, since I used to play professionally for almost 9 years for CSKA.

Recently I have discovered a few topics that help me roll away from the everyday thoughts and problems – astronomy, zen and sufism. I am willing to open my world view to its most.

Whenever I have time I also love to read a good book – currently “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle.

Good music is my passion as well – from jazz through rock’n’roll, reggae, hip hop and italo disco to classical music.

Please describe any significant relationships you might have with fellow AUBGers. How did your friendships with other AUBG community members impact you?

I have met great people at AUBG. Some of these friendships are for a lifetime. My only regret is that I did not communicate with more and different members of that awesome community. I used to have different perspectives for the world but, as people say, “To be old and wise first you have to be young and stupid.”

So I will say SORRY to all the people I did not meet or try to know better – I hope to have the chance to socialize with you at events such as the reunions.

What was the best activity you participated in at AUBG? Do you have a favorite AUBG club (Under doesn’t count;), society or extracurricular activity?

AUBG Olympics was always fun even though neither I nor my close friends ever won the “gold.” Once I won the bronze in basketball but we were four teams in total.

I have participated in a few clubs: the Business Club, Real Estate Club and Investment Club. I also enjoyed a lot whenever we had a visiting lecturer or business representative.

Do you have a favorite or funny story about your time at AUBG?

It was all fun – four years of memories and all kinds of experiences.

What advice would you give to other alumni?

Don’t settle with your current job, social status or personal relationships if you are not happy. Always want more and more from life and you will get it. I will paraphrase Benjamin Disraeli’s words from couple of centuries ago – Hope and work to get the best but be prepared for the worst.

What are the greatest personal and professional strengths you can share with other alumni?

We are living in a time that every single day you have to be competitive or least try to; be initiative at your work, be persuasive when presenting or discussing something; learn how to negotiate, when to talk and when to listen. One advice – listen more than talk.

What would you tell prospective students who are considering AUBG as their choice for an education destination?

Go for it and take the most of it. AUBG is great, the campus is great, Blago is great. These will be the best four years of your life. To all the students joining AUBG now, I wish an amazing academic year – good luck!

As a conclusion, I would like to thank sincerely to my parents – Valentin and Pepa, for giving me that incredible opportunity to study at AUBG. Back then I didn’t realize what a unique present this is, but now I do.

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