Tchaprachikoff Scholar Snezhina Kovacheva: AUBG Made Me See That Anything Is Achievable

“AUBG made me see the world as a global multi-cultural playing field, where anything is achievable, once you set your mind to it and genuinely want it,” says alumna Snezhina Kovacheva.

The University has not only given Snezhina an open-minded perspective on life and taught her precious personal and professional skills. It is also supporting her academic growth beyond the AUBG classroom. The Tchaprachikoff Scholarship Fund for AUBG graduates from Bulgaria, admitted to graduate programs at a top 20 U.S. university, supports Snezhina’s pursuit of a Master of Public Administration degree at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. For Snezhina, the program is “the perfect set-up for kick-starting an international career, exploring both the private and the public sector, and then returning to Bulgaria, at a level where I can have enough influence to bring about meaningful change.” Thus, her ambitions fully reflect the vision of the remarkable Anna Tchaprachikoff, who bequeathed her $5 million estate to AUBG with a single purpose: providing young Bulgarians with high-quality education in the United States, so that they can contribute to their country’s development.

Snezhina has already set out on her way to excellent education. At AUBG, she received a scholarship to attend Duke University for one year as an exchange student. After graduating from AUBG in 2008 with a B.A. degree in both Economics and Business Administration, she went on to study philosophy, literature, and art history for a year at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin, Germany. She was then admitted to the dual degree program of Columbia University and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, with two Master degrees – in Public Policy and in Public Administration (Economic and Financial Policy concentration), which she intends to finish in 2011.

Snezhina has succeeded in balancing academic progress with real-world professional experience. Immediately after graduating from AUBG, she interned at Deloitte Management Consulting in Sofia and later spent a summer as a graduate trainee at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Besides, she has always strived to participate actively in the extracurricular activities of her student community, having served at AUBG as president of the Debate Club, vice-president of the Student Government, founder of the Youth Empowerment Initiative, and assistant editor of FlashNews weekly.

Her academic, professional, and private involvement with various activities reflects her belief in the value of adaptability and personal growth. “The demands of the global marketplace never cease to change. You cannot sit back and relax - you need to constantly improve and develop. AUBG set the foundations, on which I am now building as a professional, and developed the skills I will be using for life in terms of approaching knowledge, seeing the bigger picture and interacting in a teamwork-oriented multicultural environment,” Snezhina says.

Therefore, she appreciates the role that AUBG has played in her life, giving her both area-specific expertise and a broad background of general knowledge. To her, American-style education is well suited to the fluid requirements of today’s world. “Liberal arts education prepares thinkers and doers who can operate in any context, make their way in a dynamic environment and see intra-disciplinary connections that might not be immediately apparent to others,” she adds.

The University also taught her the most important lesson of all: “I realized that the best academic (and life) strategy is to put your mind where your heart is.” With the benevolent support of the Tchaprachikoff Scholarship Fund, Snezhina is positive that this will come true.

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