EMBA Student Petar Torneff for Forbes Bulgaria: 'I can as much as I know'
Forbes Bulgaria talked to Petar Torneff, Deputy Director ATC Accenture Bulgaria, a Harvard Business School graduate and a student at AUBG’s EMBA Program. Read the interview to learn more about his professional development and the reasons why he chose to study at AUBG. The interview has been translated from Bulgarian.
Petar Torneff is Deputy Director ATC Accenture Bulgaria. He has been working in the IT field for over 15 years. He graduated from the Technical University of Varna with a degree in Computer Science and became a Harvard Business School graduate after completing the university's Program for Leadership Development in 2015. Petar Torneff is currently studying at the EMBA Program of the American University in Bulgaria. His interests include transformation in education and the improvement of the leadership potential in Bulgaria. With his work, he contributes to the development of strategies and innovative solutions in cloud technologies, cybersecurity, the online marketplace, and the implementation of policies related to the cultural, age and gender diversity in companies.
You studied abroad, but decided to stay and develop in Bulgaria - what motivated you to take this decision?
I have to admit that I get asked this question often. The first and foremost reason is quite prosaic. I love my family and never imagined I would be away for a long time. There is also something else. I think it is also possible for a person to succeed here. Many people believe that they can only achieve success abroad. The truth, in my opinion, is that in order for a person to succeed, one simply has to work hard, wholeheartedly, without sparing efforts, wherever they are. I wanted to succeed here, so I returned to Bulgaria. I put in a lot of work, thanks to which I achieved success, and thanks to which I would have achieved success abroad. I'd be glad if I could serve as a good example.
I had the good fortune to study and work both in Bulgaria and abroad. I worked mainly for western companies, which was a springboard for my career development. Based on the models I learned, I started to build my own models and apply them here in Bulgaria. For example, creating a healthy micro-environment in which employees feel significant and calm and have the opportunity to develop their talent, work in a team and share their knowledge, ideas and experiences with others.
Last but not least, I would like to demonstrate that if a leader wants to be successful, they must surround themselves with professionals better than themselves and give them the necessary leeway. This is my model of work.
How does one day of your life look like?
Quite dynamic. Every day gives me new challenges. I do not have an eight-hour work day, I do not have a five-day workweek, I do not have a regulated break. I'm not complaining. I like what I do and I do it with great desire. When the day allows it, I indulge in my favorite activity -- the extreme sports.
Why did you choose the EMBA program at the American University in Bulgaria?
My personal goal has always been to become a good leader. My desire to continue to improve in that direction led me to AUBG. The principle that guides me is, "I can as much as I know," and I want to be able to achieve a lot. That's why I never stopped studying. I will not hide the fact that I had a great desire to return to study in the U.S. again. I wanted to study at an American university, but I wanted to stay in Bulgaria. I fulfilled both of my wishes when I enrolled at AUBG.
AUBG's EMBA program is diverse, flexible, innovative and not inferior in quality and preparation in comparison to the best Western universities. The program is extremely challenging and offers a variety of teaching methods and ways that are relevant to contemporary business. It requires a perfect mix of personal time and professional responsibilities.
It may sound mundane, but one shouldn't overlook the financial aspect as well. The program is more accessible than most Western universities. What pleases me is that many employers are becoming aware of the need to invest in their staff and they sponsor more and more EMBA students.
What impresses you the most about the program?
The professional attitude of the AUBG faculty and staff. The program is very informative, the professors are incredibly demanding and you learn a lot. But most of all, you learn from your classmates. You are surrounded by and have the wonderful opportunity to study and work with incredible professionals who possess invaluable experience. Most of them are high-level managers, entrepreneurs and leaders from diverse business areas. What is more, the AUBG's EMBA program gives me the unique opportunity to experiment with theory learned in the classroom, in a safe environment, and then to put it into practice.
Do you think the program will change your career development?
Definitely. AUBG's EMBA program won me with its holistic approach to forming future leaders in a rapidly changing business environment. I perceive the program as a crucial next step to becoming an even better leader. For a person to succeed, they must develop continuously: they should read, study, monitor the development of the world and the business and learn to adapt. This is the reason why I wanted to invest in myself.