Kristiyana Stoyanova: ‘Graduating from AUBG is in my TOP Three Greatest Achievements ever’
Kristiyana Stoyanova is an AUBG alumna who works at GemSeek Consulting as an Insights Analyst in the company’s Healthcare Department. Having graduated from AUBG with two majors – Business Administration & Political Science and International Relations, Kristiyana was the President of the European Society Club at AUBG in 2017/2018 as well as the Head Organizer of MEU Blagoevgrad, a member of the Better Community Club and a Resident Assistant at Skaptopara II Residence Hall.
What are three most interesting things the AUBG community should know about you?
Interesting is a pretty subjective term, but, still, the choice of the top three interesting things about me would be the following. Couple of months after my graduation I spent two weeks in Australia. I used to go to sport shooting lessons when I was in high school – I loved it and I was very good at it. I have studied Hebrew for five years.
If you have to describe your personality with one word, what would it be and why?
To be honest, that’s a tough one for me. One of my closest friends, who is also an AUBG alumna, has always told me that I am fervent. So, I trust her and I would use this adjective as the word describing my personality in the best way.
How did you learn about AUBG? Why did you decide to study at our university?
I used to attend a lot of university fairs back when I was a high school student. AUBG has always had representatives there. To be honest I have never stopped at their booth because I was 100% sure that I wanted to study abroad. However, when the time came for me to actually send out my applications my emotions prevailed, and I decided to stay close to the people I love. All the feedback I got was that AUBG is the best place for me. The rest is history.
What did you find most meaningful about the liberal arts education?
It gives you freedom, for me that is essential. I really didn’t know how important freedom is for me before AUBG. And if you know how to use it properly and embrace it – it helps you grow. I also had the chance to graduate from AUBG with two majors – Business Administration & Political Science and International Relations.
You were the President of the European Society Club and the Head Organizer of MEU Blagoevgrad as well as a member of the Better Community Club. What impact did those and other extracurricular activities have on your personal and professional growth?
They did have an immense impact on my life. The people I met, the experiences we had and all the hard work we put into our projects – this is the “cocktail” that has now determined my working habits, how I deal with time management, how I undertake new tasks, even how I deal with stress. The great thing about all of the clubs at AUBG is that they gather so many different people that have one thing in common and that is their interest in the activities in that one club. This really creates a unique setting where you learn so much from one another.
I have made friends in both of the clubs and learned so much from them. BCC was actually a life changer for me on a personal level. I am forever grateful to all the people we have helped in our charity campaigns because their stories changed our lives as much as our help changed theirs. Once being caught up in that dynamic of being involved in someone’s story and trying your best to help – there is no way out, that’s why I am continuing the BCC legacy outside of AUBG as an active member of couple of other charity platforms.
I was an RA in Skapto 2 for almost three years. This was an amazing experience despite all the negatives most of the students think of when it comes to that position. I had a great time, and overall all the teams that were formed throughout the years created a very inspiring and nurturing setting. One of my fondest memories of AUBG is actually the RA team – a truly character-building environment is created when it comes to the RA positions/setting, I would say.
How has your life changed after graduating from AUBG?
Looking back at who I was and who I wanted to be as a person and as a professional on my first day at AUBG – I can say that my life has changed a lot. I am still figuring out life as a concept but I am happy to say that what I wanted at the beginning of my journey in AUBG is now a reality. Careful what you wish for – you may get it is something I say to myself very often nowadays.
What is your greatest achievement?
Graduating from AUBG is in my TOP Three Greatest Achievements ever, for sure. Currently, I am happy with the relationships I have built with the people around me throughout the years. Some of the people I met at AUBG will stay in my life forever, I am sure. Stable friendships are not that common nowadays, I am happy to be one of those people who have successfully cut negativity from their closest circle and are left with true gems only.
How does your typical workday look like?
I work at GemSeek Consulting as an Insights Analyst in the company’s Healthcare Department. I am also actively involved in our department’s Business Development initiatives. I started as an intern right after my graduation. I have a regular eight-hour working day, but right now I am working from home as most of my colleagues.
Now that COVID is part of our lives – I would say that my workday is not that fun because I haven’t been in the office for a year. I miss the live interaction with my colleagues. Every day I wake up 10 minutes before I should be “at work” (this is one positive thing about working from home). Everything else hasn’t changed much.
As an AUBG alumna, what would you advice current students on how to take the most out of their university years?
Honestly, just take it easy and take your time. Life won’t end if you fail a course or if you need a break and have to take a semester off. Achieving something at any cost is rarely a winning strategy. I wish I have said these things to myself more often back in the days.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Currently, I find it a bit challenging to balance my personal and my professional life. It’s hard when you work from home, I think. So, whenever I have time, I try to focus on myself and make plans despite all the uncertainties 2020 has brought.
What are your plans and dreams for the future?
I am actually starting to think about embarking on my next big journey, which is getting a master’s degree. I wasn’t keen on the idea right after I graduated from AUBG but now it feels like it’s the right time. On a more personal level – I dream of more time for self-care and a more balanced ME.