Stefan Lazov (‘19), Master’s Student at Cambridge University: At AUBG I Gained Really Close Friends
Stefan Lazov (‘19), just like his friend and fellow AUBGer Stefan Ivanov (‘17), has been accepted to the Master of Philosophy Program in Advanced Computer Science at Cambridge University. In this interview, he talks about his time at AUBG, his interest in artificial intelligence and his plans for the future.
What has your working experience been so far?
I started working during my second year at AUBG at a startup founded by AUBG students – Centroida. I was working for three years there. Now I’m working at another startup, it is called Ablera and it is a company that does insurance software. After I graduate from Cambridge, I will be back there.
So you are interested in a career in entrepreneurship?
Yes, I cannot imagine working for a salary; it is not a thing that I can do. Most probably in the future, I will have my own company. But right now, my goal is to develop Ablera and then we’ll see.
Could you tell us a bit about your time at AUBG? In what ways did it impact your life and career?
In many ways. I can’t mention everything that AUBG gave me, but let’s narrow down to several things: first, I understood that in life, you should have a vision of what you should achieve. If you don’t have a vison, you are just drifting. After I understood that, I started to see the world differently. And having a vision is not something that you can narrow down to developing products. You should have an image of the type of person that you want to be and what you want to give to the world.
The second thing: I gained knowledge in all possible areas: mathematics, computer science, literature, history, everything.
Third, I gained many friends -- really close friends, friends that you call if you have some problems or you need to share something. And I found them all at AUBG. Also, AUBG taught me that there is only one thing that will always show me the path to success, not only in school but also in life. This thing is persistence; I cannot count the times when applying this quality helped me to achieve my goals even when those goals sounded absolutely impossible at the time when I set them.
You are from Blagoevgrad. What would you tell prospective students who are coming from abroad about the city and Bulgaria as a whole?
Blagoevgrad is a small city by European standards and they will have a lot of time: a lot of time to do things that they are interested in. My advice is to not just go to parties and only spend time on things that are not productive. They should also work on something that helps society in a certain way. And Bulgaria is a country that now offers many opportunities. The students who join AUBG will most probably witness this process of the realization of the potential of Bulgaria. It is a European country, and the European integration of Bulgaria is a continuing process that is not over yet. Being part of a process is always a nice thing.
You also mentioned having a vision and giving back to society. What are your plans in that regard?
I am interested in developing artificial intelligence products because AI will change society in a significant way. So this is my goal – to be able to give back through my knowledge of AI. In five to ten years the world will be a very different place, it can become better or worse and it is up to us – the young people – to determine the outcome of that change. We should all look ahead and see the bright possibilities that the future offers because we have the privilege to live in probably the most exciting period of human history. Personally, I want to live a life of continuous improvement. I envision myself as a person who takes his lessons from the past but always looks ahead. As a close person to me once told me, living your life is like driving a car, you have a big screen in front of you and only three small mirrors to see what’s behind your back.
What would you tell current students on how to make the best out of AUBG?
In terms of studying, study so that you understand the things; don’t just memorize them. Study with the idea that when you go to the exam, you will have the right answers. That’s how I did it – I did not consider that I will not be able to do something or that I will be average. I always thought that a human being could do everything if they understand the full potential of the human brain. Also, find the balance between work and free time because without this balance there is no happiness. Last but not least, read a lot of books, especially ones that are related to self-development. Those are the years of your life in which you have a lot of time to learn not only about the world but also about yourself - amplify your strengths and remove your weaknesses.