MARTIN PAZARDJIEV (’04): “Be humble, be patient and don’t worry so much.”

Name: Martin Pazardjiev
AUBG Class of: 2003 (Dec)
Major: ECO/ POS
Graduate/Advanced degree: M.A. in Psychology
Home country: Bulgaria
Current occupation: Project manager

• Where do we find you at this moment

At home, in Sofia

• What was your first destination after AUBG? Describe your career path.

I spent 14 months at Capital Weekly newspaper as a macroeconomic analyst. I still think of this job as my social responsibility contribution, I believed in what I was doing. Had about 70 publications or so by the time I left.

I then entered the IT industry as a business consultant and went through different positions there, including trainer, pre-sales and project manager. After a spell at an insurance company that didn’t inspire me much, I left office work for four years. I travelled to India four times, spent three summers as a wind-surf instructor, got a certificate for a ski teacher in Austria and spent some winters there as well, tried to develop a branch of an English language centre in Sofia (it was a certified test centre for computer-based TOEFL and ACT) and did some other things as well. In short, I experimented and enjoyed (some of the time).

Then I went back to project management in the IT industry. It seems now I’ve made a full circle returning to my first employer from the IT sector, but it only seems so J

• How have the years at AUBG prepared you for your career?

My studies at AUBG taught me good critical thinking and a structured approach. They also gave me an international exposure that has since proven invaluable to me.

• What class had the most significant impact on you?

I really can’t say. The economics classes with Prof. Sullivan were really logical, structured and fun (I took five of them). I enjoyed my two acting classes with Nedyalko Delchev a lot. But I also remember how impressed I was witnessing the clash of perspectives among Serbs, Albanians, Kosovars, Macedonians and all the rest of us in a History and politics of Southeastern Europe class – and it took place not long after NATO planes bombed Serbia because of what took place in Kosovo, so emotions were still high in that regard.

• Knowing what you know now, what would you want to tell your student self? If you could change something back what would it be?

Be humble, be patient and don’t worry so much. I could tell that to my current self as well.

Changing something back is not that fair, is it? Whatever I have done and been back then has made me what I am now. I’ve had my difficult moments, true. But some of the lessons have catalyzed a process of growth that I wouldn’t want to change. As Kurt Vonnegut says, so it goes.

• What are the things that make you tick? What is your greatest passion or motivation at present?

I love to be in the mountains and I love helping people from a psychological perspective. I’m currently pursuing a post-graduate specialization as a Gestalt psychotherapist and intend to have my own practice once I finish with studies (still 3.5 years to go). As far as mountains are concerned, I did a course for a mountain guide and successfully passed the state exam in July. This is something I’ll start doing as a hobby – showing people the beauty and serenity and might of the mountains. It is also a cure for stress and a way to get a more impartial and in fact eternal perspective on things.

• May fellow alumni keep in touch with you for mentorship and career advice?

Yep, [email protected]  

Photo courtesy of Vitosha 100km mountain ultra marathon and MTB race.

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