NIKOLA GENEV (’09): “AUBG prepares you greatly for the challenges of working in diverse multinational corporations.”

Name: Nikola Genev
AUBG Class of: 2009
Major: Business Administration and Economics
Home country: Bulgaria
Current occupation: Marketing Finance Controller South East Europe, Avon

• Where do we find you at this moment?

Professionally I am currently the Marketing Finance Controller for Avon Cosmetics responsible for the region of South East Europe. Personally, I am happily married with a 2-year-old daughter.

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

My first job offer came at the Job Fair my senior year at AUBG and it was from BNP Paribas for the position of Finance Analyst for large corporate clients. For 4 years at the bank I did client financial and industry analyses to support the credit decision making process. This gave me a unique view on the Bulgarian economy as well as the various industries I covered. However, looking from the position of an external stake holder, like a bank, offered a limited visibility to how the companies made financial and strategic decisions internally. So, I decided to join the “real business” and accepted an offer from Heineken Zagorka brewery for the position of Commercial Controller. Working for Heineken offered an insider view not only to the wonderful world of beer production but also great insights into how a global corporation manages its complex commercial finances. Through the great professional guidance of my managers in Heineken I was able to quickly learn the business and financial processes, and after two years I was ready to take bigger responsibilities and decided to join Avon. During my stay at Avon the scope of both my geographical and business responsibilities grew to the regional role I am currently holding.

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

AUBG being an international and multicultural environment prepares you greatly for the challenges of working in diverse multinational corporations. Aside from the pure theoretical knowledge we gain during our studies another valuable quality we learn is work ethic. Being hard working and dedicated to problem solving certainly is a valuable trait that an employer looks for and cherishes.

• What class had the most significant impact on you?

It is difficult to single out one particular class. For me the economics classes I had with prof. Nielsen were the most impactful. Even though I don’t use the economics knowledge in my day to day work, the ability to understand complex models and how their parts interact proved to be extremely valuable in what I do today.

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

I wouldn’t change anything in the way I approached studying at AUBG. My goal was to get the most out of the education opportunities the institution offers and my double major and many minors did exactly this. One advice I would offer my student self is to do more career counseling either through the Career Center or through the alumni network. This will help build clear expectations for the field of work you will be entering and gain perspective on your career options.

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

The thing that motivates me the most in my professional life is being able to tackle complex problems through the common effort of an international team and seeing my efforts deliver positive results. Personally, my greatest passion is trying to be the best father I can to a little girl.

• Future projects and plans that you look forward to with anticipation?

I don’t have any specific plans as of now, as the only sure thing in today’s dynamic environment is that plans are quickly obsolete. What I strive for is getting better every day in what I do professionally and personally.

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

It will be a pleasure to help fellow alumni with career advice whenever my humble experience allows me.

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