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Stoyan Vasilev: In the OEI the ENGAGE.EU students would experience the sharing of common European values and an international perspective

Stoyan Vasilev is 33 years old and works in multinational corporation in the field of financial planning and analysis for Southeast Europe, Turkey, and Israel. He is an Executive MBA graduate and had the opportunity to participate in the ENGAGE.EU Online Exchange Initiative at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). He holds BA in Finance from UNWE (2013) and MA in Financial Control and Financial Law from the same university (2015). Here are his thoughts on the ENGAGE.EU experience:

How did you decide to take part in ENGAGE.EU Online Exchange Initiative?

The ENGAGE.EU project gives an exceptional opportunity to study at another European university and to build professional connections with professors and students from different countries all over the world. I didn’t hesitate at all to apply, because this is a unique chance to study at one of the best business universities in Europe (WU Vienna) and to work on real case studies in a group of people from different cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds. So, you are also sharing common values in globalised context.

What made the strongest impression during the exchange?

All students who participated in the project were extremely motivated and knew why they were there. There were ongoing and meaningful debates on various professional cases, dedicated to major societal challenges and important contemporary issues. There was a qualitative exchange of ideas and different experiences. Finally, I was also positively impressed by the very easily structured application system and the well-designed digital platform.

What were the lesson delivery and grading methodology?

I have noticed that it was an educational process with constant contact between students and lecturers, a teamwork during which we had to work on real cases in real time. I consider this very important as it is part of real business environment. The grading was based on clearly defined criteria that were announced to us prior to the start of the course and were based on a certain scoring system on a scale. Also, we had additional assignments, group projects, an exam, and a bonus credit for overall personal involvement during the course. There was also an element of allowing students to evaluate their colleagues in the group assignment component, which I also found very useful.

What did you enjoy the most in the selected courses from the ENGAGE.EU Online Exchange Initiative?

I picked courses relevant and related to my expertise. One, for example, was on business development in an international context and another on managing and financing investments in high-risk countries. These addressed highly timely topics such as corporate social responsibility and sustainability strategies, and industrial and organisational change in the context of sustainability.

We were also able to discuss many of the challenges of venture investment as a system of factors affecting all stakeholders. We debated possible diversification, risk transfer and mitigation strategies. We see all these issues as relevant in today’s globally uncertain and ever-changing environment. It is worth pointing out that we did not only studied theory, but we worked on real existing projects and case studies, which also taught us practical lessons.

What would you like to advise the ENGAGE.EU partner universities students to encourage them to apply in the Online Exchange Initiative?

Firstly, as a UNWE graduate, I would ensure the students that the education they will obtain in Bulgaria is competitive with the education in European universities. I would advise them not to hesitate to take part in all kinds of programmes and projects, such as ENGAGE.EU, and to acquire experience and knowledge, especially on international scope, because this sort of experience is extremely useful not only for developing professional skill, but also for building many personal habits. Being part of ENGAGE.EU, students would experience the sharing of European common values and an international insight that will undoubtedly be part of their daily professional development. Mostly, I wish the students to be persistent, to pursue their goals and to know that they have made a choice to study in a worthy university where they can get the required education.

What do you enjoy doing in your time off?

Work-life balance is very important to me, I love spending time with my family and being able to see the world through my young daughter’s eyes. I also love to travel and explore different cultures, to visit natural landmarks and wonders. Also, I keep up with cultural events and devote time to sports for a good tonus. I enjoy exploring Bulgarian mineral SPA destinations as well as those in nearby countries. I appreciate good wine, cuisine and occasionally I experiment with culinary.

Any closing thoughts you’d like to share?

Be committed and stay consistent. Set high and clear goals, not mediocre ones. Always be ready for the tougher times. And if you do stumble on your way ahead, don’t give up.