Stories

AUBG Job Fair Series: Progress

In the time leading up to the 26th Job and Internship Fair at AUBG, we will introduce you to some of the biggest companies to come to campus April 3. Progress is a tech product company and the leading provider of application development and deployment technologies. The company empowers software developers and enterprises to build and deliver great cognitive-first applications. In 2014, Progress acquired alumni-led Sofia-based company Telerik. Read what their representatives-- including several AUBG alumni-- have to say and make sure to meet them on campus next month.

In Sofia, we are about 500 Progressers, settled into a stimulating and collaborative new office environment.  Here, we are all about creativity, teamwork and innovation. As our teams are creating the technologies of tomorrow, we have the flexibility and the freedom to experiment and go beyond the limits, to feel challenged and yet supported to drive innovation.

To find out how this is connected with AUBG and with your future, check out the stories of AUBG alumni.

Nora Georgieva, Product Marketing Manager, Progress

How did you start your career?

My first job was as a marketing specialist at one of the successful IT companies founded by AUBG alumni. I loved my team and learned a ton there. One piece of advice I’d give myself would be to always look for ways to optimize work and processes, especially time-consuming, repetitive, manual tasks that do not require much thinking. This would have saved me a lot of time to focus on value-added work instead; work for which I could use more of my skills.

Why did you choose Progress?

I first learned about Progress (then Telerik) from their generous support of university events and student media. What’s more, a number of friends started working there after graduation and were doing great work. Everything I saw and heard was positive, from the first bit of information I received about Telerik. Plus, I was very impressed with how the brand was marketed and how successful the products were - and still are. I knew working at Telerik would expose me to excellence and would be challenging and educational in equal parts. This made me apply to the company – no less than three times, in the span of 9 years. I’m glad that the third time the response was “yes” and I can today be part of a team I deeply respect and care for and a company I believe in.

What is it like to be at Progress?

At Progress, for the first time, I was given an opportunity to work globally in the full sense of the world. However, I didn’t have to do it alone – I could rely on a large team of very talented colleagues. Something that really helped me grow and learn in this fast-paced and complex environment was the culture of sharing and support at the company. At all times I have someone I can talk to about any challenges I may be having and there will always be someone who will take it to the heart to help me find an answer.

How did AUBG help you to get where you are?

The most precious thing for me of my entire AUBG experience is the friendships and connections that were formed during my time as a student, some of which will last a lifetime and have enriched my life in countless and immeasurable ways. Moreover, AUBG provided an excellent – more than excellent even – environment to learn, grow, experiment and fail, and be exposed to new perspectives. If when I first entered as a freshman I was a newly hatched bird familiar with nothing beyond the nest I was occupying, by senior year I had learned how to fly and been out scouting and exploring the world beyond home. While there is always a lot more to learn, being interested in others’ perspective, instead of being judgmental, learning to try and learn from failure instead of striving to always be successful by never risking and taking responsibility to make things happen instead of waiting for instructions аre some of the life-altering skills that were planted in me at AUBG.

Svetlin Kozhuharov, Technical Support Engineer, Progress

How did you start your career?

Probably, the most important part of a successful career start is to know yourself. Understand what makes you happy and what you would like to do in the long run. You should not be afraid to start from scratch.

Why did you choose Progress?

Progress’s history, more specifically Telerik’s history, is closely related to AUBG. For me, it was always the place where I wanted to work as the company shares a similar culture and values as AUBG.

What is it like to be at Progress?

Life at Progress is constant self-improvement. There are many specialists who are proficient in their fields and are open to sharing their knowledge. There is plenty of room for development and growth in the company.

How did AUBG help you to get where you are?

AUBG nurtures its students to engage in various projects and to strive for success in their tasks, which is closely related to the daily working environment at Progress.

Boyan Barnev, Principal Information Developer, Progress

How did you start your career?

I graduated with a double major in Computer Science and Business Administration, thus I was looking for opportunities to combine my technical knowledge and business mindset. The technical support position at Sitefinity was a perfect fit, combining ASP.NET programming, problem-solving, consulting, and getting deeper into the way a software company operates. If I’m to start from the beginning I’d definitely pursue the same path, worrying less about my specific technology skills, since I realize how much I learned on the job. The foundation knowledge you acquire in classes is really important as a base skill set, but the rest you learn constantly throughout your career.

Why did you choose Progress?

Back then, Telerik had a very strong presence at AUBG - sponsoring CSSU, guest speakers coming over and talking about the latest Microsoft technologies. Last, but not least I was really impressed by the innovative software development and human resource management practices at Telerik, which I managed to learn more about during several field trips and a case study by profs Miree and Galletly.

What is it like to be at Progress?

Amazing! This company (both at Telerik and now Progress) has offered me so many opportunities to learn new technologies, observe best practices from some of the best programmers and managers in the industry. Moreover, I had an opportunity for amazing career growth, both in technical and managerial aspect, as well as both operational and strategic aspect. In all the different roles I’ve been I’ve had the opportunity to work with smart, motivated and capable people. This collaboration was really rewarding.

How did AUBG help you to get where you are?

You might not realize it when you graduate – few of us have the self-confidence that we really know our stuff, especially when it comes to in-depth technical knowledge or theory specifics. However, the liberal arts education, extensive curriculum, and excellent base knowledge I acquired at AUBG have really helped me learn and progress further in my career. To put it in fewer words, it’s almost like you get out of AUBG with a priceless set of universal knowledge, which helps you learn further and think outside of the box - a skill that definitely distinguishes our alumni and makes us valuable members of every team.

Nikolay Babev, Technical Support Engineer, Progress

How did you start your career?

Immediately after I graduated from AUBG, I joined Progress as a TSE. Initially, it was a little overwhelming, but it quickly became rewarding and fulfilling. If I were to start again, I would prompt myself to be less afraid of learning new technologies and new concepts.

Why did you choose Progress?

Progress provided the best possible environment which would help me grow and develop my skills in the technologies I am passionate about. Additionally, all the benefits and bonuses are great too!

What is it like to be at Progress?

Working at Progress is amazing. We highly value the collaborative environment, flexibility, and development. I feel like I am learning every day and helping solve complex and business critical problems.

How did AUBG help you to get where you are?

AUBG helped tremendously in the development of my career. Both with the connections I established with current students and alumni as well as the ability to communicate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.

Teya Veselinova, Front End Developer, Progress

If you were to start from the beginning now, what would you do differently?

If I were to start from the beginning now, I would tell myself to be more open to new opportunities and skills; to dive more confidently into ‘the unknown’ without being afraid of failure as this is the fastest lane to self-improvement and growth.

Why did you choose Progress?

Without any doubt, Progress is among the best places to work in Sofia. It’s not only the fact that the company is product-based that attracted me, but also its values, mission and the people that I met during the selection process that gave me great confidence in the company. And not to mention the numerous social benefits offered to the employees (31 paid days off, wow!).

What is it like to be at Progress?

It's exciting, it's inspiring, it's motivating. I've been here for only 3 months, but Progress gave me exactly what I was looking for - a friendly and positive working environment where you feel challenged and yet appreciated. 

How did AUBG help you to get where you are?

AUBG is much more than just a university- it’s rather the ideal environment for getting to know yourself, uncovering what you are passionate about and finding your path. AUBG made me strive for better, gave me useful insights for the future and most of all, crossed my path with people who continue to inspire me.

This article is published in partnership with Progress, a gold sponsor of the 26th Annual Job and Internship Fair at the American University in Bulgaria.

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