Learn from the Experienced Ones
Eftim Eftimov graduated AUBG in 2008. He worked as an investment consultant and banker before stating his own business. In 2015 he founded Property Club, the first real estate crowdfunding platform in South-Eastern Europe. Eftimov is also the treasurer of the AUBG Alumni Association, with which he has been involved for the past three years. In his free time, he plays football and tennis and sings in a band.
AUBG Daily asked Eftimov to share his thoughts on his life after the university.
AUBG Daily: Tell us about life after AUBG – how does it feel?
Eftimov: It sometimes feels as I want to go back to school and live a simpler life, but on the other hand, there is so much going on and so many opportunities, that there’s no way one would not enjoy it. I think Sofia is a great city to live in, with a lot of options to work, relax, practice sports and party. The AUBG alumni community in the city is very big and you constantly bump into familiar faces.
Anyway, I stay connected to AUBG, mainly on account of AUBG Alumni Association activities, so I visit frequently Blagoevgrad and get to enjoy the city. Also, in the past two years I have participated in a musical on campus and also organized a Mega Alumni Reunion so I did spent a lot of time on AUBG territory, got to know some of the current students and now am interested to follow their development and the paths they have chosen to advance after graduation.
What personal qualities do you find important to have to be successful nowadays?
I believe among the most important qualities for achieving success nowadays we should put curiosity, fearlessness, and persistence. Maybe in that order. People should be always curious, wanting to know more and wanting to understand more – both about themselves and about the challenges of the surrounding world. Know yourself and you would know what makes you happy. Know what makes you happy and you would get where you should focus your energy. Then, it is much easier to have a happy life and try to have a positive impact on the world – your friends, family, community, etc. Fearlessness, on the other hand, is very important because often doing what would make you happy would involve stepping outside of your comfort zone and this step is considered a big leap. I would advise – don’t be afraid to do it. Lastly, persistence, because I have learned that achieving things is a process that takes time and effort, and sometimes involve trying hard or making huge sacrifices and this takes courage.
What do you find your biggest achievement up to now?
I recently turned 30, so it came naturally to think about this. I am happy that through the years I have identified myself as a very friendly and social person. In this sense, my greatest achievement is that I have a lot of close friends, people I can rely on and trust. Hope I am there for them too. A lot of these friends are people whom I met while at AUBG, so more or less like-minded individuals.
Another achievement is that I took the courage to quit corporate life and start a business of my own. Yet, now I understand that this was just a small starting step, and now a lot of hard work lies ahead.
What are your future goals?
Business-wise, I want to build a profitable company that operates internationally and that is recognized as a good partner by clients and businesses. Money is important but is not the answer why I work.
Personally, my future goals are similar to these of most people – I want to be happy and to make people happy.
At some point in time, maybe 10 years down the road, I certainly would consider to get involved with politics in Bulgaria, as I am interested in this field and think I have the qualities to help the country develop in the right direction. I see around me a lot of people who care and who are not happy about what is going on right now and I believe that sooner rather than later we will get organized and act.
Has your experience in AUBG been useful in your future development?
My experience in AUBG is in the core of who I am and in almost every important decision that I have taken, AUBG has played a certain role. Starting from my first job, which I got due to recommendation from a close friend of mine, who was an alumni, and coming to today when I am navigating my business, relying on support and advise from alumni friends. In addition, I am always impressed by the creativity of AUBG students and graduates, and when I need to evaluate an idea or come up with a solution for something, I always look for AUBG-ers to cooperate with.
If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?
I think the question here is how one looks at missed opportunities and at the experience gained. In general, I do not regret anything, but probably there are some details that I would have done differently.
For a very practical example, immediately after I graduated I started working in a real estate consultancy firm. There, I was advised by my manager to pursue a certain certification called RICS, which is something like CFA for the real estate field. This certification was unknown to me at that time and I decided to instead pursue the actual CFA, something that was very familiar to me from my finance related work at university level. So, what happened three years later is that I didn’t finish my CFA, as it was not applicable to me, being in the real estate field, and I regretted that I did not go after the RICS certification, which would have been a great asset to me at that time. So, some stuff like this I think I could have done better, i.e. listened to and trusted more experienced professionals.
What would you like to advice the current students?
To be creative and to be brave, to try and form long-lasting relationships and to always try to think several steps ahead.