AmCham Bulgaria Has Completed a Phase of the Educational Partnership Program with Two Bulgarian Universities

Last week, a phase of the Educational Partnership Program initiated by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (AmCham) and two of the leading universities in Bulgaria – Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Faculty of Economics, and New Bulgarian University (NBU) was completed. It focused on a number of topics concerning human capital development in various industries and organizations. The students from both universities drew from the experience of some of the leading Human Resources Management professionals from the AmCham member companies Adecco Bulgaria, IBM Bulgaria, JobTiger, MSD Bulgaria, Kamenitza, Sb Accounting & Consulting, and UniCredit Bulbank. The program was launched in the autumn of 2022 and was designed for Bachelor and Master students. The lectures at NBU were moderated by Chief Assist. Prof. Maria Tumbeva, Ph.D., and those at the Faculty of Economics of Sofia University – by Prof. Zhelyu Vladimirov and Kiril Velitchkov, Ph.D.

Human capital development and education are among the priorities of AmCham Bulgaria. Finding the right format that can be integrated into curricula helps universities offer added value to their students and benefit from the exchange of best practices with the corporate world in the country. This exchange brings a series of opportunities for the next generation of Bulgarian and international students.

“Over the past months, we have been able to convey in a concise way the experience, specifics, and even case studies to our future colleagues in the field of Human Capital Management. I believe that by balancing the practical focus and the academic approach we have been able to bring added value to the students at these universities. In our view, it is necessary to make logical and clear connections from the earliest educational stage between the topics taught at universities and their practical applicability and benefit for a specific industry. And this is a benefit for the economy and society as a whole. Together we have taken a small but meaningful step towards the better orientation of the young generation for the accumulation of comprehensive knowledge and their successful future careers” – said Zlatina Kushkieva, Co-Chair of the AmCham Human Capital and Education Committee and Managing Partner of HR Consulting Partners, about the launch of the program.

Assoc. Prof. Todor Yalamov, Ph.D., Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Sofia University noted:

“The relationship with the business is in the DNA of the Faculty of Economics. Our partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria over the last four months has helped not only transfer knowledge from business to the academy but also from business to business on the territory of the academy, as about half of our master’s students in the HR programs are specialists working in various Bulgarian companies. The case studies discussions also gave a variety of feedback to our guest speakers as the audience was international. We are already considering strengthening the relationship with the Chamber through new knowledge generation for both the business and the academy.”

Chief Assist. Prof. Maria Tumbeva, Ph.D., from New Bulgarian University commented:

“One of the main goals of New Bulgarian University is to create and strengthen the relationship between the academic community and business. That is why I am glad that our students got the opportunity to work in direct collaboration with leading Human Resources Management professionals. The Master’s program in Human Resources Management and Development at NBU trains students who are part of the teams of major international companies in the country. But some of our graduates are still looking for their place in the labor market, and acquiring practical skills is extremely valuable for them. I believe that our cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria is crucial for the development of young people’s potential, as well as for their future career.

As a university lecturer and a member of the HR Professionals Guild, I strongly believe that only when we work together, we would be useful to the organizations and the professionals to better understand the HR processes. And last but not least, we should not forget that we do not manage the people but manage with people” – said Chief Assist. Prof. Tumbeva.

A moment from the first lecture at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, October 11, 2022