AmCham Kicks-off Rise to Shine: Empower Next Gen Talents, a Project for Early Career Orientation

“What profession should I choose?”, “How to present myself well in a job interview?”, “Why do I need an internship when I am 17?”

These are just some of the questions that were answered by excellent professionals from the community of people management professionals among AmCham Bulgaria member companies with the launch of the Rise to Shine: Empowering Next Gen Talents.

This is the second project in the 2024 program of the Empower Her initiative. It expands on the themes that were raised during the international conference Empower Her: Elevate To Excellence, held on 08.03.2024. Among them is early career guidance for girls and boys from 10th, 11th, and 12th grades in selected schools in Sofia, Plovdiv, Svoge, Dimitrovgrad, etc. Along with topics related to the formation of interests, development of skills and knowledge, including design thinking, the lecturers will also talk to students about the prevention of human trafficking, good manners in a business environment, netiquette (etiquette for communication in an electronic environment), etc.

On 10.04.2024, specialist volunteers from AmCham Bulgaria members visited the National Natural and Mathematical High School “Acad. Lyubomir Chakalov”, Burgas. Sofia and shared their experience in front of nearly 50 students from the upper classes.

The specialists are Petya Nikolova-Ismailova, Senior Expert “Talent Attraction, Training and Development”, A1 Bulgaria, (Project Manager), Violeta Karanacheva-Tsvetanova, Manager “University Relations, Diversity and Inclusion and Training”, IBM Bulgaria, Irena Bushandrova, Manager for Bulgaria, Pedersen & Partners, Ivelina Panamska, Human Resources Manager for Bulgaria, MOTO-PFOHE Group, Veselina Staykova, Human Resources Director, Mondelez Bulgaria, Slavyana Dokimova, HR Business Partner for Supply Chain and Support Functions, Kamenitza AD.

The event was opened by Ivan Mihaylov, CEO, AmCham Bulgaria, and Ivaylo Ushagelov, Director of NPMG. Special guests who shared their inspiring stories of their careers so far with the students were Stoyan Popov, General Manager for Bulgaria and Serbia of Sport Vision, and Ivelina Borisova who is part of the IBM Bulgaria team and a graduate of NPMG.


Next steps of Rise to Shine

Within the second term of the school year 2023/2024, HR professionals from AmCham Bulgaria will visit the Sofia Vocational High School of Electronics “John Atanasov” on 16.04.2024 and 18.04.2024 – the high school in the town. On 18 and 18 April – Danusia school in Svoge.

The program includes visits to Sofia, Plovdiv, and Dimitrovgrad in the school year 2024/2025, as well as the inclusion of the American College of Sofia and the Anglo-American School (which are also members of AmCham Bulgaria).


About Empower Her 2024

The EmpowerHer initiative was created in 2023 in partnership between the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Europe (AmChambers in Europe, whose members include the AmCham Bulgaria), the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU), and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

To develop the initiative further in 2024 with valuable projects and content aimed at ATC members as well as significant groups in society, the members of the Human Capital and Education Committee decided to implement three separate projects within the initiative. All three address identified needs and are tailored to societal issues to be addressed.



For instance, the sharing of good practices was part of the Lead and Inspire panel with the participation of our leading members, from which the EmpowerBank project, which received outstanding visibility and which launched the activities of the Initiative with the international conference EmpowerHer: Elevate to Excellence, held on 08.With the special participation of Maria Gabriel, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. The conference was held in partnership with European Female Founders (EFF) and celebrated International Women’s Day. It was supported by MSD Bulgaria, IBM Bulgaria, Kamenitza, Prestige-96, Progress, UniCredit Bulbank, and IHS.

  • This project will be continued with certain activities to mark Pink October this year.
  • In April and May, professionals from AmCham Bulgaria member companies will visit several high schools to share guidance on early career guidance – for both girls and boys – a task now being implemented by Rise to Shine: Empower Next Gen Talents.
  • The Unlock Your Power project has already assembled its first group of counselors (coaches) to work with young women to boost their confidence and set them on a stable career path. There will be one-to-one meetings with the volunteer coaches and a parallel group of young women who are part of Chamber member teams. Once the pairs have been identified – coach – coachee – the actual project work will begin.

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