The Summer Work and Travel Program has been a life-changing experience for thousands of Bulgarian young people. Here are some stories from our successful alumni:
Hi, my name is Iskra Evtimova and I had my summer work and travel experience in the far-off 2011 🙂 For three years I was only listening to my friends as they were telling their work and travel stories and in my 4th year I finally decided to try and I postponed the work on my thesis . I was a lifeguard at a pool in Pennsylvania. I am very grateful now that I had the courage to go. I saw an entire new world. And that definitely helped me to develop my own ideas. This is how:
When I came home from the United States, I applied for several companies that were operating in the US market. Therefore my Work and Travel experience turned out to be a great asset, and I quickly found a cool job. I started dealing with search engine optimization or the so-called SEO – Search Engine Optimization. I quickly became a department manager and I had a team of about 25 people.
But later on, I decided I don’t want to work for another man’s dream and left. Since then, I have tried different business ideas to see which one would fit me the best. I met a lot of cool people and extended my worldview. I am currently organising trainings with another colleague for SEO, we are also planning different kind of trainings. On the other hand, I work with private clients to optimise their websites. This gives me the unique opportunity to work when and where I want. If you are interested in reading more about me, visit iskra-evtimova.com
The work and travel experience is definitely something that everyone has to try at least once. It brings a lot of new knowledge, experiences and acquaintances. So if you’re wondering whether to go or not, do not think about it twice.Pack your things and go. You won’t regret it 🙂
Hello, my name is Vladimir Nikolov and I have participated in the Work and Travel programme three years in a row as a student. The 4th year I had to stay in my country so I can finish my bachelor degree – so I did. In that summer I’ve attended bartender classes and got certified by IBA (International Bartenders Association) for a Cocktail Bartender level one. All that experience I have gained in USA was very crucial for my self-development. Not only did I improved my English, but I have also become more independent and more responsible. I’m trying to apply what I have seen and experienced in the U.S. to my country – that’s the excellent customer service, extra politeness, how to smile, care, etc.
Since I’m certified bartender now I’m helping my sister develop a new fresh-bar in my home town where I was born and raised. Now my mission is the same as it was in USA – make people smile more. I’m trying to be a good example and show people that you don’t need money to be happy and positive emotions are contagious. In the long term what I really want to do is build high quality wooden houses.
I am currently developing the first concierge company in Bulgaria.
What is the business idea you have developed?
Our business idea is to provide quality services of all kinds, to our clients, who in most cases are foreigners. We direct them and consult them on business, property, holiday, nightlife, gourmet recommendations, transportation, security, translation services, personal assistants, helicopter hikes, yachting and all sorts of bizarre desires, such as personal barber that has to be in an hour in their apartment or a yacht from the French Riviera to meet them on our Black Sea coast and many others.
“With us everything is possible” – this is the motto of our company and so far we have succeeded in fulfilling it. Our team is extremely inspiring and we are very happy to provide for our customers
Did you travel to the US contribute for the follow-up of your project?
My trip to the United States has made a great contribution to changing my way of perceiving the opportunities around me. Our business is designed to take care of the customers and make them smile, and the condition for the extra mile is obligatory. The first time I came across the concept of “concierge” and its functions both in the hotel and an outside of it, was in the US. Because of my trip to the United States, I also went to the Academy for Young Entrepreneurs for and further developed my awareness of the possibilities at a local level and met many wonderful people with whom we help each other out.
The US Summer Work Program has a multifaceted effect on raising the standard of living in Bulgaria, starting with the first-person experience- yours. I think this is a very good start. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and for many others who have been following this step. If someone who deals with the program is wondering if it makes sense?! It makes a lot of sense.