The best thing I learned is a curiosity to know more and to learn more. This curiosity has been a driving force in my career path, making friends with people from different backgrounds, and finding my place in the world.
Degree and Class Year
Job Title, Organization
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
The things that stood out about Lewis & Clark while I was applying were the rigorous academics, various and many clubs and activities, beautiful surroundings, a small campus with a strong community feel. Additionally, I was drawn to the study abroad programs and the trips organized by College Outdoors. After coming to L&C my expectations were well exceeded.
What have you been doing since graduation?
Right after graduation I started working remotely for a bank in the States in their mortgage department. After a year I moved back to Sofia and started working in a new field—tax consulting. Apart from working, I continued with my passion for reading (further developed during my college years) and have been reading books on various topics—from novels and fiction to economic principles and history of humankind. Lastly, I’ve been taking advantage of the short flights in Europe and have explored quite a few new places like Cyprus, Italy, and Prague.
How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your job?
During my time at Lewis & Clark I took various economics elective classes which helped me choose the field of economics I’m most interested in. Further, the Career Center provided me with all the help I needed in polishing my resume, preparing for interviews, and finding opportunities. Last but not least, all career counselors, professors, and mentors at Lewis & Clark want to see you succeed and thus many of them introduced me to people in the industry and their networks. The combination of various classes offered, the resources on campus, and the personal approach of the staff helped me find what I’m most passionate about and pursue it.
What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?
I learned to think critically and always seek other explanations and other points of view. I learned resilience, how to take care of myself and my time, how to pursue my goals, how to direct my energy, how to engage with people, and how to be a world citizen. The best thing I “learned” or further developed is a curiosity to know more and to learn more. Not only when it comes to academics and sciences, but also when it comes to people, cultures, and how things are done. This curiosity has been a driving force in my career path, making friends with people from different backgrounds, and finding my place in the world. In a nutshell the most important thing I learned is to be a well-rounded, curious, and active citizen of the world.
Why did you major in economics?
Since taking economics in high school, I’ve been mesmerized by how markets work, how incentives can change people’s choices, and how public policies are implemented. I’ve always felt economics surrounds us everywhere and we make economic decisions daily so it was important to me to learn how it all works. Taking economics classes in L&C was very enriching and further fueled my passion for the field and understanding it.
How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?
First and foremost, I have stayed in touch with the friends I made at Lewis & Clark. Those friendships are very special to me and we almost always reminisce about our time in college and the things we did. I also follow the L&C social media accounts. From there and through the alumni email newsletter I have been up to date on events taking place on campus/online and have attended multiple.
How do you describe the liberal arts?
I describe it as a rigorous, well-rounded form of education. You get to study your particular field of interest, but you also study other important fields such as sciences, humanities, and arts which leads you to have knowledge in various fields. As an alumna I recognize how important this form of education was for me, because I got to learn so much in different areas outside of economics, which was both extremely interesting and useful outside of college.
What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?
My favorite class in the economics department was Microeconomics with Professor Arthur O’Sullivan. This was an extremely hard class for me in the beginning and after a few failed tests I decided to drop the class. This was the first time I had done something like that and was terrified. As the class was mandatory for the economics major, I had to retake it again the following semester. As I knew how hard it would be, I tried finding support from the professor and the tutor center. I started meeting with a tutor twice a week and always went to office hours and before I knew it I got an A in the class. I loved this class because of the microeconomics principles I learned but also because of the life lesson I learned: if it’s hard don’t give up; instead, find a different way.
Where did you find your community on campus?
There are so many various clubs on campus that I felt I was part of numerous communities, many overlapping and all united by the school. I found a community with all the other international students where we experienced studying in the United States together. I found a community with the people I went to study abroad with where we experienced studying and traveling abroad together. I also found a community within the economics major students where we studied together and discussed economic issues together. I am confident that there’s a community for everyone at Lewis & Clark, and if it’s not there it’s so easy to create it and find people with the same interests.
Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?
I considered Chrys Hutchings from the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership my mentor on campus. I met her during the annual Winterim competition organized during winter break. She is always very high energy, very creative and resourceful, and always willing to speak with students about their interests and passions. She greatly helped me get connected with people in the industry I was interested in, and was always ready to have a chat with me about what I wanted to do after college. For me this help was priceless.
If you studied overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience?
I studied abroad twice—in Ireland and in Australia. I chose the Ireland program because it was set in a country with such a rich and unique history that I wanted to immerse myself in and experience. We took an architecture class there where we studied the architecture of Dublin and went on multiple trips around the city to look at it. Since then I’ve developed an eye for details on buildings and appreciate the architecture and the styles of buildings. Later, I chose to apply for the Australia program because it was set in a country so far away, again with a rich and interesting history. My time in Australia was an experience of a lifetime with so many outdoor adventures and enriching learning experiences. I strongly believe everyone should apply and attend a study abroad program because you get to explore the world and understand what it’s like to be a world citizen.