Aleksander Foundation London FieldtripDecember 21st, 2020 Events
by Venelina Bozheva
Monday, November 3
Catching the first rays of the early morning sun we arrived in London - the whole day ahead of us. Right after we got rid of the unnecessary luggage, we were ready to dive into everything London had to offer. And if there is one thing that you need to try when visiting the UK, it’s the English breakfast. Food definitely lifted our spirits and we were ready to head out to our first meeting with Plamen Dokov, partner at Carrhae Capital. After we were seated, we met with Plamen, who told us a bit about himself and the company he works for. The atmosphere of the meeting was light, thanks to Plamen’s sunny disposition, which encouraged the discussion about the financial industry and the work he does at the hedge fund, investing in emerging markets across the globe.
After the meeting at Carrhae, we managed to steal away some free time and really explore the city — we walked around and soaked in the atmosphere and it was breathtaking. London is a truly cosmopolitan city, with a rich history and vibrant culture, where something new and exciting waits behind every corner.
One of the highlights of the trip was having dinner with Aleksander Petrov, who together with his foundation, generously sponsored the international study trip, providing us with the opportunity to either visit London for the first time or experience it from a different angle. At dinner we also got the chance to meet Mr. Stuart Till, serial investor and entrepreneur.
This was the first time some of us met with Alek, whose charm immediately puts the room at ease, and encourages the flow of conversation. Apart from the work he does in support of Bulgarian higher education Mr. Petrov heads McKinsey’s risk advanced analytics group in Europe, advising clients on a broad range of critical issues, such as stress testing, recovery planning, and asset quality analysis.
He maintains a wealth of experience in capital markets, derivatives pricing, and portfolio management from his earlier days in the financial services industry.
Having dinner with him was a unique chance to ask questions about his life and career, graduate study opportunities and professional development, as well as countless other fascinating topics in a delightfully informal setting. One of the most enjoyable things that night, was being able to apply all my classroom knowledge in a real-world situation. Overall meeting Alek was truly a rare and amazing opportunity!
Tuesday, November 4
Our first stop on Tuesday was Accenture, where we met with Elitsa Nacheva. Her vibrant personality was contagious, and we felt very much at home, as she delved into the exciting world of management consulting and technological implementation.
The second part of the meeting took us to Accenture’s AI innovation hub, where we got to see firsthand some of the company’s cutting-edge algorithms in action, tackling various real-world business issues. We sincerely thank Elitsa for having us! It’s always encouraging to see successful AUBG alumni, who are truly passionate about what they do.
We next proceeded to the main event of our field trip - the visit of McKinsey’s London Head Quarters, where again we were warmly welcomed by Mr. Aleksander Petrov himself. Alek shared with us valuable advice and touched upon on numerous topics, ranging from how to successfully prepare for a job interview, to a day in the life of a McKinsey consultant, as well as some personal experiences from his dynamic career.
We then headed to the central campus of the London School of Economics, where we met with admissions staff and learned more about their summer programs and graduate study opportunities. Did you know that apart from being a leading institution for Finance and Economics, LSE has produced many notable alumni in the field of law as well?
Wednesday, November 5
The last company on our list was Algebris Investment, where we got an insider view at how an Asset Management company like Algebris operates, as well as some of the strategies they employ to gain an edge in global financial markets. At the intersection of finance, mathematics and neuroscience, their work is truly fascinating to the inquisitive mind of anyone interested in these fast-paced fields.
On this high note, our field trip came to and end. After a dynamic couple of days, it was time to head back home, hopefully wiser and more experienced than before. We got to see and experience things not every undergraduate student does, being able to visit London and broaden my perspective, as well as explore new career options, and for this I am deeply grateful.