Besides the traditional martenitsas - which people give one another on March 1 for health and luck – the first day of March brought 25 young Bulgarians awards in an essay competition “Your 25 reasons to choose Bulgaria”. The essay contest and the number 25 come from the number of years a world famous consultancy company has operated in Bulgaria. The company management in Bulgaria endavours to support more young and ambitious people who want to stay in Bulgaria and to develop successfully.
The organizers say that essays were submitted by more than 1,300 students aged 18 to 24; according to the contest rules young people studying abroad can also apply. The awards are: a 6,000 Leva scholarship, internships in a prestigious company in Bulgaria – depending on the interests of the students – as well as mentorship with high-ranking managers at big companies who can help them with their knowledge and experience of business in this country.
Around 13 percent of the authors of the essays about Bulgaria actually study at 79 different universities abroad – in Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Russia. The contenders form Bulgaria study in 48 higher educational establishments. The most popular career spheres in this country are: marketing and communications, healthcare and pharmacy, human resources, law, audit and business consulting. But there are participants who are interesting in more creative spheres, like design, art, writing and literature.
The campaign “Your 25 reasons to choose Bulgaria” was supported by popular actors, journalists, publishers, athletes. All winners in the essay contest were congratulated by the initiative’s patron, President Rumen Radev who spoke to the young people about how he chose the profession of pilot, and that it has remained for him more valuable than any post in the country.
“We are so happy to see so much interest in this contest by Bulgarian students, as well as representatives of businesses in this country. We all have a responsibility of helping young talent and giving them prospects of successful development,” said Bojidar Neytchev, one of the organizers of the campaign.
“Last year we marked 25 years since our company entered the Bulgarian market and we have been trying to find ways to celebrate the anniversary. We decided against the pomp and circumstance of cocktail parties and chose a socially responsible cause. Everyone in our company decided that this was the future of Bulgaria. So, we urged Bulgarian students aged 18 to 24, including Bulgarians studying abroad, to take part. We suggested they submit an essay, describing 25 reasons why they choose Bulgaria. Just imagine being that age and being given an opportunity to see someone who has walked the entire road to success, three times a year and hear their advice. And the effect is greater if you “infect” the people you work with. We managed to mobilize the country’s elite, so as to give the young generation more opportunities. Some of the essays had critical remarks about the rules of the contest which allow students who are studying outside Bulgaria to take part. But the purpose of this competition is just that – that all people, wherever they may now be, choose to come back to Bulgaria and show that this move is not a step back. We had many queries by young people who were not shortlisted, asking why their own essay was not deemed to be on a par with the award winning essays. There were even some rather harsh comments, but we decided to look on the positive side. Against the background of 1,300 essays, there were no more than 2-3 such instances.”
Here are the reasons why a successful young man who has supported the campaign chose Bulgaria:
“My name is Vlado Nikolov and after working abroad for 15 years I decided to return to Bulgaria with my whole family, not just because roots are important, but also because there are so many opportunities in Bulgaria to develop and work. My parents are here, I was born here, I want my children to grow up here. We each have reasons like that which bring us back to Bulgaria.”
English version: Milena Daynova