Back to Bulgaria: The Story of Vasil Mihaylov

Tuition abroad – work from Bulgaria: the formula for Vasil Mihaylov’s success

The experience of our colleague, Vasil Mihaylov – an IDM administration consultant in Schwarz IT Bulgaria, shows that on the path to success you ought to not stride but take small, calculated steps, filled with determination and a stout stead headedness to tread towards your own curiosity and interests. Vasil is unable to set out a definitive moment where he came to the resolution that IT is his path follow.

He shares that he can trace his love for technology way back to his childhood – “I remember the excitement of installing new DOS games, from floppy discs on to archaic computer systems, and how long it took me to get over the fear of the “Control panel” on the home computer.” Back in school he mentions that he was a person who always loved maths and is rather convinced that that very love was what primed his interest towards technology.


A master's in London

Vasil made his first conscious steps towards IT in London. After attaining his bachelor’s degree in the field of electronics from the Plovdiv technical university, he decided to go abroad and continue his education in England. His first tuition experience abroad came from a local college, but after deeming the level of tuition unsatisfactory, he decided to seek master’s programs in the universities of London.

The high tuition cost of the Imperial College of London acted as a deterrent for his entry as he decided to settle for a more modest establishment, where he would be able to face the latest of IT technology. He enthusiastically shares about his experience with higher education – “The laboratories and library seemed like a true miracle to me - they all had 24 hours open access. The tuition taught me the importance of understanding the basic approach to efficiently gaining insight into new technologies as well as many of the basics which I refer to in my day-to-day.”

With 10 years slowly passing by in England though, Vasil never actually started work in the IT sector. His job was selling different types of building materials, where he shares that the intensive travels related to the job gave him the opportunity to meet a multitude of different personalities and gain a broad selection of important skills.


The start of an IT career in Sofia

The choice for Vasil to return to Bulgaria is a rational one – he shares that he just feels better here. He doesn’t want to limit himself from getting to experience the hot Bulgarian summer, beautiful nature and all of the other natural wonders he can get to experience at home, and besides – he states that the anonymity of the massive metropolis of London eventually started to get to him, nevertheless bearing in mind that the vast discrepancies between England and Bulgaria started to shrink given Bulgaria joining the EU.

In the end, Vasil, without any grand expectations, gave start to his it career in Bulgaria, working for an outsourcing company for HP. After about a year and a half he decided that he has the necessary know-how and skill set to advance in the field, starting his next outsourcing project by working on Access Management, for a large USA-based multinational company. It is there where he deepened his knowledge and honed his skills, giving him the opportunity to move to Schwarz IT Bulgaria (Kaufland IT Hub at the time).


Schwarz IT Bulgaria

To quote his motivation for the application to Kaufland IT Hub – “The main cause for accepting the offer is my lack of knowledge in the field – Schwarz is a global company with just about half a million employees. The opportunity to work in such a company is scarce, especially in Bulgaria and double that with the context of being an internal engineer and not a contractor.”

He shares that he is pleasantly surprised by the intensity and nature of work at the company. Another benefit of his new position proves to be the people themselves – “My colleagues are wonderful and there are some extremely high-level professionals amongst them. This brings me great joy and reaffirms my feeling, that Bulgaria does provide some extremely capable professionals in the field of IT. What makes Schwarz IT remarkable is that it provides a particularly wide spectre of technologies, whilst at the same time actively retaining its personnel.” 

Vasil’s main field of work amounts to maintaining the systems, which hold the digital identities of the over 500,000 worldwide users of the Schwarz IT services - the clients of Lidl and Kaufland as well as a series of smaller companies, operating in span of over 30 countries. He states – “The IAM system lies at the heart of every large company. The work on maintaining it and keeping it running accurately is dynamic and bears a large amount of responsibility. At the same time the environment provided by Schwarz is vast and linked to a wide spectre of other end-systems like SAP, Active Directory, AzureAD. I sometimes honestly tend to imagine it as a living organism which moves, changes its shape and is constantly growing.”

As his time in the company and responsibilities grow, what remains of utmost importance is that his work remains interesting. The team, which he is part of, grew from two to seven people over the course of the last two years, which to him is a clear sign of trust from upper management. He himself holds his team in very high regard and notes it’s awesome potential, responsibility and solidarity.


What about 10 years from now?

At the end of our discussion, Vasil jokingly proclaimed his dream of travelling the world carefree after retiring young, albeit still admitting – “Ten years from now I would still like to be affiliated with the IT sector and be surrounded by the same type of hardworking and ambitious people, just as I am now.”