Two weeks of EIT Digital Summer School gave Aleksandar Yonchev a whole new vision for his career.
“The summer school changed the way I view the business world. Before starting the master’s degree I imagined myself working at a high position in a company. However, now I feel quite excited about entrepreneurship and would definitely try to get into it,” Yonchev said. “In the future I want to try starting my own company. I know this knowledge will serve as the basis on which I’m going to build.”
Yonchev enrolled in the Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services Summer School in Budapest, one of 11 EIT Digital Summer School programmes held in intriguing cities around Europe in 2022. EIT Digital Master School students choose one of these courses as part of their two-year degree programme. Many EIT Digital summer school students have noted the benefits of the summer programme’s focus on entrepreneurship. Yonchev said it was more than just helpful – it was inspirational.
Although the summer course was short, it was comprehensive, with a very specific focus on one topic, which students absorbed through lectures and a lot of hands-on experience.
“I think that’s the most intensive Innovation and Entrepreneurship training that we’ve had so far,” Yonchev said. “We dived into the entrepreneurship lifestyle for two weeks straight.”
The teamwork proved memorable. “We also worked much closer with one another. No university course could bring us so close, especially with people that we just met a couple of days ago,” he said. “In a time period of two weeks you go from having a problem to having a solution.”
The network Yonchev built will also be supportive for his regular master’s programme, which involves a second year at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. “It was very nice to share knowledge, discuss what we’ve learnt during the first year, exchange ideas or discuss our tracks and the courses that we took,” he said. “Now in Stockholm I’m studying together with most of them. All of them were friendly and easy to talk to.”
Yonchev’s master’s programme, the “Cloud and Network Infrastructures” track, which he will complete in Sweden this year, started for him at TU Berlin last year. He said he chose the course because it fits with his experience as a full stack engineer and because he’d heard good things from others who took the course.
“I spoke with many of the EIT Digital Alumni, which I advise everybody to do, and they gave me tons of useful information about the courses they took, the load, their thesis, the university, the city, etc. In the end it seemed to be the best option for me,” he said.
Professional and personal growth
The overall educational experience Yonchev received from EIT Digital stands out for many reasons, he said, including the opportunity to get two Master’s degrees from two schools, the funding and other support available from EIT Digital, and the entrepreneurship training.
“I can definitely state that I’m more than happy with the choice that I made. I think this programme is a great opportunity to learn and grow as a professional, travel, meet people from all around the world and study in some of the best universities in Europe,” Yonchev said. “I think this way we grow not only professionally, but personally, which is much more complex. I think these experiences really open you up and expand your consciousness. They change you. You start realising how much more there is outside your borders.”
The opportunity that the summer school gave Yonchev to go beyond his boundaries and sample entrepreneurship has him convinced that this is where his future lies.
“The only thing that could stop me are my own insecurities and my fear of taking risks,” he said. “I need to overcome these, because the experience is much more valuable than staying in my comfort zone.”
Source: EIT Digital I News (https://bit.ly/3eo4hh6)