Eliza Bakardzhieva is from Bulgaria and is currently working as a Supply Chain professional in the aviation industry while being responsible for heading a Supply Chain unit in Lufthansa Technik Sofia. She has graduated International business and Finance from the University of National and World economy in Bulgaria, Sofia and continued her education in the field of Business Administration while obtaining EMBA degree from American University in Bulgaria. Further to this, she is enrolled in a PHD program – Supply Chain Design and Management field. Before joining Lufthansa Technik Sofia in 2014, she gained six years professional experience in the copper manufacturing industry, field of international commerce with major focus on managing and developing customer and supplier services, business process establishment and optimization.
Eliza is also a volunteer in the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) chapter in Sofia. She is leading the Armenian young professionals` community there with a main purpose to reserve and promote Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs. Eliza is passionate about Japanese martial arts and in her free time, she enjoys traveling, snowboarding and reading books.
What PGLF school did you do and what was your most memorable moment or takeaway?
I participated in the PGLF school in Bulgaria back in the summer of 2018. Looking back at this outstanding week full of experience and learnings,
I would rather describe it as a start of an adventurous journey in a one of the most beautiful towns in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad. I`ll always remember the morning when I arrived at the hotel without knowing anyone, without having any idea about what`s next. Thirty minutes later, I was enjoying a “get to know” session with truly impressive young and intelligent people from more than 10 countries aiming at making a difference in the world we`re living in. At that moment I thought- “Amazing…this is exactly what I was hoping for”. For me, PGLF School was a great chance to exchange with this international group of ambitious people experience, knowledge and different perspectives regarding various political, business and social topics. It brought my leadership skills to a next level, beyond my corporate education and gave me strategic insights for driving meaningful change, innovation, and growth in both of the environments – non-profit organizations and business that I`m currently engaged with.
What is a trait that will become increasingly important for young professionals?
We have brought technology to the point where the machines can help young people solve most of the problems that the previous generations were trying to tackle. I think that today one of the biggest challenge in front of the young people is to remain real humans. Utilizing their social intelligence skills and thus shaping the impact caused by the technology and innovations instead of just being robots operators is a precondition for their progress.
In addition to this, I would rate as most important trait the curiosity combined with experimental spirit. Young professionals who love to learn continuously and give back by teaching and sharing experience, who involve others in their relentless attempts to create a better business and better world, are the real contributors to our society success.
If you went back to your undergraduate alma matter to teach a course, what would it be called and what would you assign?
Although I`m currently enrolled in Supply Chain Management PhD program in my alma matter and will hopefully teach a course in this subject field soon, I would rather propose another one. It`s called Entrepreneurship. I strongly believe that only the entrepreneurial mode of thinking could support us to expand our perceptions and increase actions in a way that we are able to find new ways for development. Today, considering the growing complexity of the economic landscape, greater uncertainty and severe market disruptions this is essential. In my view, entrepreneurial approaches and knowledge could support us understand these changes in the environment as well as enhance our creativity and innovation spirit.
What advice would you go back and give yourself at 18?
I would give myself two main advices. One is to accept that I cannot change other people and it`s not my responsibility to do so. If I want to help others, I first need to look after myself and act on. The second advice would be to ask myself more often the question “Why is this important for me?”.
What should I have asked you and what`s the answer?
Is there something that you would do differently if you have the chance to go your way since when you were at 18?
No. I have never regret for any of my decisions and choices and consider every challenge and difficulty, that I had on my way, as a great learning opportunity.