My career started in financial audit at PwC Bulgaria 11 years ago. I chose audit as knowing accounting fundamentals is essential for any high performing financial professional.

Having spent three years there, I switched to a couple of more strategic and advisory roles before joining EY Bulgaria Corporate Finance in 2015. I transitioned to the EY Silicon Valley office in San Jose in 2018, where I have been serving global software and software-as-a-service companies.

Like the stock market, risk often pays off in the long run

I have been attracted to numbers since my childhood, and it all clicked for me in the first few accountancy lectures at the Technical University, Sofia. I found accounting to be very relevant, and joining the Big Four was a prestigious career start in Bulgaria at the time.

The ability to observe a variety of clients in a diverse array of industries was the primary factor behind my decision to work in audit and consulting. This creates more opportunities for networking, personal development and travel. I also enjoy the competitive environment, and career growth prospects keep you motivated.

After obtaining my first master’s degree in accounting and control, and spending two years in audit, I felt the next logical step demanded more depth in adjacent areas. Quantitative finance at the University of London was my MSc degree of choice, driven by personal interest and a desire to obtain world-class credentials. The knowledge gained helped me switch to my current career in corporate consulting.

I have taken a series of calculated risks that have played out well in the end. Pushing the envelope may appear risky if you observe a single episode, but over a long period of time, you get better at managing outcomes and ultimately achieve more. Like the stock market, risk often pays off in the long run.

If I had law-making powers, I would instil more common sense in decision-making that involves global matters, starting with science, facts, data, metrics and performance. I would change governance structures, shifting away from politics and populism and moving towards science and data-driven decision-making.

I particularly enjoy exchanging ideas with my colleagues at EY. I’ve got to know people with incredible wit and a deep understanding of the business world. I also love solving intellectually challenging problems using the latest solutions.

I’m proud of several professional achievements. The successful coaching and fast-track promotion of several junior colleagues was particularly gratifying. I’ve become a trusted adviser to a global CFO and helped a key client successfully navigate a very complex transaction involving three acquisitions and multi-billion-dollar debt refinancing.

If I were not a consultant, I would have probably gone into either banking or engineering, although my dream job outside of consulting is hosting a travel show.

I love to travel and explore different cultures around the globe by getting to know the local people, history, architecture and food. I also enjoy reading, going to the gym and watching football.