Emil Nakov, Business Professional & PCU Master’s student
by Larissa Petryca, on 02 May 2022 10:31:36 CEST
Emil Nakov began his studies at PCU in 2018. In 2021 he graduated from BA (Hons) International Management where he gave the valedictorian address. Emil is currently in his second semester of MSc Leadership and Strategic Management. As a professional blended student, Emil has managed to achieve his degrees whilst working full time as a Regional Director for Southern Europe, a job that requires frequent traveling. How has he managed?
Four years ago, I was looking for an educational institution that could respond to my professional needs. I looked on the internet and the city of Prague offers plenty of opportunities. I liked the PCU website, it gave me a lot of information and I’d heard very positive feedback from a person who had graduated from there. I made an appointment to check the premises and atmosphere. I was impressed by the personal approach, modern IT equipment and flexibility that Prague City University offers.
PCU offers many advantages. There is a low level of bureaucracy, the university has a personal family culture and supports working professionals with maximum flexibility.
Why did you choose to study BA (Hons) International Management?
After 8 years of working in an international environment and at the age of 45, I decided to challenge myself and enrich my knowledge. I was successful in my job and have always tried to improve with self-study. However, I became curious about what I could potentially achieve if I received structured theoretical and practical guidance that would help me improve my knowledge for managing international business. It also allowed me to work on my academic English and writing style.
You chose to study your programme in blended format. Can you explain what that is?
As a frequent traveler with no fixed working hours, I found that PCU’s blended programme was the only one that reflected my needs. It allowed me to work during the day and attend online lectures on selected evenings. Furthermore, I could plan my activities without conflicts as sessions were pre-scheduled each semester. It also worked exceptionally well during the pandemic. PCU has the systems, platforms and processes in place for distance learning, it really does not matter which country you are in.
How is the programme structured?
We prescheduled the dates and times for lessons and received the modules, relevant content and the necessary reading materials. Lecturers guide you step-by-step with assignments. In addition, we had in-person discussions with the lecturers in Prague two weekends per semester. We also had the possibility to give our feedback on the level of difficulty, teaching style and personal fulfilment after every module.
Did the programme help inform and support your professional work?
Oh yes. The programme demands critical thinking, constant self-evaluation, and ethical considerations to help us with self-development and to be a better, more responsible professional. The practical and theoretical knowledge of marketing, legal, accounting and strategy helped me solve different workplace situations. Moreover, the programme taught me how to rethink processes and conceptualise and implement some of what I’d learnt into my workplace.
Why did you choose to continue your studies to Master’s level?
I found PCU an excellent place where I could develop myself and graduate with a British degree. I liked the lecturers, the system and the personal approach. The knowledge I had already received at Bachelor’s level really inspired me to challenge myself further. I should also mention that PCU offers attractive scholarships to those with high grades!
What attracted you to the MSc Leadership and Strategic Management programme?
I consider leadership vital for professional success. Good leadership skills allow you to lead others, but also to manage yourself. In the end, most of business is done by people and requires an understanding of people’s personalities, drivers and cultural differences. Strategic management is what I’m primarily interested in, especially when dealing with new markets and customers. It helps you to see the “big” picture, the drivers behind processes and how to plan your activities.
Do you find the learning helpful in your day to day work?
Yes, firstly, it increases my understanding of the various topics on a large scale. Secondly, it increases my confidence when constructing my arguments and for making decisions. Thirdly, the case studies discussed and analysed in class are very close to real-life situations that I’ve already experienced. Finally, I can interact with influential, professional people with differing knowledge and experience.
Can you talk about some of your assignment and projects?
I’m sorry that I cannot elaborate. My dissertations and self-development assignments were connected with my professional experience, and I consider them confidential. The in-course and end-course assignments are many and cover topics such as Marketing, Legal, Ethics, Management Accounting, Business and Culture. All were challenging but interesting, and it is not easy to pick a favourite.
How have you found the experience overall?
The experience has been great! The programme offered well-structured modules with time-relevant case studies, competent lecturers and with reasonable fees. Plus the opportunity to complete my Master’s degree in three semesters saved me time.
I consider my studies a wise investment and a platform for continuous improvement. Knowledge is the most sustainable asset and nobody can steal it from us. It also requires constant updating as everything around us changes.
What are your plans after graduating?
After graduating, I will devote time to fulfilling my newly discovered areas of interests and close some relevant gaps in my knowledge. There is no university in the world that can teach you everything. But it can place the seeds of curiosity that can grow and lift us to a different level or push us in other directions. Now I see opportunities everywhere!
Visit PCU’s Global Blended Degrees webpage to find out more details.