About Jenny Georgieva
My name is Evgenia, or everybody calls me Jenny. I'm from Bulgaria. I live in Bulgaria, because a lot of people think that I live in the US. I graduated Pepperdine MSOD in 2002, and I'm with Gamma Prime. For the last 10 years, I've been working as an organization development external consultant. But prior to that, I had experience as Executive HR Director in restructuring companies, companies that underwent restructuring.
MSOD was a very important part of my life, and it really changed my whole life in various aspects. I think it's better that I tell a story how I got into MSOD. Actually, I was accepted twice in MSOD. First time was in 1997. I was in UC Riverside doing our scholarship. And coming to the US, I thought, I'm a big consultant, I'm great consultant. The best. And coming here, I understood that I needed to learn a lot. Came to know Martin Nelson from Riverside, he was an alumni. He introduced me to Gordon Brooks, at that time director of the program, admin director of the program. And Gordon did everything possible to introduce me to the program so that I understand what it is about. I even went to one of the sessions of the current class, then in Palm Springs desert. And I fell in love with the whole program, did what I need to do, got enrolled, got partial scholarship. Gordon helped me find job, temporary job with Coca-Cola Atlanta.
But when the universe is not helping you, it couldn't happen. All this couldn't happen because of my visa limitations. In that time I had a J-2 visa and had to come back to Bulgaria for two years. And I was so disappointed, because as if I has climbed the, let's say, one of the Himalayas peaks, and after that I just saw the world and now I don't have it. So I went back. Very disappointed. But with the firm decision that I will go into the business, because one of the lessons I understood was that if I want to be a good consultant one day, I need to go through the business so I can understand what it is like.
I got a job in HR at a privatized company in the copper smelter. In 1997 Bulgaria was eight years after transforming from a socialist country into democratic country. And got that job and this plant had to go through a heavy restructuring, because that was the case with any socialist plant company at that time. So I worked a lot. I mean, just day and night, literally, for two years. One day, I went to my boss and said, "You know what, Philip, I think I'm empty. I need to study something." And he said, "Whatever you want." Probably he appreciated my work that much. And then I said to him, "Really whatever I want?" And he reassured me.
I wrote back to Gordon and ask him for details of the program and everything. And I was reassured that first, I have place in that program for life. And second, I came to my boss with all the financial and other details. In a way, my boss consulted his top people in the group, and they all decided to fully fund me that program. So I got full tuition, full travel, full books, everything, days off to come for sessions. So then the universe was helping me, because maybe the universe said, oh, this lady has so much passion about this program. Let help her do what she really wanted to do. And I enrolled in 2002. 2000, actually, with Gamma Prime folks.
You know, they saw that I was so passionate about this program and the universe just wanted to help me achieve that.
I was holding this dream from 1997 and I was so passionate to go back and do MSOD. And when my company supported me, my boss, his bosses in corporate, in the global structure of the company. And just everything happened. The decision was taken in a week. As if everybody was there to support me in the company, my boss, the company, the universe, they saw my passion about the program and they said, oh, it's worth giving a try and support and this lady so she can see her dream come true. So here I was at that time, in 2000, enrolling in the program and graduating two years after that. And I'm telling this story because I think there is wisdom in it, at least for me. One of the things was if one has a passion, don't stop dreaming. Go forward. Go forward and fight for your dream. And if you fight so much, then people and universe and everybody will help achieve it. Don't give up.
MSOD changed a lot. I mean, it changed my personal life in a sense that I became much more self aware, start working on my personal development. I saw that there are a lot of things that I have been doing then were not good in terms of my relationship with my family, with my kids. So I became a better person, better mother, better wife, better everything, in terms of family. I became a person who was much more compassionate to the work I do. And because my work was not easy, it was restructuring, it was downsizing, I learned to do it in a more following the humanistic principles that we did learn.
And so I think this really makes me implement all these things in the world. Because I'd been working then as an HR since 2008. So I became a better professional, was able to engage in HR professional development as an association. We had an HR Association Bulgaria, I became the president of this association because they wanted not to stand aside and watch, but just go and do something to make it stronger so that the HR profession voice was heard more into the business. And the HR people were more recognized as partners. Rather than, okay, let's go and do these administrative stuff, as it was the case then. So if I look around, there is no one trajectory of my life that hasn't been changed. And the most important thing has became a role model of my family, of people I work with. So to me, it's really a cornerstone.
What's the one thing I know people to know about my legacy? I never wanted a personal legacy. Never thought of it like that. I always wanted a professional legacy, so that I will be thought of not only with professionally what I did, but because I didn't do it alone. I did it with people. So I really want to be remembered together with the people I work with as game changers. I think this is something. Because I worked with the two major companies. One of them was the biggest ever company to be restructured in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Telecommunication Company. 24,000 people at the start. And we need to do huge restructuring project and to set up the third GSM operate in Bulgaria. And that has to be done in a social responsible way. And I'm very happy that we did it this way and the company's viable. Both companies are viable, very good standing on the Bulgarian international market. So I'm happy about that.
And plus, as I said, together with the people I work with, we managed to establish and just put high on the level of the HR profession through the HR association. I've been working as a president and board member for seven years, parallel to my work in business. So it was hard. But I think this is the most important legacy I have.
Plus my family, which is great. I have two grown up kids, I have husband, I have great relationships. So it's something that I cherish a lot.
I've been working... The contribution I think I want to make, and I was more and more thinking along these lines is, I've been working for the past 10 years with businesses as an external OD. That is great work. And once in a while, I would work with young people to help them career orient or to teach them coaching skills. But those are bits and pieces here and there. I would like to work more with young people that are coming to Bulgaria from Western Europe, from the US, from UK, because they are the future. I think I have a passion to give them things that they become more knowledgeable, more skillful, in their early professional years, so they are the change my country needs. I need to figure out how exactly I will channel this with whom. But if I have that conviction, it's going to come through one way or another.