Maryia Krasteva November 18th, 2017
The Bulgarian Professionals Club is Growing (up)!
Growing up fast. It is hard to believe that the Bulgarian Professionals Club has been around for three and a half years now! Just like a child growing up, the Club has entered a period of exciting and rapid growth. The Club now has:
- More than 350 members from the DMV area
- Held more than 40 informational and fun events
- 12 rock-star Executive Committee members
- Official 501(c)(3) nonprofit status
- Productive partnerships with other community organizations and businesses
- A brand new website bulgarianprofessionals.org, which you can check out and share with friends!
Our mission is simple but powerful. We want to help one another grow as successful global professionals and individuals. In an era of fast communications, social capital transcends borders and is a key driver for success. And as 85% of jobs are obtained via networking and referrals, we are passionate about creating and maintaining a cohesive and inspired Bulgarian professionals’ community in the DMV area. Easy access to quality educational and career advice is another benefit of a vibrant social network. Socializing with likeminded and ambitious individuals opens a whole new world of ideas and possibilities. After all that’s how it all began for us…
It was not a Silicon Valley garage but… The DMV area is truly rich in Bulgarian cultural and educational community organizations, which over the years have been bringing families together to celebrate Bulgarian culture, holidays and the arts. So in the spring of 2014, the co-founders got together to brainstorm and realized what was missing was a formal channel for career, educational and professional growth. And that’s how the idea of the Bulgarian Professionals Club was born. We held our inaugural event on June 1, 2014 (which funnily is also Bulgarian Children’s Day), attended by our first 20 members, who took a Bulgarian history quiz with prizes as a fun activity.
We listen to you. As we kicked off our programming, we heard that people find industry and educational events, such as resume writing, interviews and LinkedIn workshops, extremely helpful. However, our members were highly interested in more than pure professional-development events. So we decided to mix up networking and fun! Events such as the Bulgarian wine tasting at the Embassy, olive oil degustation in Georgetown, joint happy hours with other organizations have all resonated well with our members. Meeting entrepreneurs and learning directly from their experiences, while socializing and getting to know one another has, in a way, become our “not-so” secret sauce. In the spirit of continued growth and openness, if you have cool event ideas, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sky is the limit. Offering fun and educational monthly events is great, but is not enough to reach the endless potential of shared networks. We are poised to create longer term programming, such as mentorship and philanthropic projects, signature annual professional development conferences and strategic partnerships with Bulgaria-related organizations globally. We want to expand into a networking of professional clubs in metropolitan areas all around the USA. To enable us to reach these goals, we need to focus on fundraising that will enable our operational capacity. Remember, the club is 100% volunteer run, and all member donations and programming ideas are highly valued and critical to our success.
“It is deeds we need, not words.” Far away or at home, let’s always remember Vassil Levski’s legacy. Let’s muster our collective power to action and make the Bulgarian community in the USA even more united! Please take a few minutes and fill out our Member Highlight Profile form, so we can get to know and share your story!