Stoyan Steps Up to Keep Alumni Connected
2020-06-04

When Stoyan Djourov moved to Luxembourg to take up a new post with leading global financial services firm J.P. Morgan, reaching out to other graduates of the University of Aberdeen who lived and worked nearby was a no-brainer.

He signed up to an alumni event in neighbouring Belgium, where he met fellow alumni and members of the Aberdeen family. He enjoyed the experience so much that he went on to organise the first gathering of alumni in Luxembourg a couple of months later.

Stoyan explained: “I was new to the city and wanted to meet new people. The University’s alumni network really helped me in that sense – it was a well-attended gathering with friendly people who shared relatable experiences.

“So far, we have met three times in Luxembourg and we plan to do it again as soon as we can – we even kept in touch during lockdown. I decided to set up the Luxembourg Chapter and take part in University initiatives because without help and advice of mentors - both personal and professional - along the way, I wouldn't be where I am today. If I can pass on and build on their advice and that helps one person, then that’s great.”

Born and brought up in Sofia, Bulgaria, Stoyan began his studies in economics and finance at the University of Aberdeen in 2009. Credit for his decision to choose Aberdeen goes to his older cousin, Nicola, who was completing his MSc in 2007 when he insisted Stoyan fly over for a couple of weeks in the summer. It was enough time for him to soak up the Aberdeen student lifestyle and energy, and he set his heart on studying in the city.

“Aberdeen was a welcoming place with tons of opportunity to study, settle and have fun and I'd do it all over again,” said Stoyan.

“I was quickly surrounded by a diverse group of people who made life enjoyable and made me feel at home. The University offered breadth and depth of subjects to choose from, which were structured in a way that was refreshingly adaptable to each individual’s pace of learning. The system allowed me the flexibility I needed to enrol in a double major, change modules, gain work experience and play a role in the Business Society, all of which were key for my interviews with J.P. Morgan.

“The campus also needs to be experienced with its ancient buildings, cobbled streets, the greenery of the Botanic Gardens and its facilities including the Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Sports Village. That’s only part of it though. It’s the entire experience - spending time with flat-mates, joining a society at Freshers’ week, slipping on the icy hill in Seaton Park, becoming a regular at the cinema, welcoming Erasmus students, hosting barbecues at the beach, playing golf for the first time, capturing the fireworks on Guy Fawkes night, hype with friends for Halloween and Christmas, joining loved ones for a wedding at a real castle, a day trip to Stonehaven – Aberdeen has it all.

“My graduation day stood out for me as a particularly memorable experience as the ceremony validated all the work I had put in. I can’t remember Professor Angela Black’s exact words during her speech that day, but remember feeling like I’d achieved something and belonged to an institution where many before me had made it.”

Following graduation, Stoyan began studying for an MSc in Accounting and Finance at the University of Durham, during which he secured an offer from J.P. Morgan for an internship in London. The internship turned into a full time offer, which he undertook while also completing his dissertation.

“After four years in a product role, an opportunity came up to develop my career and that's what led me to relocate to Luxembourg in a sales role,” said Stoyan. “I am now six years with the company and have had a fantastic time learning from a range of managers, mentors and peers who’ve helped my development immensely.

“Careers grow the most by being open to new challenges and I am extremely fortunate to work for a global company such as J.P. Morgan. I truly believe that if you are doing the right thing, the right opportunity will show up - whether it's a new project, new position, new division, new manager, new team or a new location.”

Katrina Allan, Head of Alumni Engagement at the University, said:“We are so incredibly grateful for the work that our alumni chapter leaders do to keep their fellow alumni connected with each other and the University. We also appreciate hugely our alumni who give their time to support our career-focused events; the experience and expertise that they share with the students of today is truly invaluable.”

Published by Alumni Relations, University of Aberdeen

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