Happy Grad: Petko Petkov

  Age: 21 years old Graduation date: March 2015 (Expected) Major: Architectural Technology and Construction Management School: High School of Natural Science and Mathematics Current Position: Intern - Assistant Site Manager  

Q: What was your biggest fear about leaving college and entering the “real world”?

I am the type of person who always chases his dreams, so I never really felt the sense of fear at all. Even though I was born and raised in Bulgaria, I started my bachelor degree in Denmark. After 4 semesters (7 in total) I got exchanged to Australia for a semester. I'm now following the program requirements I need to start my internship at a construction company in New Zealand.
Yes, I knew it will be difficult.... However, I decided to use this as my advantage, and put it in a way that I like to be challenged and I could easily adapt in a new environment.
Yes, I knew it will be difficult to fit in the locals market in New Zealand, knowing nothing about the building codes and regulations. What's more, I knew some of the recruiters might feel I am a person who travels around the world with no intention to settle down. However, I decided to use this as my advantage, and put it in a way that I like to be challenged and I could easily adapt in a new environment.

Q: What five words would you use to explain your job search as a recent grad?

Dedication, Research, Planning, Communication, Visualization.

Q: What is it about your situation now that makes you a happy grad?

I have always wanted to start my career as an on-site manager, which would lead to a Project Manager position later on. I was absolutely clear about my career plan at my first interview and I was happy to hear that the company would give me opportunity to follow these steps. So, in few words, I am starting as an intern only to fulfill the requirements of my study program. However, if I complete this phase successfully, I would be considered as a permanent employee at the company.

Q: What are the best things about your current role?

I would start working on an extremely challenging project and would be directly supervised by two of the most experienced site mangers in the company. Not to mention the company, which has more than 100 years of experience, multiple awarded projects, and one of the absolute leaders in the local market.

Q: What advice would you give recent grads today about leaving college, and finding a career and life they love?

Determine exactly what you want, and make a career plan stating your mission and vision and make sure you follow every milestone. Remember, you are not damaged goods, and don't let anybody discourage you by saying you can't do this or that you're not experienced. Use everything in your favor, focusing on the fact that you are hungry for success, you are not burdened by other companies politics, and you are ready to invest your time and energy in this company.
Remember, you are not damaged goods, and don't let anybody discourage you by saying you can't do this or that you're not experienced.
Don't waste your time to register your interest in the company website and be part of the bulk. Find their address, print your CV and cover letter, and knock on their door. Even if they tell you they are not interested, ask them if they were to hire somebody, what would they look for. That way, you can focus on certain skills. Check the recruiting agencies. After a period of time, you would start to notice they focus on the same key skills. Directly transfer those skills into your resume. Always seek other people's advice and use your time efficiently by reading articles that could impress future employers and bring value to their work. Lastly, promise yourself a present you really want or an activity you absolutely crave to experience once you get the job, and everyday wake up with the idea that you are going to fight hard to experience it sooner than expected.

Q: What are some of the best things about being a recent grad?

The freedom to act in the way you want. It is now the time to prove yourself that it was worth the time of studying and start building your future.

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