VUM celebrated the “European Year of Skills” with a series of events

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The weekend at Varna University of Management was dynamic. This Saturday and Sunday, the university hosted a series of events unified under the theme “Professions of Tomorrow: a Weekend of Intergenerational Skills.”

Inspired by the initiative of the European Commission, “2023 – European Year of Skills,” the activities were dedicated to all young individuals aspiring to acquire new skills and looking to embark on a challenging journey towards a successful future professional career. The organizers provided a unique opportunity for all students and young people from Varna and the region to share an unforgettable weekend, enrich themselves with new skills, get inspired by successful professionals, and create new contacts, relationships, and friendships.

The Saturday began with two parallel events – a lecture module featuring leading university professors and successful entrepreneurs from various business sectors, and a career fair with both Bulgarian and foreign employers seeking new talents among Varna’s students.

The VUM Vice Rector (Research), Prof. Dr. Stanislav Ivanov, initiated the lecture part, welcoming the attendees on behalf of the university’s management and delivering a presentation on the topic “ChatGPT: a friend or foe to students?”. The presentation module continued with equally interesting and captivating topics such as “Professions of Tomorrow in Tourism and Hospitality” presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maya Ivanova, Head of the Tourism Department, “Automating Routine Tasks with CI/CD (Jenkins)” presented by Eng. Yordanka Budinova, a lecturer in the “Software Systems and Technologies” department, as well as “Marketing Skills – Profession or Lifelong Learning?”

Chef Hugues Boutin, the Director and Head Chef Instructor at the Culinary Arts Institute at VUM, conducted a masterclass on waste management in the kitchen and demonstrated how to create culinary masterpieces from “ugly” vegetables. Among the guest lecturers were Ms. Maria Ruzhinska, Director of Human Resources at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort (UAE), who spoke on “What Makes a Job Ideal,” and Ms. Yoanna Dimova, Head of Talent at Pontica Solutions, who discussed “Skills that will Help us Succeed in Any Profession.” Yolita Lazarova from Bell Education assured the attendees that “If you find a job you love, you’ll never have to work again” and others.

Simultaneously, in the VUM Conference Hall, a Career Fair took place, featuring numerous leading employers from Bulgaria and abroad who presented their companies and introduced visitors to job openings and internship opportunities they offer. Among the foreign employers were Qatar Airways Group, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort (UAE), IPRACTICE Costa Brava, and Ehogroup (Spain), Nordseehotel Freese & Restaurant “Hubertusklause,” Juist Gastronomie, and Kanne Group (Germany), Atlantica Hotels & Resorts (Cyprus and Greece), among others. Bulgarian companies like Easy Consult Ltd., Pontica Solutions, Bell Education, Grifid Hotels, and others actively participated as well.

In the late afternoon, university professors, employers, students, and VUM alumni gathered in an informal setting to discuss the achieved results. The topics of discussion included labor market development and its new requirements, the necessary skills for successful professional realization in the modern world, career opportunities for young people, and the exceptional importance of collaboration between educational institutions and business environments.

The initiative “Professions in the Future: a Skills Weekend across Generations” was realized with the financial support of the “Youth Activities – 2023” program of Varna Municipality.