SKY HIGH

By Kristin Bakardzhieva 
All photos personal archive

Everyone has a direction. Although he spends most of his time underground, Borislav Borisov is aiming at real heights and meaningful things that make us grow and improve our environment. Borislav graduated from the University of Mining and Geology in Sofia, and is currently a senior construction manager in Qatar. We explore his journey, his intermediate stops, his plans for the future and his ultimate goal – Bulgaria.

How and when did you decide to apply the model 'graduate in Bulgaria, work abroad'?

It happened gradually. I was born and raised in Bulgaria. So naturally I enrolled in a Bulgarian University. Later on, in the process of work, I began meeting foreign colleagues. I had the opportunity to work with a Japanese prime contractor on a section of Sofia subway, where the team was multinational. They often sent me abroad. Moreover, I had the example of my friends who found jobs in different countries throughout the world. So with time, the idea shaped in my head that I could also try my luck abroad.

 

Do you have any memories of your student years in Bulgaria?

I belong to a bit older generation, when military service was compulsory. After I was released from the army, I applied with MGU and - like many other young people – initially I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Partying prevailed over learning. At one point, however, my thinking took a turn, and I started making a concerted effort to become a good professional.

 

What did you get from Bulgarian education?

In Qatar I found proof that Bulgarian diplomas are fully recognized. I think that the training we receive in our universities, gives us a sufficient foundation for a successful career not only in Bulgaria but also abroad.

 

How do you adapt to work in different parts throughout the world? You have worked in Bulgaria, then in Kenya and Tanzania and now in Qatar…

It is quite difficult, but also exciting. It is difficult because you have to fit into a multinational team, get to know every new culture and learn the work specifics of the region. From a personal perspective, I had to adapt to living conditions very different from those in Bulgaria. But it is well worth it because you get a chance to meet great people with diverse personalities; you get to work for world famous companies, to participate in massive projects. Work took me to very exotic and exciting places like the National Park "Hell's Gate", the semi-arid Turkana county, Lake Naivasha and the land of Maasai in Kenya; to Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia…

 

You are currently working in infrastructure construction. How does it feel to do something so important for our globalised world?

It's just work. You go every day and you try to cope with daily tasks and challenges. On the other hand, when you look back, you feel satisfaction with what you have achieved. You find the purpose of your being involved in it.

 

How does it feel to work underground in Qatar, where everything seems to reach sky high?

At the moment there is a large-scale construction effort going on, as a result of the national strategy of the government for the next 15-20 years, for Qatar to become a modern and self-sustaining economy. So the country, especially the capital city Doha, resembles a giant construction site. Constantly emerging skyscrapers, public buildings, sports facilities, ports, water infrastructure, metro... Qatar is allocating massive financial resources for all to be built by the highest world standards from concept, technology to performance quality. This enabled me to see complex construction methods unknown in Bulgaria.

 

Say we graduate in Bulgaria, and then we receive several job offers from different parts of the world. How do we choose the best one?

When you start, the financial aspect should not be your guide. Better look out for opportunities for career development as a professional.

If young people have the desire, I think they can be successful anywhere.

 

What would you advise Bulgarian students?

To consider very carefully what exactly do they want to do, because it will be their profession. They should not jump blindly into subjects that currently pass for very sleek and modern. Fashion changes constantly

 

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to keep working abroad for several more years, then return to Bulgaria permanently. And, of course, finish my doctorate here.

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Borislav Borislavov. 37 years old, was born in Sofia. He got Bachelor's and Master's degree in geological engineering, as well as a Master's in Underground Engineering. All of them he acquired from the Mining and Geology University "St. Ivan Rilski" in Sofia. He is currently a part-time PhD student at the Department of Underground Engineering at the same University. He worked as a geologist and manager for quality assurance in different Bulgarian companies. From 2007 to 2009 he worked as a tunnelling engineer for "Taisei Corporation Bulgaria" - the Japanese subcontractor of Sofia subway. In 2013-2014 he worked as a corporate manager in maintenance and quality control in Sivikon, Kenya. Then he went to Qatar, where he was on the team of "HBK CONTRACTING" Since January this year Borislav is a senior manager of the construction company "Porr Constructions" - Qatar.