Maya Koleva

Nationality: Bulgaria
Program: One-year MAPP
Graduated: 2009
Current job: Project Manager at Commetric
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Beyond Work

+1. Which Hungarian words do you still remember?

Jó reggelt [good morning], egy sört, kérem [one beer, please], egészségedre [cheers or bless you], gyümölcs [fruit]. Not necessarily in this order ;)

+2. What is your favorite city in the world?

I am actually very fond of my home town Sofia – objectively not the best place in the world, but I feel pretty happy here. Otherwise, I'd say my favorite city is Belgrade, followed closely by other "B"s--Berlin and Budapest.

+3. What was your dream job when you were ten years old?

I wanted to be a reporter like April O'Neil from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

+4. What helps you wake up on Monday mornings?

My now year-and-a-half-old daughter calling from her room until I get to her.

1. What led you to study public policy at CEU?

I was attracted by the Media, Information and Telecommunications Policy specialization following my BA degree in journalism and a couple of years as a working journalist with what was then Bulgaria's leading daily newspaper. What sparked my interest in public policy in general was the desire to study and conduct research on media policy development and media regulation.

2. What do you remember most about your time at CEU?

I remember – and value most – the student community I joined and the professors I met and worked with. The two student cohorts in what was then the Department of Public Policy – one-year MAPP students and Mundus MAPP students who spent one year of the two-year program at CEU – made for an exceptional combination. I met people I really admire intellectually, professionally, and personally. I also met people who are still among my closest friends, despite the fact that we currently live thousands of kilometers apart. As for the professors, I had a chance to work with genuine experts and learn from my interactions with them. I really value the friendly and understanding attitude of all the professors I met. I still keep in touch with some of them.

3. What have you been engaged in professionally since graduating from CEU?

Shortly after I graduated, I joined an international specialized media research company. I started as an analyst but went on to become a project manager. I am also a PhD student at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications, Sofia University. My academic work focuses on creating a new methodology for media research, which applies network analysis to media content.

4. How have your policy studies at CEU contributed to your career?

I have worked on multiple media research projects for governmental bodies, NGOs, and private sector companies. These research projects involved primarily content analysis, yet the deep understanding I gained through my studies of media markets, systems, and regulation has helped me tremendously to lead my team in producing real added value. In addition, the knowledge I acquired as a graduate student of public policy at CEU in policy analysis and qualitative and quantitative research methods comes in handy in my day-to-day work, as it helps me set appropriate research objectives, frame the right research questions, and assess the results of any study in a methodologically sound way. The public policy master's degree in itself has also been very valuable. Whenever clients have requested background information about the team members working on their projects, the CEU degree has served as an indisputable proof of expertise.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

As part of my current PhD program I have had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant, which has sparked my interest in an academic career. I hope in five years' time I will be able to combine my career in the private research sector with teaching BA and MA courses in research methods for media and communication studies.

6. Do you have any advice for current students?

Generally do your best with your studies, but don't push to be perfect. Under the pressure of tight deadlines, the goal should be to produce the best work possible, not flawless papers if that means you are going to miss a deadline or jeopardize your health and well-being.

7. What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?

If I had to name just one thing, it would be street photography. Budapest was certainly an inspiring place to take pictures :)

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