Harvard graduate joins Telerik Academy Alpha to jumpstart successful career in IT


Harvard graduate joins Telerik Academy Alpha to jumpstart successful career in IT


Ivan Ivanov

A few years after graduating from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in Visual and Environmental Studies, Ivan decided to pursue a film directing career and got accepted at the German Film Academy in Berlin. His dream came true in 2015, when he became an Assistant Director for a German-Bulgarian co-production that gained widespread recognition internationally.

When returning to Bulgaria for the film shoot, Ivan chose to stay. But after several jobs in the film industry, he realized he needed to pursue a steadier occupation - this time in IT. He had already had multiple touchpoints with the industry–working as a Technical Assistant and a Business Analyst Consultant to support himself during his studies abroad—but no real-world programming skills. So, he joined Telerik Academy Alpha to bring his personal story to a happy end.

Mastering the hard and soft skills IT companies seek

In just 6 months at Telerik Academy Alpha, Ivan managed to go all the way from zero experience to Master Junior Talent. He believes that instrumental in his training were the Data Structures and Algorithms courses and the soft skills trainings, which covered topics such as: teamwork and communication, self-management under time constraints, goal setting and gaining interview skills.

“Participating in Telerik Academy Alpha was a great investment. It not only helped me attain the knowledge and experience needed to start a career, but it also taught me how to continuously expand my skillset. It also helped me develop a broader plan for my future in IT.”

He also values strongly the opportunity to connect with Telerik Academy’s partners. Our partner network currently consists of over 40 of the leading tech companies in Bulgaria and it keeps growing.

 “By meeting Telerik Academy’s partners, I gained a more detailed view on the job market in Bulgaria and learned more about the relevant technologies. During one of these partner activities I was pleased to learn more about Software AG - my future employer.“

Contributing to a real-world customer project right from the start

Ivan is now a Junior Consultant, Business & IT Transform, at Software AG. The team he is part of works on a project for Schwarz Gruppe - the company owning Lidl and Kaufland. Software AG’s developers (consultants) are responsible for the migration of the business processes’ management and design platform - ARIS.

“Providing high-quality services is crucial because our project encompasses more than 11,000 Lidl and Kaufland stores worldwide. What excites me the most, is the ability to work with my colleagues (almost all of them located in Saarbrücken, Germany), communicate with them in German on a daily basis and contribute to a project with substantial market impact.”

When asked why he chose to join the ranks of the company, Ivan shared:

“Software AG stands out from other tech companies in many ways. It has great clients: Lufthansa, LIDL, Coca Cola, Airbus, to name a few. The newest technologies get quickly integrated either through acquisitions of new companies or through SAG’s own development endeavors. I am also happy to work among top experts in a friendly atmosphere with many social events, great parties and flexible-working hours. Last but not least, the company nurtures self-improvement by providing great resources such as the Corporate University program, recently dubbed the best of its kind worldwide.”

Advice to the new students

  • “Pay attention to the soft skills trainings in the program. It definitely pays off when working in a professional team where human interaction is vital. You cannot gain knowledge and grow as a developer unless you communicate with others.
  • Not everything is on Stack Overflow. In some cases, your colleague is the only person on the planet who knows the answer to your question.
  • Learn more about software testing both automated and manual and the philosophy behind it.  
  • Learn Javascript. It is everywhere and has more applications than you can imagine.
  • Be ready to adapt and stay open to challenges. Eat healthy food and sleep well.”

Ready to start creating your own success? Join the next Telerik Academy Alpha program.



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