Momchil Kovachev on FDIBA, the learning environment and more…

How did you come to FDIBA?
As a boy I was fascinated by cars because of my father, who at the time worked for the Volkswagen and Audi representative in Bulgaria. Following this passion, I learned German at high school. I chose Czech as my second language because there were rumors that Skoda might open a factory in Vidin. In high school, like many of my peers at the time, I was obsessed with computers. In the year of the entrance exams, together with my parents, we identified the German Faculty of the Technical University – Sofia as a possible contact point. Unfortunately or fortunately, the time in front of the computer had an impact on my grades and I didn’t manage to get accepted into the computer science course. I was accepted into the General Mechanical Engineering course and so my studies at the faculty began.

Was it a challenge for you to study at the faculty?
Coming from a foreign language school, the first days of lectures in higher mathematics, physics and other subjects in German were challenging. I hadn’t heard so many new words in German since the first days of preparatory classes at high school. The material was presented quickly and I could hardly follow the thread. The first exam period made it very clear to me that it would not be easy here and that a completely new effort would be required from me. Compared to my school friends who chose other universities, I saw that we were burdened more and demanded a lot. I am grateful to my fellow students, with whom we subsequently became a large circle of friends, for overcoming challenges together – each thanks to our own strengths.

What did you like most about your studies?
I liked the times when we had guest lecturers from Germany because of their enthusiasm and willingness to work with us. Unfortunately, only a few of our fellow students realized themselves as engineers, but we all developed our skills to overcome various challenges.

How did you continue your career path after your studies?
I actually started working as a system administrator at the faculty in my second year of studies. Thanks to the team there, I learned very early on how important human relationships are in the work environment. This also allowed me to see the practical application of some of the subjects we studied. Subsequently, after the compulsory internship – part of the training process at the faculty – I continued working in the same company where I completed my internship – Balkan Star. At that time, the company was Daimler’s representative for Bulgaria. I started in after-sales service and worked my way up to spare parts manager. In 2011, I received a proposal to join the Inter Cars team to start the company’s operations in Bulgaria. After a few years, I continued my development in the company’s international structures and in 2016 I got a position in the headquarters – Warsaw. We lived there with my family for a year. I have been responsible for the company’s digital transformation since 2019.

How do you assess the influence of the faculty – the teaching and the learning environment – on your life?
The training at the FDIBA and the environment have had a strong influence on my further life development – both professionally and personally. The ability to deal with difficulties and challenges, the German educational standard and the German diploma were enormously helpful in the first steps into a working environment and in my development. I also met my wife at the faculty, with whom we are happily raising our two children. And sometimes, when we want to say something secretly in front of the children, we speak German.

What are your first memories of the faculty?
The memories are numerous, but two things remain etched in my mind to this day. One relates to the extraordinary workload and the teaching material that we had to deal with, namely in German. I still remember how I combined my work and evening lectures during my master’s degree. The other relates to the fellow students and the environment that has formed. To this day, the friendships and contacts help me to develop professionally and personally.