May 28, 2009
Four students of the Amrita School of Business — Gajanan Sapate, Kiran Sekhar, Sarthak Behura and Varun Handa — have spent the past two months at Sofia University. The oldest and largest scientific centre in Bulgaria, Sofia University offers 92 degree courses in humanities and sciences. There are 15 schools and 10,000 students on the rolls. The Amrita students availed the opportunity provided to them through the Eureca program in order to spend a semester abroad.
With the students is Prof. Prashant Nair, Vice-Chair of the IT Department at Coimbatore. A welcome party was arranged for the Amrita team on April 14, 2009, by the Department of Software Engineering. The Amrita team made a presentation that initiated discussions to identify longer-term collaborative opportunities with Sofia University and its corporate partners. Meanwhile, the ASB students have begun working on the projects assigned to them.
One of these projects is a business development project. Students are engaged in market research for a new product designed by Rila Solutions, a provider of business intelligence solutions to many of the Fortune 500 firms. The kickoff meeting for this project with Rila CEO, Mr. Miroslav Iliev was facilitated by Prof. Sylvia Illieva, Eureca Coordinator of Sofia University on April 23, 2009. Another project involves the providing of strategic, financial and marketing direction to young entrepreneurs of Bulgaria, who are members of Junior Achievement, an international association. A preliminary meeting was held with the CEO of Junior Achievement, Bulgaria, Ms. Milena Stoycheva.
Meanwhile, Prof Prashant Nair is about to complete his stint as visiting faculty at Sofia University. For the past two months, he taught modules in project management and requirements engineering for many of the programs offered by the Department of Software Engineering. Students enrolled in Bachelors in Software Engineering, Masters in Software Engineering and Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship attended his classes. “Overall, its been a very rewarding experience,” he shared. “I have handled nearly 40 hours of classes in the past two months, including seminars and exercises. I tried hard to find examples in the local context and milieu, so that students could relate better to what was being taught.”
In addition to working on projects and teaching, the team has been able to make time for sight-seeing. As one of Europe’s oldest cities, Sofia has several places worth visiting. One of the most prominent cultural landmarks in the city is the Alexander Nveski Cathedral, that the Amrita team visited first. One of the largest in the world, the cathedral can seat about 5000 people at one time. The Amrita team is looking forward to the season of winter giving way to spring. Spring time is blooming time for the famous Bulgarian roses, that add incredible beauty to this city, ringed in by the Balkan and Vitosha Mountains. We look forward to more reports and photos from the Amrita team in Bulgaria