Volunteering means friends, skills, knowledge and fun by Boyana Zahova

   Meet Boyana Zahova! She is a passionate volunteer and has been engaged in various volunteering initiatives with the PMI Bulgaria Chapter for a few years already. Still her career as a volunteer dates back years ago. She started her volunteering path as part of a youth organization MAR during her student years where she was a camp leader of an international group of 12 participants, delivering a social project for the orphanage in Plovdiv and Vratsa. Boyana experienced the benefits of her volunteering - by giving her time and knowledge she received so much more – new friends, skills, knowledge and gratitude. Moreover the experience even changed her perspective of life and gave her meaningful and purposeful direction for her next endeavors. Boyana continued her volunteering path by serving in different officers’ roles and as a President of the Business Park Toastmasters Club (Toastmasters is a volunteering organization, with focus on leadership and communication development skills). She was inspired by one speech delivered by Boryana Georgieva, PMI VP Educational Development in which Boryana shared her wonderful volunteering experience with PMI and that anyone could engage and become a volunteer for the PMI Bulgaria Chapter.

   So, Boyana started volunteering for PMI in 2018 as part of the Project Management Day volunteering team. She was part of the Logistics team together with Naeri Masihi and Denitsa Boeva. The Logistics team was in charge of the conference venue, catering and cocktail reception, as well as for hosting the speakers and organizing their briefing and accommodations. Due to the very professional approach of the Project Manager of the PM Day 2018 - Zhana Pelovska and the wonderful volunteering team the event was a great success. As Boyana shares today - she not only learned a lot, but also enjoyed the volunteering project, met many new friends and was eager to continue to give back and further work on some of the challenges the team faced and this is how she continued her volunteering journey with PMI and joined the PMI Bulgaria Board of Directors in 2019 as VP Project and Volunteering.

Boyana Zahova
   One of her first projects in her new role was to organize the team building for the volunteering team of 2018. The next challenge was an even bigger one - support for the Project Management Summit Bulgaria 9th Edition, which turned out to be the biggest project management conference in Europe. This was the success story that Boyana Zahova shared with all the PMI European peers during the Region 8 Meeting held in Brussels in 2019 where Boyana had the honor to share more about during a panel together with representatives from PMI Netherlands and PMI Cyprus.

   Due to the high interest in volunteering with PMI Bulgaria Chapter more successful projects followed in 2019. One of them was the Scale Up your Career event where PMI Bulgaria volunteers organized a workshop for 70 participants, who had an interest in pursuing a career in Project Management and another one was the project for organizing the PMI 50th Anniversary Party that celebrated the PMI Bulgaria Chapter 10th Anniversary together with our members and guests from around the world.

   Boyana is excited that the Project Management Summit and the Bulgarian Project Management Awards Projects were just kicked off even in this unprecedented situation of a COVID-19 pandemic and that the Chapter will be shortly opening the call for volunteers for the 2020 Mentoring Program to give the opportunity to our members to reach out and connect and expand their project management skills.