Iliyana Stareva - BA (Hons) International Business graduate

Current employer: HubSpot

Current job title: Channel Consultant

Current location: Dublin, Ireland

“Find out what you are passionate about and make that your career or at least make it part of your career path. This will ensure that you actually enjoy what you are doing, that it is not just a job, but a fulfilling and inspiring career, so that when you wake up in the morning you go to the office motivated to achieve more.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

Even before graduation I was already undertaking multiple social media internships in digital consultancies in Germany and in the UK (one with Plymouth’s Bluestone360). When I graduated I was appointed to the role of a social media account manager at a PR consultancy in Dusseldorf, handling the brands of one of the world’s largest FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) companies. A year and three months after that HubSpot found me on LinkedIn and made me the most amazing job offer. I just couldn’t resist and so I moved to Dublin.  

Has your career path changed since graduation?

Oh yes, from social media and PR (which was barely covered during university) to becoming a channel consultant at HubSpot, where I work with our partner agencies and advise them on their business and marketing strategies (which was extensively covered during university).

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Having to stay in Germany after graduation as I couldn’t get a work permit for the UK (as a Bulgarian back then I was still required to have that paperwork). Nevertheless, it was still great a work experience that led to my current role.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

Moving to Dublin to join HubSpot. The third week of November 2014 I was still working in Dusseldorf and simultaneously packing my stuff for my move to Dublin on 23 November. Five days after that I flew to Boston for my two-week induction training at HubSpot, then got back to Dublin to start my new role. This was probably the craziest, most exciting, and also most stressful (but in a good way) month of my life!

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Never stop learning and get some experience early on. That doesn’t necessarily mean work experience, but also learning on your own for example by creating your own blog and establishing your social media presence. Become your own brand in the online space.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

A guest lecture for Hugh Conway’s marketing class, held by Giles Hutchins and called 'The Firm of The Future'. It was his talk that for the first time really opened my eyes about the challenges we and our planet are facing and that the current business paradigm is unsustainable. My interest in sustainability grew from that moment and directed my future research in the field, resulting in a second dissertation about sustainability that was later published as a book.