Thank you to the 1,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Milena Krumova
7 Questions with Milena Krumova
Name: Milena Krumova
Current title: Dr.
Current organisation: EduTechFlag and EITED
Milena possesses more than 15 years of progressive experience in the field of education. Since 2011, she holds Ph.D. in Economics (Economics and Management), since 2014 she holds Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Automation from the TU - Sofia, Faculty of Electronic Engineering and Technologies, in the field of Competency-Based Education and Innovative Technologies and Tools for Teaching & Learning and web 2.0. She has participated in many research projects and has published more than 50 scientific papers as an author and co-author. She is a committee member of the International Conference on Information and Software Technologies Proceedings published by Springer and member of Bulgarian Center of Women in Technology. Since 2013 - 2019, she is a volunteer to coordinate for Bulgaria and lead in Sofia the world's biggest Hackathon NASA International Space Apps Challenge. As a CEO of EduTechFlag Ltd., Milena is the organizer of one of the most innovative events in Bulgaria: Music Hackathons Bulgaria (since 2017); National contests for STEM sciences in Schools (K12) SUPER STEM (since 2017); Sports Hackathons Bulgaria (since 2018); STEM Challenges and Hackathons Bulgaria (since 2020); National ranking for Teachers` digital blogs(since 2020) and many more.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
I have always been inspired by new ideas in education and technologies as a symbiosis. I have found it most challenging to create totally new events, workshops, courses, and training within education which can lead to innovations in education. Being brave not only to take the risk in new ventures is very challenging, but also to work hard for value creations. Being an entrepreneur, you can always experiment with pragmatic ideas and see the results. For my company EduTechFlag, it is the inspiration of students participating in the hackathons, teachers participating in the National STEM contest and rankings, and everyone who is aware that today's education can be a learning adventure.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
After 10 years of teaching/lecturing, being a researcher, and participating in many international conferences, forums and training, I was confident enough that I am skillful to do more on my own responsibility and risk. One of the very big advantages of being an entrepreneur is the freedom to test each one's idea and to see which one works or not. I was awarded by Go8 as European Fellow in 2015 and did research at the University of Queensland. I did very good research and meantime visited the biggest educational expo in Brisbane - EduTech Expo. It was time and place for reflection on the EDU tech potential and the diversity of solutions applicable to every class. I have met many researchers, some of them who impressed me a lot were 10 years old girl with the nickname Super Silvia. After my visit to Australia, in 2015 I visited Orlando, Florida, USA, for a NASA event. It was an award for the best hardware project in the world in the NASA biggest hackathon based on open data, where I have been volunteering for Bulgaria for almost 10 years.
Obviously, my teaching career, volunteering and international work were three of the very important factors to become an entrepreneur. I had much knowledge and experience, and something more - the belief in the educational technologies and their potential.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
My motto is "More active, more productive".
I am an enthusiast in nature, I love new ideas.
Usually I plan my work with more tasks than I can do, so the result is sometimes amazing.
I believe we all can do more than we even think of.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Trust is the core of leadership.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a self-help book by Robin Sharma. An internationally bestselling fable about a spiritual journey, littered with powerful life lessons that teach us how to abandon consumerism in order to embrace destiny, live life to the full and discover joy.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Leadership capacity building starts with trust, but there are many key activities to contribute to it. Such as team working and the social interactions with the team, knowing the cultural differences, especially in the cases when working in an international environment, being proactive and knowledgeable. Building leadership capacity is an ongoing process that has to be developed continuously, such as lifelong learning.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
Students STEM projects