Welcome to our newest alumni

Georgi: a life in London and supporting others

Georgi is a 2018 Geography graduate who describes himself as a left-and-right-brained marketer with a few too many side hustles. He joined Platform One, the University's online meeting place, to connect with people from the Edinburgh community, and has ended up offering advice and support to some students and new graduates. Now a growth manager for an athletics shoe retailer, he tells us about his experiences so far.

Georgi Popov

My life after graduation

Two and a half years since my graduation ceremony in McEwan Hall, I'm a year into a global pandemic and, unsurprisingly, working remotely from my room in London. My post-university life has been all work and a lot of good fun. After a brief summer month at my parent’s, in August 2018 I moved to a flat in east London with two other 2018 Edinburgh graduates. Apart from the occasional flat party, we would rarely hang out as we were all busy with working hard, playing harder and travelling further and further. But then the pandemic hit and we were suddenly forced to spend more time together. Over the following nine months we got to know each other so well that I now consider them some of my closest friends. Unfortunately, due to being in a job that was laden with uncertainty, I was forced to give notice on our beloved east London flat and our paths split. I was going to leave London for good, but then another opportunity arose and I stayed.

Joining Platform One

Early on in my university experience I realised that joining Platform One would be useful because it would be as much about the connections I make as it would be about my studies. Since then I’ve recognised that relationships are one of the most important things in life. Platform One is a networking platform that brings together people who already have a lot in common – their university experience at Edinburgh – thus rendering the important process of making connections that much more effortless.

Supporting the Edinburgh community

I decided to become a supporter on Platform One for one simple reason - giving back. I would like to be there for people who I think I could help them in the same way that there were – and still are – people who I looked up to for guidance, advice and support. One 2020 graduate who was interested in digital marketing reached out to me for career advice. The industry landscape is so vast, the pace of change so rapid, and the opportunities so limitless that it could easily be an overwhelming place to navigate. In my experience as a Growth Manager by profession and a Geographer by degree, the best way to go about exploring any landscape – professional or natural – is to follow three simple rules:

  1. go in the direction your eyes are drawn to, even if that involves going off the beaten path
  2. don’t be afraid to get your boots dirty – i.e. get your hands busy trying different things
  3. keep walking and exploring.

Trying out loads of things, working for different people, companies and clients worked like a charm for me. So I suggested to the student to, firstly find ANY relevant experience as soon as possibly; secondly, to keep her eyes peeled as there are opportunities everywhere; and third;y, to choose the opportunities that would allow her to try different things.

Advice to my younger self

Second year. I was kind of done with partying hard and had met people I could trust, made some good friends and was greatly enjoying university life. I was starting to take the academic side of things more seriously - I kind of had to with the honours years just around the corner and the higher academic expectations that come with them. I also had an agreement with my parents to start supporting myself financially, at least to some extent if not fully, so I had to take up a part-time job. Over the summer break my life had suddenly got a lot more challenging and I felt like I had taken the weight of the world on my shoulders (even though I hadn’t really)! Going through this period taught me a lot, inevitably, and forged me into the more proudly resilient individual I am now. However, looking back it seems like I took things rather too seriously perhaps and I think I could have taken it a bit easier on myself, as one should in their second year at Edinburgh! So, the advice I would give to my 20 year old self – and, ironically, what penultimate and last year students were telling me at the time, but I hardly ever listened – would be to stress less and enjoy the whole university experience more, it is a blessing.

Finally, where I am now

As I was about to leave London and the UK for good, a new job opportunity came out of nowhere and I suddenly found myself so bought into the vision and the prospects of it that I decided to stay for yet another gig. I found a flat and moved in at the start of this year with a lovely bunch of people. In essence, I swapped the view of the glass high rise banks of Canary Wharf for a bedroom view of the Shard. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I’m still a part-time urban explorer and I’m thoroughly enjoying my new neighbourhood.  

You can connect with Georgi and other members of the University community on Platform One, the University's online meeting place:

Platform One