Concord Origin Story: Yana Dobreva

In the world of comic books, origin stories inform the reader of the identity and motivations of heroes and villains (thankfully, we only have the former here). Like Spider-Man or Captain American, your origin story is important as it defines who you are today. Learn about the experiences, people, and influences that shaped Concord's Yana Dobreva by reading below! 

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Where did you grow up?

Sofia, Bulgaria.

What is your favorite family tradition?

When we get together for Christmas, my mom writes an annual report with a few sentences on what each family member did throughout the year. The fun part is that she leaves empty spaces for the adjectives. We then go around the table, and everyone gives an adjective until all the spaces are filled. We try to keep it PG-13, especially when my nieces and nephews were younger, but it never works out. Now that they are teenagers, they shock all of us with the adjectives they come up with. In the end, it makes for hilarious reading at the Christmas table.

What is an experience that shaped who you are today?

Studying in China for six years shaped the person I am today. It broadened my horizons immeasurably. I met people from all over the world, even from countries that were so exotic to me. Before studying in China, I never thought I would know people from Madagascar, Mauritius, and Western Samoa. Almost 30 years later, I have friends from so many countries that when I travel somewhere, chances are I know someone there who studied with me in China.

What is your favorite travel destination?

I would say anywhere. I love to travel. But if I had to choose, one of my favorite places is Russia.

How did you end up in your current career?

After graduating from Beijing University and moving back to Bulgaria, I never planned to work in the IT field. I was supposed to work in the Asian Division of our State Department, but I do not have any filters, which is a character flaw for a future diplomat. I can only imagine the international incidents I could have caused. After deciding I wasn’t becoming a diplomat, I took a job as an Office Manager in the first U.S. software company in Bulgaria. I got lucky because my coworkers were amazing. I fell in love with the IT field. I don’t have any formal education or background in IT, so my start as a QA was mainly due to my language skills. But as it turns out, I have a knack for the job. As the saying goes, the rest is history.

What is your favorite food?

I love seafood, especially salmon and shrimp.

What is your favorite hobby?

I am a pub trivia maniac. I have been going to pub trivia for ten years now, and I don’t think I will ever get tired of it. I am part of an amazing team and we do win on a regular basis.

When was a moment you felt most accomplished?

When I managed to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature. I still sometimes have nightmares that I’m in China and have exams the next day. I always wake up in a cold sweat.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

To be less impulsive and think before jumping.

 

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