2020 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Eva Savova, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Eva (Ivelina) Savova

W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

“I aim to be in continuous pursuit of new knowledge and challenges.”

Age: 34

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Fun fact about yourself: I’m originally from Bulgaria and proud of my Eastern-European heritage. I’m also a huge Formula 1 fan.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Saint Vincent College, PA – Finance and Mathematics majors, Economics minor

Where are you currently working? Western Emulsions Inc. – Director of Business and Process Improvement

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Speaker Nominee
  • Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Volunteer
  • Future Forward Foundation, Volunteer
  • Thanksgiving Community Lunch, Tucson, Volunteer
  • Interim Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Controller, current position of leading improvement and growth projects encompassing various aspects of the business

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Fully embracing the program has allowed me to not only learn new tools and concepts in order to grow in my professional life but also helped me grow as a human being. I am also proud of doing my best to be there for my classmates and spending time with them outside of class. I will miss them dearly!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Treating everyone around me with respect, staying true to my values, and keeping a strong work ethic. Everything else falls in place from that.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dean Amy Hillman. She challenges students on a different level through the way she leads class discussions. Her classes are amazing, so is she!

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? ASU’s EMBA program is focused on strategy and leadership, which are subjects I was looking for from a growth perspective. The business school has a good philosophy for how they pick EMBA students, focusing on diversity, contribution in class as well as growth opportunity in their careers.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general?

Sharing this experience with an amazing group of people from my cohort, being able to learn from some amazing professors who care on a personal level about their students, and being able to grow on both a professional and personal level. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to apply for ASU’s EMBA.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Failure is part of our growth story and it is O.K. to fail, as long as we learn from that experience. The program has been a good way to practice that in a safe environment. I have been able to take more risks at work which has improved my learning.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? There were multiple periods at work when there were quite a few projects going on that were very time-consuming and, at the same time, I would be going through some personal challenges with my family. It is important to be honest with yourself and the people around you (including colleagues, family, and classmates) and ask for help when needed. It is impossible to do everything perfectly and prioritizing is important. I also found it useful to plan my schedule as early as possible in order to create a routine and minimize stress as much as possible.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? I try to put the maximum possible effort in everything I do, which doesn’t always translate into the best outcomes I expected. That’s O.K. with me as long as I know I’ve given it all I could. My advice to future students is to give their best effort during those two years and take full advantage of the program. The future you will thank you! If your goal is purely to pass in order to get the “MBA” designation behind your name, you are doing it wrong!

What is the biggest myth about going back to school?  “I don’t have time to go back to school with everything else going on in my life!” – This was me a few years back. It is amazing what people can accomplish when they make something a priority. It is not easy but it is definitely possible.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not being able to share the celebration of our accomplishment with my cohort in person due to COVID-19. I miss my ASU family and looking forward to celebrating safely in the future.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire every one of my classmates as they all have unique qualities that make them special to me. I have been able to learn from each and one of them. I could not be more proud to know such an amazing group of people and will be forever thankful I had the chance to share this experience and learn with them.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I felt I needed a stepping stone to help me expand my horizon and provide me a framework for approaching ambiguous problem-solving and leadership on a new level. I had also gained enough working experience that would allow me to digest the new concepts and put them in practice promptly as well as share some valuable input with my classmates.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I would like to be in a position that gives me the opportunity to make a positive difference and improve the status-quo for the community around me.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? The crazy Bulgarian who doesn’t give up and is willing to help peers with anything she can.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

Visit the ruins of Petra in Jordan

Hike in the Himalayas

What made Eva such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Eva was always well-prepared and always made contributions that contributed to class. She was always willing to help others. She brought a terrific background and experiences to the class blended with her unique sense of humor. She exemplifies the students we aspire to have in our program. She was admired by all of her classmates.”

Gerry Keim
EMBA Faculty Director and Professor


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