September 20, 2013
FM Alumna, Stanislava Mladenova ’00, returned to FM to speak to students during the College’s first Student Government Association (SGA) Senate Meeting. Mladenova, who came to the United States from Bulgaria as an International student, was SGA Freshman Senator (1998-99) and SGA Vice President (1999-2000), and is now Political Advisor to the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan.
“I remember sitting where all of you are now,” said Mladenova to the large group of students at the Senate Meeting. “When I came to FM, I became immediately involved on-campus. My goal was to someday work in International Relations and I knew becoming involved would get me there.”
While at FM, Mladenova was a member and officer of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the International Honor Society for two-year colleges, and was selected as part of the All USA Academic Team which led to her being selected for a coveted internship at the U.S. Department of State. “Without my extracurricular involvement at FM, I would have never had the opportunity to partake in such a wonderful internship.”
After FM, Mladenova went on to the Honors College at Stony Brook to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Affairs (Cum Laude) and continued on to University at Albany to earn a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Her first job out of college was as a Budget Examiner in the NYS Division of the Budget, the agency which prepares the Governor’s budget. After five years with the State, she landed her dream job, working for NATO in Afghanistan.
“My job is challenging but rewarding,” states Mladenova. “But I can tell you, the principles I learned while at FM are the same principles that remain constant in my daily life.” Mladenova went on to share her guiding principles with the students. They included expanding your horizons, making compromises, seeking mentorship, keeping your mind on task, and being flexible.
“Through my involvement with SGA, I was given opportunities to travel to conferences and other colleges to learn leadership and fellowship; I learned how to prioritize; I learned to seek and receive advice; I learned you should feel passionate about what you do so you will love what you do; and most importantly, I learned how to be a part of a team. No matter how difficult the task at hand, if you work together, you can accomplish anything,” said Mladenova.