Finding passion in salesforce: Veselka Ilieva's story of success in the IT sector
Over 28% of employees in the Bulgarian IT sector are women. This is one of the highest percentages in the EU and more than 10% than the average number of females in tech in the Union. One of the inspiring women in technology in Bulgaria is Veselka Ilieva. She is a Salesforce Consulting Manager at Resolute Software and a Certified Salesforce Consultant.
From political sciences and psychology to IT
Although Veselka was interested in technology, working in IT wasn’t among her career plans when she was deciding on her education. She graduated from Sofia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology.
“During my whole career, I’ve worked in IT companies, which seems a bit weird as my education has nothing to do with technology. Through the years, I realized that technological advancements could make the world a better and safer place”, Veselka shares.
While having an administrative role in a Fortune 500 IT company, Veselka decides she wants to embark on a more technical career path. Luckily, she gets offered to support the Salesforce team within the company. "In a previous job, I had the opportunity to work with Salesforce, and that’s the moment I realized how this software helps companies save resources and scale successfully”, she explains.
Joining a diverse & inclusive environment
Veselka joined Resolute Software in the fall of 2022. Before that, she worked in different companies which allowed her to gain experience in implementing Salesforce solutions, and also define what culture and environment she want to work in. Together with practical experience, Veselka also secured certification from Salesforce to showcase her skills and understanding of the solutions. With almost a decade of experience in the industry, she had the opportunity to work on the implementation of various projects.
“I’m glad that the opportunity to join Resolute came. Our management team is super supportive and empowers us to grow professionally and personally. Our workplace is inclusive and diverse and we break the very common stereotypes in the IT industry about age and gender”, Veselka shares with us.
Together with diversity, another aspect that Veselka highlights is the collaboration with teammates - she can always rely on the team’s dev capacity to help her with changes based on the needs of the customer.
In the fast-paced and constantly changing IT sector, Veselka rates highly the opportunity that Resolute offers to her in learning new skills. The company offers her flexibility and resources that allow her to be prepared for all challenges that arise in her work.
Breaking the stereotypes
Resolute Software managed to establish a company with a near-perfect gender balance. Split 50/50, males and females collaborate closely to help their clients grow.
“The most significant challenge I encountered as a woman in the tech industry was overcoming the preconceived notions and biases that still exist within the field. Although progress has been made in terms of diversity and inclusion, more efforts are required to ensure equal representation and opportunities for women. To establish myself and demonstrate my capabilities, I had to work diligently, sometimes facing doubt or undervaluation. However, through perseverance and dedication to my craft, I was able to surmount these obstacles and build a successful career. I am happy that now I've found a place, where company culture is built around happiness, equality, and care”, Ilieva shares.
Follow your passion & embrace failure
Veselka has two pieces of advice for women who are debating whether to start their career in IT - find out what’s your passion and pursue it, and be prepared to screw up things and embrace that to become a better professional.
“For me, the most important thing is to be passionate about the problem you’re solving or the technology you’re using. That’s how you get satisfaction from your job and you can be successful at it”, Ilieva shares.
“Many people are scared of failure and screwing up a project, but for me, that’s the best way to learn. Sometimes, when a project doesn’t go according to plan or something doesn’t work as planned can be a daunting feeling. This moment also provides a great opportunity for any professional to fix it and build his knowledge base”, Veselka shares.