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M.A. Management + Majors

Stela Koleva

"Studying at IU for me was a great opportunity to get comprehensive, solid education from the convenience of my home, or my office, or a lot of hotel rooms, and any other places I could study."

Stela Koleva stands out in the competitive world of professional success. An alumna of IU from Prague, she has built an impressive career in information technology and currently serves as Vice President at a cutting-edge tech startup.

She began with her foray into management as a supervisor at Concur, a nascent start-up subsequently acquired by SAP. Concurrently, she embarked on a master's degree at IU, laying the groundwork for a career that would soon soar to remarkable heights. In a mere five years, she transformed from the technical supervisor of a modest department to the strategic overseer of a formidable 300-member team. 

Continuing her ascent, Stela became the Vice President of SAP Concur Services and Support in the EMEA region. She played a key role in shaping the vision for the EMEA support organisation and served as the Country Director for SAP Concur Czech, managing branches in the Czech Republic and a diverse workforce from 60 countries. For her inclusive leadership and support of D&I initiatives in the SAP Czech location of 3000 employees, Stela was awarded with the Pride Business Forum Heroes 2022 Award by Pride Business Forum in the Czech Republic. 

May 2023 marked a new chapter in Stela’s illustrious career. An international leader with strong values, she was invited to speak at the launch of UNITAR’s Value-based Leadership Programme in the UN palace in Geneva. In the same month, she also took on the role of Vice President of Support and Services for Mews, a leading provider of technical hospitality systems. This transition showcased her adaptability and continued commitment to innovation within the fast-evolving tech landscape. 

Her recognition for Professional Success in the IU Alumni Award 2023 category highlights her dedication and strategic acumen. The jury commended her for navigating challenges in a male-dominated industry and taking on high management responsibilities early in her career. 

Stela Koleva's narrative is not merely one of professional triumph but also a testament to the values upheld by IU—flexibility and equality. Her parallel pursuit of a distance learning programme while scaling the echelons of corporate leadership exemplifies the embodiment of these core principles. As she celebrates this well-deserved recognition, Stela inspires aspiring professionals navigating the dynamic landscapes of technology and leadership.