When Ivo Georgiev came to Granite City from Sofia, Bulgaria in 2000, the only job he could find was working on a horseradish farm because his English skills were poor. But after enrolling in English as a Second Language classes in the evenings at Southwestern Illinois College, his prospects began to change.
“SWIC was convenient, affordable, and very welcoming and I decided to pursue a degree,” Georgiev said.
He went on to enroll in credit classes at SWIC, then transferred to Washington University in St. Louis to earn his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2005, followed by his Master’s in International Business from Seattle University in Washington state in 2009. He became a certified fraud examiner in 2015.
“Not only did I invest my time and energy, but SWIC as an institution invested in me as well early on from the ESL classes forward,” he said.
Today, Georgiev, 38, resides in Scottsdale, Arizona and is a global advisory manager for Deloitte & Touche, a leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory firm. Before that, he worked as a corporate auditor for The Boeing Company for eight years.
Georgiev was able to pursue his education at SWIC because of the tuition assistance he received from the William S. Badgley Endowed Scholarship through the SWIC Foundation.
Wanting to help other students achieve their goals, he has donated the Ivo Georgiev annual scholarship. The $1,000 award goes to a part-time or full-time student, born outside the United States, who is attending classes at the SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus.
“My favorite aspect of SWIC was the diversity of both faculty and students,” he said. “I also appreciate the efforts the college is making through the Foundation for students from all backgrounds to receive education.”
The SWIC Foundation offers more than 250 privately funded scholarships for students based on financial need, academic merit, program of study, geographic location and/or personal circumstances. Students can be considered for numerous scholarships simply by submitting one application.
In his position at Deloitte, Georgiev manages domestic and international audit/consulting activities for clients in North America, South America, Asia and Africa executing a variety of projects including financial, human resources, supply chain, fraud and government compliance issues.
“SWIC gave me the foundation for my educational, career and personal paths for overall life in the United States,” he said. “Without that foundation, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my scholastic and my professional accomplishments.”
Georgiev believes that SWIC provided him the opportunity to grow academically and he hopes that other students will have the same opportunity.
He is particularly proud of the fact that he maintained a 4.0 GPA while attending SWIC and earned the Academic Excellence award. He also earned the Academic Excellence Award at Seattle University for the highest GPA in his class in his major.
“I would absolutely recommend SWIC,” Georgiev said. “It is a great place to start your college career with countless opportunities to further it beyond SWIC with a transfer to a four-year university.”
To find out more about SWIC Adult Education and Literacy programs, academic programs, or the Foundation, visit swic.edu.