Eine Person trägt ein grau gemustertes Hemd und steht vor einem begrüntem Hintergrund. Die Person heißt Georgi Paskalev.

Georgi Paskalev Receives 2022 DAAD Prize

An active member in the departmental student committee, multiple associations and jobs as a tutor and financial analyst: Aside from his degree in Mathematics in Business and Economics, Georgi Paskalev from Bulgaria was very involved in different groups at the University of Mannheim. For his great and versatile commitment and his excellent academic achievements he was awarded this year’s DAAD prize.

While still at school, Georgi determined that he would study abroad one day. Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, he wanted to broaden his horizon and gain new experiences. After his graduation, his wish came true: Georgi, who is now 21, was accepted to universities in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. In the end, he decided on the bachelor’s program in Mathematics in Business and Economics at the University of Mannheim. “I immediately took to the practice-oriented combination of economics and mathematics. There are hardly any comparable programs in other countries,” he recounts.

Almost from the start Georgi became an active member of the departmental student committee, where he was responsible for financial resources. At the same time, he became involved in the Student’s Association for Data Analytics and Statistics (STADS) and helped conceptualize courses on data analysis and machine learning. He also participated in projects on wind power. But cultural exchange was of particular concern to him: As a member of the Bai Ganyo e.V. club he campaigned to maintain and pass on Bulgarian traditions in Germany. It was the cooperation with others as well as his interest in financial mathematics that he developed a special passion for.

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, he started working as an analysis tutor and took a part-time job as a financial analyst with Jacobs Douwe Egberts. These jobs helped him through the pandemic. “I went back to Bulgaria when the university closed campus for all in-person events as I wanted to be with my family during these trying times. I was very busy with my two jobs in Mannheim, which was a good distraction—the Covid restrictions did not really affect me,” he says. At the beginning of 2022, he returned to Germany and teamed up with other students at the Chair of Analysis to develop online class contents. In the context of this project, he worked on quizzes and training videos for an efficient exam preparation.

Apart from his volunteer work Georgi excelled in his studies. The DAAD prize jury was thus convinced he was the right candidate to receive the award. “He fully embodies what is becoming one of the prize’s major aims: to increase the social engagement of international students within and outside of the university,” says Angela Dörflinger of the International Office. Georgi received the news about the award shortly before submitting his bachelor's thesis. “I am thrilled and proud, it was the perfect conclusion to my time in Germany,” he says. In the future, he plans to gain professional experience in stock trading as an exchange trader in the Netherlands. But he is also thinking about pursuing a master’s degree. “I met so many helpful and understanding people in Mannheim and made many great friends. If I do decide to do a master’s degree, I will most probably return to Mannheim,” says Georgi.

About the DAAD prize
The DAAD prize is worth EUR 1,000. Each year, the prize is awarded to an international degree-seeking student at the University of Mannheim. By awarding the prize, a selection committee consisting of the International Office and the schools honors the excellent academic achievements and the volunteer work of the laureate.

Text: Tina Ratajczyk/ August 2022