Women in Leadership: Alexandra Mechkova, CEO of Telerik Academy

Today we meet Alexandra Mechkova – the driving force behind the tech-ed organization Telerik Academy. Alexandra‘s team knows her as a courageous, brave, and empowering leader who leaves a unique trace in everything she does.

We sat together to discuss what has motivated and challenged her throughout her career and how she managed to become the inspiring leader she is today. Let’s get started.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Telerik Academy.

For the past 2-3 years, I have been responsible for Telerik Academy - growing our organization and team, expanding our program offering and portfolio, and working together with the team on our day-to-day operations as well as envisioning and pursuing the next frontiers for us. Before that in 2017 I was part of the team that spun off Telerik Academy into an independent organization when I was primarily responsible for our marketing and sales efforts.

2. What do you love the most about your job?

There are so many things I love about my job! Externally, the opportunity to make an impact both on an individual level (learner’s change towards a better career and life) and on an industry level – helping the IT industry grow 1. in a sustainable way with our junior dev talent and 2. progress towards a more mature future as a product innovation hub with our Upskill programs for Product Management, UX/UI and Digital Marketing, as well as several more value-added disciplines that we’ll soon announce.

Internally, I love working every day with extremely smart and committed colleagues, driven by a shared motivation to change our community, Bulgaria, and the world.

And lastly, what inspires me is the fact that now is one of the most interesting times to be engaged in the sphere of education – the opportunity for change and potential for disruption are immense. Covid-19 started many long-delayed changes across all levels of education and the organizations that today are most ready to adapt, flip everything they do upside-down and leave legacy practices behind, will be the education leaders of tomorrow – something we ourselves strive and are extremely well-positioned to be.

3. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

I do believe that when it’s all said and done, the biggest challenges we face are self-inflicted and a result of certain (self-)established expectations of who we should or shouldn’t be.

Business and market challenges are the easier part, they are focused on problem-solution. Overcoming some of our own perceptions and long-established beliefs aka. achieving a change on a personal level, especially in beliefs that have served us well for a long time, is the hard part.

For me, personally, it’s the idea of what a leader must and must not be.

At the very beginning in my current role at Telerik Academy, I devoted a lot of energy thinking about this, pitting myself against a standard, written on the wall that no one else knew about, and it left me very exhausted.