The only logical choice?
The only logical choice?
Monika Antonova shares that this was the only logical choice for her as she wanted to work in the field of regulatory compliance, particularly anti-money laundering
Can you share something interesting about yourself to get to know you better?
While I was still living in the UK, I participated in the 2017 Guinness World Record for the most runners completing a 5km race connected together, which was an amazing experience. Over 180 people joined and we ran 5km in London’s Hyde Park linked via wristbands in support of Heads Together, a British charity promoting mental health and wellbeing. Since then, our record has been broken in support of another charity, and that’s great – it’s all in a good cause!
How did it all start?
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland with a degree in German and European Union Studies, I worked for three years as a Compliance Specialist in the Financial Services sector in London. Although being all suited and booted in the urban jungle of Canary Wharf was a great start to my career, in 2017 I decided to leave the UK and return to Bulgaria to explore how I can apply at home the knowledge and professional skills I acquired while abroad, and also to complete my part-time degree in Law at Varna Free University. While I was studying for the state exams which every law student knows and “loves”, I was also browsing the jobs market to look for my next career move. I decided to apply for a position within KPMG’s Advisory department and, to my delight, very soon the friendly HR team got in touch!
How did you get to where you are?
My main goal when I started at KPMG was to leverage my previous experience in Compliance and Financial Crime Prevention and to help position KPMG further on the domestic and regional market as a trusted advisor in the regulatory compliance space, particularly anti-money laundering, which was well on its way to becoming a regulatory hot topic at the time. I had the opportunity to contribute to high-profile international projects in my area of specialization, while also learning new skills and developing my understanding of further areas, such as Internal Audit and the Public Sector. Last year, I was promoted to Senior Advisor, which I saw as both recognition for my efforts so far, but also as a powerful motivator to expand my professional playground further.
What energizes you at work?
Coffee! Just joking - without doubt, the thing that energizes me the most is my colleagues’ sense of humour. When you’ve got several important deadlines and the heat is all turned up, it’s fantastic when you can take the edge off at least a little bit by cracking a good joke or two and having a laugh with the people around you.
What keeps you going when you are not in the office?
Travelling, for sure. All kinds of it. Whether it’s climbing some picturesque Bulgarian mountain, exploring a new European city or embarking on an adventure to the other side of the world to immerse myself in a completely new environment, I’m up for it. I recently returned from a trip to Thailand and Cambodia, which was an incredibly refreshing and inspirational insight into the culture, history and lifestyle of Southeast Asia (and not least, the regional cuisine, which I happen to love a lot) :)
Three words that describe a day in the office
Dynamic, challenging, but also fun!