When SILS Master's students in the library science track envision their future careers, most anticipate working in either academic or public library settings. SILS alumna Vesselina Stoytcheva chose instead to look to the world of small business and the opportunities it provides to professional knowledge workers with backgrounds in library science who have a willingness to take financial risks.
In her 1999 Master's paper, "A model business plan for a start-up of an information brokering company,” Stoytcheva outlined the structure of a fictitious small business. She eventually used this business plan to start her own company, VNS Group, Inc., which specializes in information management and business services.
Since its inception, VNS Group has gone on to receive numerous small business awards, including the 2006 Minority Business of the Year Award in Charles County, Maryland, as well as a Maryland Top 100 Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprises Award. Notable clients of VNS Group include the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, the Smithsonian Institution, the Offutt Air Force Base Library, the National Geographic Society and other government, academic and public libraries.
In December 2015, Vesselina Stoytcheva left the company to become a federal librarian at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Library.
"I feel really fortunate and proud to be a SILS alumna," says Stoytcheva. “The school helped me gain knowledge in major areas of librarianship. It prepared me to succeed in different professional positions and roles.”