Folk-dancing led to academic career 

By Barbara Black

Already a seasoned finance researcher, Lora Dimitrova is headed to the London Business School to do her doctorate. Magnifying glass

Already a seasoned finance researcher, Lora Dimitrova is headed to the London Business School to do her doctorate.

Lora Dimitrova first came here 10 years ago with a Bulgarian folk-dancing troupe, and liked what she saw. Armed with an economics degree, she returned to Montreal, but her English and French were sketchy, and she had zero North American work experience.

She had always loved school, so she started over, doing the Honours Finance program in the John Molson School of Business. Only two years after finishing it, she is getting her Master’s of Science in Administration, Finance option. Her co-supervisor, Imants Paeglis, is thrilled.

“Lora has been a person of many firsts for the department,” he said. “She presented her honours thesis at an international conference in Vienna, a remarkable achievement for an undergraduate. A couple of weeks ago she learned of her acceptance in the PhD program at the London Business School, the top business school in Europe and among the top 10 in the world.”

Dimitrova is naturally pleased, too. “It was my first-choice school,” she confessed. She’ll also be glad to be back in Europe, because it will be easier to visit her family.

When she looks back on her first degree in economics in the 1990s, she recalls the turmoil of the transition between communism and capitalism. The Bulgarian professors were trying to make a 180-degree turn and some of the textbooks were inadequate, yet she feels that economics and management were more effectively allied than they are here.

The aggressive world of the finance industry doesn’t appeal to her. She loves research. She wanted to do her thesis on environmental credit trading in the corporate sector, but two years ago there just wasn’t enough data. Instead, she turned to mergers involving family-owned firms, and the relationship between family ownership and the success of the merger.

She was one of four finance students chosen to present in Ottawa at a conference of ASAC, the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, Finance Division. That turned out to be a rehearsal for her subsequent invitation to the conference of EFMA, the European Financial Management Association, in Vienna. She went alone, a little nervous, and did fine.

Because she was such a promising student and the deadline was looming for doctoral applications, she was urged to finish the MSc program in less than two years. Now she and Paeglis are submitting her thesis to journals for publication.

Before she starts her doctoral program in London, she plans to spend the summer with her family on the coast of the Black Sea. “I miss it very much.”


Concordia University