It’s been a busy summer for business administration major Teodora “Teddy” Batinkova ’23 who is doing her best to sell the benefits of Dominican University of California.
Not only is the volleyball player preparing to be president of the Penguin Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (PSACC) and train for the start of her senior season, but she is interning at Malen Concepts to utilize her marketing skills at the same time she is the multi-sports camp director of Dominican Summer Sports Camps and its record number of participants through August 5.
Teddy hopes people – from parents of campers to students in her campus community – are buying into her Dominican sales pitch.
“Dominican is a hidden gem and if you don’t live in the area, you don’t really know about it,” says Teddy, who is coordinating the daily schedule for nearly 1,200 weekday sports campers at Dominican this summer. “I market Dominican a lot. I sell it to anyone and everyone I can because this school has so much potential to grow and everyone who comes here loves it.”
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That was the case with Teddy when she was a senior at Southridge High School in Beaverton, OR, home to Nike World Headquarters. She was considering attending the University of Oregon to study broadcast journalism when she had the urge to continue playing volleyball at the NCAA Division II level. She emailed Dominican and a recruiting trip soon followed that changed her career path.
“I get here, and I love it. It’s kind of storybook almost,” Teddy recalls. “Then I have a meeting with (business professor and athletics liaison) Chris Leeds and he convinces me that I need to be a business major. And I get home and tell my mom it’s such a great opportunity.
“I joke that coming to Dominican was a complete accident. I tell people all the time that it’s the luckiest accident I’ve ever made … I have no regrets. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
By the end of her freshmen year Teddy knew her decision to major in business administration was the best for her. One of her first classes was with Dr. Leeds and, she says, “I ended realizing that my brain works in a business way.”
By the time Teddy had finished a field trip to Boudin in San Francisco in Dr. Denise Lucy’s Exploring World Business class, Teddy was convinced her future was in business.
“We were introduced to a lot of entrepreneurs and guest speakers from the San Francisco Bay Area business community, and I liked listening to their success stories. I thought ‘I’m going to stick to business. This is where I see myself’,” Teddy says. “All the business professors I had my freshman year were so welcoming and so kind and so passionate about what they teach that it’s easy to get their point across to the student. It was easy to buy in.”
From there Teddy made some great friends who helped her along the way. When her teammate and roommate Mariah Ahid ’22 was promoted to Executive Assistant for Programs and Initiatives in the Barowsky School of Business (BSB) last year, Teddy took over Mariah’s job as BSB’s social media assistant. When her teammate Hana Wyles ’21 vacated her position as the PSAAC representative for volleyball, Teddy stepped in. Then, last spring, Teddy was elected PSAAC president for the 2022-23 academic year.
“I’m so beyond excited,” Teddy says. “The one thing I want to do is get people excited about PSAAC. I really do want to make a difference and leave this community better than I found it.”
With the help of Courtney Budesa, BSB’s director of Internships and Professional Development, Teddy also found an internship. In May she started work as a marketing assistant with Malen Concepts, a hospitality resource providing distinctive product solutions and service. This summer Teddy is working 10 hours a week for Malen, mostly on weekends.
Her other summer job is multi-sports director of Dominican Sports Camps, which this year surpassed 1,000 participants grades 1-8 for the first time. It’s a perfect fit for Teddy, who loves kids and comes from a sports-minded family. Her father, Slavcho, was an Olympic cross country skier for Bulgaria from 1992-2002, and her mother, Nevyana, was a professional handball player. Her sister, Mishi, is a standout high school tennis player in Oregon.
“Teddy represents a nearly completely fulfilled profile of the ideal Dominican student,” says Patrick Huser, Associate Athletics Director for Facilities, who was impressed with Teddy’s work experience plus her enthusiasm, charisma, maturity, responsibility, and leadership.
“She knows how to naturally and deliberately get people to learn from her, be taught by her, and work with her. She is the perfect bridge for Dominican Athletics to our surrounding community, that is inspiring and interesting to kids and adults alike. Dominican Summer Camps highlight the best of the university and the athletics department and is a deliberate attempt to join the best attributes of our athletes, coaches, and the community.”
Huser also noted that, as a Dominican business major, Teddy was well-trained and schooled to handle all types of scenarios that occur in her athletics summer camps director position – people skills, marketing skills, conflict management, personnel oversight, and leadership acumen.
“I wanted to do multi sports in particular because I wanted the whole aspect of doing a different thing every day,” Teddy says. “I’m super glad I did it. It’s the greatest job in the world.”