Ketlin’s Young BPW International Congress experience

My experience from the VI Young BPW International Congress in Sorrento, Italy
”Empowering Young to be Future Leaders”

Ketlin together with BPW International President, Freda Miriklis

Now that almost a month has passed since the Sorrento Congress, I would like to share my experience with you! I still think of all of you: inspiring Young BPW-members that I was so happy to meet and many of the older members I look up to! I feel that I made new friends during this time, even if it was only 3 days we spent together. Many of you attended the International Congress in Finland a year ago, and with you it, it was like meeting old friends again after a one year break. 🙂

I am sure that some of you felt that same little confusion in the beginning of the congress while  trying to register as young members were not listed in the attending country lists. I already called my husband in Finland to send me the email confirmation I received when registering in the spring ..experienced a little panic there. Luckily I met Anastasia downstairs and received more information about.. well.. everything . 🙂

During Friday (my first evening in Sorrento), I had already met another member from Switzerland with whom I felt a great mutual understanding. Hopefully, we built a great friendship that will last. At the welcome party, we had a great opportunity to speak unofficially to a woman who turned out to be one of the speakers for the actual congress. She sat with us at our table for couple of hours and we had a nice chat about life and women. That woman was Eleanor Tabi Haller-Jorden and, I must say, here is an iron lady in the right position! I must tell you that she inspired me! I just wish that I could have had the opportunity to hear her presentation…

Our girls night out was fun! Who says that you cannot have fun without the alcohol? We all had fun, didn’t we? We danced and laughed, laughed and danced, and got to sleep just in time to get enough rest for the workshops. I admit that it was still hard to wake up on time though and well… I was a bit late to the first workshop.

Every workshop was different; the contents of the workshops were interesting and very well presented. I would love to have heard more about lobbying from Miette! I found that very interesting and wanted to hear more about her work in general.  I am sure I will get that opportunity in the future… at least I hope so!  🙂

Then there is our International President, Freda Miriklis. She is such an inspiring woman and so full of energy!  Wow!  She is definitely the right woman in the right position as our President!

After the long day of several workshops, there was a little break before the Gala Dinner. I just had to change into my bikini and go to the pool, even when there was no sun shining anymore! C’mon, we were in Italy and it was warm there! There we were: young professionals from Finland and Switzerland, lying on the sun chairs without the sun, looking at Mount Vesuvius! Soooo relaxing!

We young women accomplished something exceptionally good during the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening! We raised over 2000€ for charity! Thank you all! We can be sure that there will be some very happy young girls in the world as the result of that evening!

Sunday morning we went out to the President´s breakfast!  I hope this tradition will continue for young members at future events! I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel that we Young BPW members are undervalued by some more seasoned members. I hope I am wrong! The breakfast with our International President made me feel good and valued as the future of Business and Professional Women International! Thank you so much Freda!

After the official program of the congress we took our own time with I. and S.  and travelled out to see Pompei. We took a train and had a small adventure from lovely Sorrento.  I would like to thank all of you who came for the great company!  I loved it!!

I hope this little article of mine shared with you the importance of meeting each other and the importance of keeping in touch! This big world of ours shrank for a while that weekend and we can continue to be close!

I especially thank Anastasia and Miette, FIDAPA, BPW Sorrento, and the European and International workgroups for organizing such a nice congress for us in such a beautiful place!

We have been empowered and can make a difference because we have each other to lean on. Thank you all for participating and I really hope to meet you all again soon!

With all the best wishes,

Ketlin from Finland


Young BPW International Congress impressions

Young BPWs all together at the Gala dinner

Young BPW members all together at the Gala dinner in Sorrento, Italy

Young BPW Europe Representative -Sorrento Congresses impressions

My First Congress by North America and Non-Spanish Speaking Countries Representative

Interning at the Young BPW International Congress

left to right, Alexandra Safarian (intern), Anastasia Victoria Safarian (Young BPW International Representative) and Elizabeth Safarian (intern)

After attending the Young BPW International Congress that took place in Sorrento, Italy, Alexandra and Elizabeth share about their experience as interns.

The recent four (4) days I spent in Sorrento, Italy, was a life changing experience. Surrounded by Sorrento’s breathtaking scenery, I was invited to intern at the Young Congress of the Business & Professional Women International (“BPW”). This international conference of a diverse, multi-professional women opened new windows for me in the future.

While listening to the speakers during sessions, I learned new ideas, issues, and perspectives which I had never realized were especially important to women in business in the 21st century. Generally, in the business world, it is much more difficult for a woman than a man. The Congress provided practical tools and positive concepts that can enable women to avoid pitfalls and make a difference.

On Saturday (09/29) all the Young BPW members participated in a special set of workshops which were led by emerging leaders (e.g., Annette Nimzik, Miette Dechelle, Johanna Marius, Freda Miriklis, Marianne Plattner, etc.) I was fortunate enough to get to hear the presentation of the dynamic Dr. Yasmin Darwich (a doctor who helped start a nursing school in La Paz) Examples of topics discussed during the workshops were “Lobbying”, “International Business”, “How do I get what I am worth?”, “Empowered Women Leading Business”, and “Mentoring”.

During the the full GALA Dinner of the Congress, an innovative raffle was put forth to support three (3) causes:

1. School supplies for a Pakistani school;
2. Financial aid for students attending a nursing school in Mexico;

3. Scholarship assistance to enable a Young BPW member to take part in the next International Congress in Jeju, South Korea (2014)

Interns, Alexandra and Elizabeth are selling a raffle tickets to BPW International President, Freda Miriklis

After the raffle for the luxurious Delance Swiss watch, a total of 2160 euros had been raised. This jackpot was divided equally between the above three (3) causes: i.e., 720 euros each. Finally, a special congratulations to Guiliana De Angelis, winner of the watch.

By Elizabeth Safarian

In September, 2012, I did an internship at the Young Business and Professional Women’s (YBPW) Congress in Sorrento, Italy. This unique opportunity was available to me because my sister, Anastasia, in an Executive Committee member representing the Young Business Women in the organization.

There was a lot of networking taking place between the conference workshops. I experienced meeting young women in business from many regions and countries around the world. Everyone was friendly and I got to speak to many of them on a one to one basis.  I learned so much by getting to talk to young women from different cultures; that lived different lifestyles and who spoke different languages. Almost everyone could also speak English and that is how we mostly communicated.

I learned about how different cultures interact in various situations in one of the workshops. We did exercises where we shook hands with each other in one way when you shake hands with a woman business associate and then when you shake hands with a male business associate. It was so different in each of the countries and also between men and women.

One of the highlights of the conference for the Young BPW’s was breakfast with the International President, Freda Miriklis.  Freda was once a Young BPW Representative like my sister and is now the youngest President the organization has ever had. We went on two tours; one was the factory of the famous Limoncello liqueur made in Sorrento and the other of a famous woodworking shop and store. The members also attended a “girls night out” where everyone got to have fun dancing and getting to each other. I felt that although the workshops were interesting and informative, friendships were made when everyone was able to have fun as well.

By Alexandra Safarian

BPW International Violence Against Women Survey

Please take few minutes of your time to complete the BPW International Violence Against Women Survey. It is coordinated by the BPW International UN Team to gather first hand information from around the world on the CSW57 Theme; Violence Against Women and Girls. Thank you for your support! (English) (French)

Young BPW International RAFFLE UPDATE

Dear all,

Young BPW International is happy to announce that during the Young BPW International Congress held along side BPW European Congress in Sorrento, Italy, Young BPWs were able to collect EURO 2,160 to endorse 3 projects supported by BPW International.

Young BPW International raffle winner Giuliana De Angelis, BPW Sorrento President

The following 3 projects will be supported:

Young BPW International would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated and bought a raffle tickets. Personal thank you to our sponsor Giselle Rufer, CEO and President of Delance watch for her generosity. Young BPW International will continue to look for other opportunities to continue collect contributions to change lives of others. Thank you for supporting Young BPW International and BPW International!