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


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