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


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