A young Ponoka woman was offered the opportunity to experience the world on a large level over the course of the summer.
Sarah Kraft attended a unique business program from June 28 to Aug. 9 to expand her horizons in life and in business.
The six-week program, Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry, was held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at the Lehigh University Campus.
Here, Kraft was given a foundation from which she was given the tools to help her be a leader in the business world. She joined students from around the world to take part in this valuable opportunity.
As a representative of Canada, Kraft had the responsibility to show others in the program the culture of Canada and ways of Canadians while working hard to succeed in the business area of Global Village.
“It was really exciting,” said Kraft. “The multi-culturalism was amazing. This is very unique and everyone really holds their cultural traditions. It was amazing to be working with those cultures.”
The different cultures were a benefit for Kraft and she enjoyed the camaraderie of the group even though some language barriers made it difficult sometimes.
“It was a little challenging at times,” said Kraft. “For most people there English was their second language. But it really challenged my communication skills and once you get past the initial barriers, it’s amazing how much you can understand.”
As part of the Global Village program Kraft was immersed into the professional high-end business world and had the opportunity to meet the minds behind leading labels and businesses.
One of the focuses of Global Village is for young adults to be leaders that will come back and benefit our communities and areas,” said Kraft. “You really got to rub shoulders with people who are right up there in the business world.”
Kraft met CEOs of various major companies including Olympus.
Her business classes and projects included mock marketing plans, seminars, meetings, investment scenarios, country panels, etc.
Coming from Ponoka, Kraft says that Global Village really opened her eyes up to the possibilities that are out there and that someone with this knowledge is able to make a difference in their hometown.
“Coming from Ponoka you can feel trapped in terms of location,” she said. “But you can still live in Ponoka and love your town. You can go broader and expand your horizons and entrepreneurship is something that Ponoka needs for future growth. It’s a mindset—the world is going global, even in the small context of Ponoka. If you have people doing these kinds of things, it can really be big for Ponoka, even if it’s on a small scale.”
Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry has helped Kraft see her career options in a brighter light, and although she may not be sure as to what she wants as a future permanent career, it has opened up the world for her.
“”I have so many ideas of what I want to do,” she said. “It’s a really exciting program, I wish more people would get into it.”
Kraft enjoyed both the learning and the friendships she made with other people in the group. She says it has allowed her to grow as a person and establish great connections around the world.
“We all changed and we all grew,” she said. “I have friends there that I felt like I’ve known forever. I now have a lot of options, dreams and connections. The world is open and we will see where it will bring me.”