KAIZ ALARAKYIA—JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT STUDENT 2007-2010
I joined the Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta Company Program four years ago because the idea of creating and selling a product for a profit appealed to me.
I learned that operating a successful company takes vision, passion, hard work, team work and leadership to succeed. I learned the importance of ethics in business, of innovation and risk-taking, and how teams can overcome obstacles.
And there were some obstacles for sure! Our team had communications issues, our production cycle was delayed and we…. Well…. Let’s just say we over-estimated the appeal of our product. It wasn’t easy, but we still managed a 228% Return on Investment (ROI), and we donated 50% of our profits to local charities.
Looking back, I realize that those challenges were a blessing. The experiences armed me for the following year when I was the President of Company Program Team, Fraise(a company selling eco-berry shopping kits). Our group that year had two incredible mentors from Deloitte, Shane and Brandon . They really committed themselves to our company. Our team set a goal of being a finalist for Company of the Year we reached that goal. JA showed me how to believe in my potential to achieve.
I know that my JA experience was due to the generosity and support of local companies and volunteers. And, I want to apply this principle in my own life. There are many examples already where I have used lessons from JA to make a difference – whether it is working with homeless youth through The Mayor’s Youth Council, bringing new programs for students through Student Council or launching the Calgary Teen Recharge Program.
Junior Achievement was the impetus for me and many of my fellow students to pursue a career in business. It was an extraordinary experience that left me truly excited about the future.
I am very grateful to JA, the program sponsors and the volunteer advisors who have shown me the ropes and provided the best hands-on learning environment I could ask for.
I will carry those lessons with me always and one day, I plan to pay it forward by becoming a JA Advisor myself.
I encourage all of you to also support JA in anyway that you can. Junior Achievement has empowered me to dream big for creating a brighter tomorrow for myself and my community. And, I hope that they will be here for another 50 years so that future generations of students can have the same experience!