Volunteering is the way to go! You may be asking yourself – Why would I say this? Well as a volunteer (and intern) for the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (GCWAC), I have been exposed to some wonderful people including many international visitors that come through Cincinnati in compliance with the U.S. Department of State. Recently, I accompanied the council’s Executive Director, Michelle Harpenau, to professional meetings arranged by the GCWAC for visitors from Jordan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. Since the group consisted of all women entrepreneurs, they met with local businesses, such as Kolar Designs and Vehr Communications, to discuss how women can advance as either small business owners or entrepreneurs in their respective countries. The four women delegates were highly intelligent, expressed their opinions, asked questions, and openly shared experiences with our local professionals. The most memorable meeting of the day was with Kelly Kolar, owner of Kolar Design. As a woman entrepreneur herself, she gave insights as to how she began her business and how it has grown in the past 20 years. Kelly even shared her “secret sauce,” as she called it, with the visitors who in turn used that term for the rest of the day!
As a woman myself, who will be venturing out into the career world soon it felt empowering and educational to be around such amazing women leaders all day. I was afforded an opportunity to make new contacts/friends with these women and learn more about the international business world. These are just a few of the many reasons why I believe being a volunteer for the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council is such a wonderful opportunity. It is not only because of the beautiful people I get to meet, but also the exposure to other cultures and ideas that I may not be able to in my everyday life.
By Kendra Hein
Kendra Hein is an undergraduate student at Northern Kentucky University and an intern at the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council.