If Bethany Dickey’s anything to go by, the future’s in good hands.
Fresh from the Next Generation Leaders conference, an international conference of more than 125 youth and global business leaders, hosted by Junior Achievement Canada, Dickey is brimming with enthusiasm and full of ideas about how ethics and business belong together.
“It was an absolutely amazing experience, and actually inspired me to finally decide what I want to do in university – I am going to get a Bachelor of Commerce, most likely with a major in International Business. It was a life-changing week,” said the 15-year-old Dartmouth High student.
Dickey, entering Grade 12 this school year, has been involved with Junior Achievement since Grade 10. This past spring she was chosen by the Junior Achievement Company Program as one of six Nova Scotian delegates to attend the international conference, held Aug. 7 to 11 at Queen’s University School of Business.
“As soon as I heard about it I was interested. I liked the idea of getting together with other youth from around the world,” Dickey said. “I loved all the different perspectives.”
Now in its 41st year, the conference is designed to help today’s youth develop leadership skills through presentations and skills workshops, exploring real-life business situations.
Working with other students from countries such as the Cayman Islands, India, Hong Kong, Norway and Jamaica, Dickey said the highlight for her was working on the “ultimate business challenge” in which the delegates broke into small groups to come up with a business model and product for presentation to the entire conference.
“We ended up having a five-hour debate about all the different possibilities, in the end choosing people as our product,” Dickey said. “It was a really interesting experience to be involved in.”
Prior to attending the conference, Dickey had been considering doing a degree in International Relations. Now she’s determined to combine that interest with a business degree.
“Before I went to this conference I thought of business as being more about making money, now I see it as something that can have tremendous impact for good,” she said.
Intent on her goal, Dickey’s spending the dying days of her summer break writing essays for university scholarships. “Yeah, I’m pretty keen,” she grinned.