From Here to There: Ben Heimert, JA Alumni
My Junior Achievement experience started in 2006 during my grade 12 year when I joined the Company program. I had no previous experience with JA, but was selected as the VP Finance of my company, Chitty Chitty Bag Bag. We sold tye-tied,reusable shopping bags that we sewed ourselves. Although I was interested in managing finances I soon found out I was even more drawn to managing the production processes. In this way JA helped further assure me of the career path I was heading towards.
I want on to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering, and am now working as a mechanical design engineer at a small start-up: Well Engineered. We operate in design & build capacity, conducting contract work while also bringing to market our own designs and ideas. The skills I developed in JA have been invaluable in helping me succeed and flourish in a small business environment. These skills include leadership, critically evaluating product ideas, and financial literacy, not to mention the entrepreneurial spirit that JA fostered in me.
I returned to the Company Program two years ago as an advisor. I feel like I’ve learned just as much this time around compared to when I was student. Helping to guide achievers through the same experiences and tribulations I’ve had while seeing them grow in their abilities and confidence has been extremely rewarding. Additionally the Company Program has allowed me to hone my mentorship and leadership skills, refresh my entrepreneurial skills, and make some lasting connections and bonds.
I am extremely grateful to Junior Achievement for the experiences and opportunities it has granted me and I hope my involvement as an Alumni isn’t quite over yet.