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Inspiring volunteer empowering the younger generation

Tell us a bit more about your interaction with JA Portugal

As a Siemens volunteer I participated in the class room case study for the Global Enterprise Project (GEP) and I was a volunteer in the JA Company Programme as well. The Global Enterprise Project is a programme that joins people from the business and school community and that creates opportunities to reflect upon topics that are important for the future of our society such as sustainable cities, entrepreneurship and globalisation. It provides a different view and an amazing experience for both parties. One of the major advantages of the programme is that discussions are focused on the group, but at the same time every individual has the opportunity to express their opinion.

What does it mean for you to be a volunteer in GEP?

For me, being a volunteer gives me the opportunity to contribute to the development of new generations, by helping them develop entrepreneurship and soft skills. On the other hand, being a volunteer has also helped me develop several skills in an active way and learn from the students based on their different views. I believe that we as volunteers act as a connection between the students and the “business world”, which gives us the opportunity to discuss important topics from a different perspective with the younger generation.

Why is entrepreneurship education important for young people?

I believe that entrepreneurship education is vital for students because they get the opportunity to develop their skills at such an early stage and that will influence their behaviour for the rest of their lives.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to believe in your dreams. With some inspiration and a lot of work you can transform your dreams into reality if you want to. Your future is in your hands, focus and start to build it!

Margarida Alves is the CFO of the Division Building Technologies in Siemens Portugal. She has a degree in Economics and a master in Business Administration. She has been working in a multinational company for 26 years with responsibilities in several projects in Portugal and abroad.

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