The IBHS Sales Competition was launched for the first time ever during Fall 2020. Amidst of the unusual times of 2020, the Sales Competition was a beam of excitement for our members. Participants competed to sell the most products from the Bandhwari Women’s Project. The 1st place winner receives a free trip to the Bandhwari Village, India. There were over 30 competitors, making it a challenging competition for a dedicated winner. Most importantly, our members were able to give the women of the Bandhwari Village a stable income resource.
Throughout the semester a ranking would be reported every Wednesday at the General Member Meeting. Each week there was suspense from our members to see the update. The competition was held for four months and members could sign up at any time throughout the duration. During December 2020, Maria Gonzales took the 1st place by raising over $1,000 from sold products. Leahanna Sines ranked in 2nd place and Kristina Khudiakova in 3rd place. We are so incredibly proud of our members for their dedication and hard work to ensure the success of our social initiative, the Bandhwari Women’s Project.
Interview Q&A Maria Gonzales
Q: Hi Maria, tell us a little about yourself. Where you from and what is your current class level at FIU?
A: I am 24 years old, born and raised in Ecuador. I am currently a junior, taking five classes. I anticipate graduating this Fall of 2021. I am double majoring in supply chain management and international business.
Q: What inspired you to get involved with IBHS?
A: Well, the reason I got super involved is because in 2003, I started school and had to drop out due to personal issues. I had a daughter, became a single mom and unfortunately, had to quit my studies. After some time, I decided to advance in my education back and give my all in everything. My desire was to focus a hundred percent on my classes, get a high GPA and find a school organization. When I discovered BHS, their mission statement and the fact you're giving back, truly amazes me. I love the idea of supporting the Bandhwari Project and helping these women succeed in life.
Q: How did you make the most sales and how did you reach those goals?
A: Currently, I work from home as a real estate agent and a loan officer assistant for a mortgage company. My job has helped me network with many connections. Many of my clients and colleagues were intrigued about IBHS and the products we sell. I showed them the videos from the last trip to India. It was very handy to carry some of the inventory with me, it made it easier to sell products. I also have three children, which further establishes my relationship with other parents. I love being an involved parent, so I took advantage of selling IBHS products during soccer games, ballet classes, and my youngest is in speech therapy. Everywhere I go, I tell everyone I need their help for our cause.
Q: Why did you participate in this sales contest?
A: I love to challenge myself. Not only am I competitive, but my children wanted me to win. They kept pushing for me to succeed and move forward. They told me to keep going, so I gave it my all. It was not easy; however, I would not be able to do it without their support.
Q: What do you look forward to learning for your upcoming trip to India?
A: I have never travelled this far before. I believe it will change my life perspective. There is much beauty over there and I cannot wait to immerse myself with the country’s culture, history, beliefs, food, art and people. This is a once and a lifetime opportunity, barely anyone gets to have. My kids do not understand how it was for me as a single mother, and thankfully all my hard work throughout the years is beginning to pay off. I also cannot wait to meet the Bandhwari women and work with them. They are incredible and I feel we will have a strong bond of women helping other women succeed.
Q: Where do you see yourself in a couple years from now?
A: I hope to be working as a supply chain director, for a company such as Johnson and Johnson or perhaps Amazon. I have done my research and like their company profiles the most so that’s my goal.
Q: How has your experience been with IBHS and has it helped you grow?
A: IBHS has been very informative just by attending our meetings every Wednesday evening. The fact that the guest speakers are influential and provides the tools to improve our careers such as internships. Other honor societies, personally speaking, are not the same because the friendships and career building are not as successful as IBHS.
Even though the pandemic has taken over our daily routine, it does not mean it can stop all student related activities. IBHS continues to progress and raise money for the Bandhwari Project by our fundraising events such as the sales competition. I would like to congratulate Maria Gonzales, our first prize winner, including runner ups Leahanna Sines and Kristina Khudiakova, and for all those who competed. We would not have been able to raise this money without your hard work and perseverance.