Born in Russia but raised in Kygyzstan, Sasha Solomatova, ‘12, came to Berea to stretch beyond her comfort zone and explore globalization in a melting pot of inquisitive students and experienced scholars from various social backgrounds. “The world is always moving, so should we,” she says. Indeed, ever since her inception into the Berea community, she has engaged herself in every dimension of the academic, social, and extracurricular life that Berea has to offer. She served as the president of the Cosmopolitan Club, worked in the student government as the vice president of her freshman class, took significant part in the debate and swimming teams, and has been an active member of Berea’s Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE) chapter.
Majoring in Business Administration and German Language, Sasha values entrepreneurs who understand the need of the people and help local communities through sustained economic development plans. She recognizes that good business strategies transcend borders. With this in mind, she has learned German and Spanish in addition to Russian and English to facilitate her future plans. “Effective communication is the key to making your ideas be heard and also to comprehending those of other people,” she says. This past summer she was involved in an internship in Germany where she was the contact person between a German company and a Russian Corporation on the production of Chemical Products. She contacted over 1000 western European companies and coordinated logistics of travelling to Russian and other European countries of the agency she worked for. She also organized an event for marketing managers in downtown Munich on the importance of social media.
Sasha’s inclination to dive into every activity she can find is not entirely motivated by the desire to be a successful entrepreneur, however. Rather, she is motivated by the hard work and determination of those around her. Back at home she opened her own NGO to work with young people. She nominated one person as a young leader as she was struck by his tenacity. He went on to participate in the Three-Dot-Dash foundation conference in NY. Now, he is a well-known peace advocate and will be giving a speech for One Young Conference in March. “Such stories truly inspire me,” Sasha says.
Reflecting on her pursuits at Berea so far, Sasha confidently says that Berea has been a huge learning experience for her as she has had the opportunity to appreciate the value of diversity and tolerance. “I really learned how important it is to be a good leader, because everyone here has his/her own desires and you, as a leader, have to accommodate them all and still stand firm on your own ground.” In the near future, Sasha plans on going to graduate school and then working with an organization that brings economic value to people and improve peoples’ lives. Further down the line, Sasha hopes to have travelled 25 countries--her current tally is 17--establish a company of her own, marry and have two children, and perfect her Tango dancing skills.