16 September 2022
New book by WorldSkills Champion maps the path to success
Sabrina Böni Keller from Switzerland reflects on her career and WorldSkills experience in a new book.
Back in 2011, a young Swiss woman tasted success in Restaurant Services at WorldSkills London 2011. More than a decade later, Sabrina Böni Keller has published a book about winning that coveted gold medal.
The book reveals how she originally hoped to become a policewomen but as Sabrina, now 32, recalls: “when I did a trial apprenticeship in a 4-star hotel at the age of 16, I really liked it. Especially working with people and creating enjoyment and beautiful moments.”
While her parents “always encouraged me to follow my heart” at school it was different.
“My teachers tried to talk me out of a career in the hospitality industry. I would be better off doing a degree.”
She resisted, and, after spending her school days in a small village in Appenzeller high above Lake Constance in Switzerland, she left for vocational college in St. Gallen, taking her professional exams while at Weggis, a picturesque tourist village on Lake Lucerne.
As with so many people, becoming a Champion at a WorldSkills Competition changed her life.
Victory in London was “hard to describe”, she says. “For many years I could not believe that I had really won. It was a long and hard training period and suddenly the day came when everything came together, and a dream came true. Indescribable.”
Any remaining thoughts of joining the police were cast away as she embraced the opportunities that came with the gold medal.
“I was able to gain experience at a very young age in a management position, co-open two restaurants, teach at schools, and coach and support young people.”
By WorldSkills Kazan 2019, she was working as a mental coach and was selected as an Expert for Restaurant Service. The satisfaction of seeing another young Swiss woman, Martina Wick, win the gold medal was, she says, “a wonderful enriching experience.”
The book, Sabrina hopes, is “honest, authentic, real”, reflecting her own experiences.
“In recent years, I have had the privilege of accompanying many young professionals on their path to success. On this path, there are not only beautiful things. There are also many difficult, hard and challenging situations and moments.”
“I also share in this book many tips, exercises, and tools to develop the full potential, strengths to recognize and develop. To get up from crises again and again, to draw new courage and motivation and not to lose sight of the goal.”
These relate to more than just the world of restaurant service. “I also share many important exercises and tips to facilitate and optimize everyday life,” and what she says are the “sun and shadow sides.”
The book will initially be published in German, but if it is successful, she hopes an English edition may follow.
“For me, it is very important that young people get the opportunity and recognize their dreams to achieve, never give up, and fully develop their own potential.” Sabrina says.
You can buy the book from Sabrina’s website.