Arfa Khan: A JA Story

Arfa Khan was introduced to Junior Achievement in 2011, the year she was in Grade 8, and she has not looked back since that time. Her teacher at St. Alphonsus Junior High School recognized her potential and recommended that she take the JA in-school program. In her first year, she was elected president of her company and she worked very hard to get all team members to pull together towards a common goal. At the end of the year, Arfa received the Rookie award for first-time achievers, and this award provided her with strong motivation to continue with the program.

Arfa says that Junior Achievement has had a big impact on her life, improving her leadership, time-management, and organizational skills. During her five-year involvement with JA, Arfa developed a passion for everything to do with the business world, discovering that she was especially drawn to the finance and accounting side. In both Grade 11 and 12, she took on the role of VP of Finance knowing that in addition to the regular budgeting, she would have to put in extra time preparing for audit night and developing a business plan.

In 2015, after a great deal of brainstorming, team members in Arfa’s company decided to produce a multifunctional tennis-ball holder. Arfa explained that they chose to market this product as a fun and functional item designed to brighten up spaces like school lockers. Company members developed a line of googly-eyed characters for the tennis ball holder, like Ball Marley, Minion, and Daisy. They made the product multifunctional by providing space for cards, keys, and pencils.

One of the obstacles that Arfa’s company faced this year was that, at the beginning, they were spending more on producing the tennis-ball holder than they were making in profit. As a result, the share value of the product dropped. As VP of Finance, Arfa had to figure out what to do about this pressing issue. Together with the president of the company, Arfa decided that company members buying inventory should get prior approval from the president or vice president before spending more than $20. This approach worked, and, as a result, the company was able to lower the cost of production. The tennis-ball holders sold well, especially to children, and the company made a profit.

The goal that Arfa set herself in her final year with JA was to become more familiar with Trackvia, the monitoring program used to track production and work flow. Arfa’s determination paid off, and she did indeed become more adept at using the program, learning how to modify and tailor it to better suit the needs of her company.

Arfa likes spending time reading and doing art projects. She finds that painting and drawing are especially therapeutic. In addition to her JA commitments, Arfa found time to be a member of the Grad Committee at Ross Sheppard High School, and she also joined Project Change, a school club that supports community involvement.

Arfa is currently in the School of Business at MacEwan University. With her strong JA background, Arfa is sure to do well in her chosen field.