César Ritz Colleges graduate, Belgin Aksoy Berkin has set out to inspire the world to make a small difference for a better future.
Belgin Aksoy Berkin is the inspiration behind and Founder of Global Wellness Day, a not-for-profit day dedicated to living well with the ambition of bringing more awareness and recognition to the value of our lives.
In 2016, she was recognized with Leading Woman in Wellness, the most prestigious award in the wellness-spa industry by the Global Wellness Summit. In the same year, she was named Most Influential Spa Leader by American Spa.
Did you always want to change the world?
I’m not sure about that, but I think I knew that I wanted to help others since I was very young. At the age of 17, I remember distinctly feeling that I was useless. Although, I was planning on starting college like everyone else, I had no idea what my purpose was. That summer, a friend and I walked through the doors of a Leukemia Foundation and offered our support in any way possible. We turned a space in the hospital into a classroom, and spent our summer teaching kids with cancer. That summer I came to realize what really matters in life and what doesn’t. I discovered that although we might not be able to change the world, we can change the world of one person – and that is amazing!
I discovered that although we might not be able to change the world, we can change the world of one person.
Tell us about Global Wellness Day.
First celebrated in 2012, Global Wellness Day was established in Turkey as the “first” day dedicated to living well, and has now been accepted worldwide. With the slogan “One day can change your whole life,” Global Wellness Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year as an international day. The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to ask the question, even if for just one day, “How can I live a healthier and better life?”, to direct the thoughts of both individuals and society towards “living well” and to raise awareness.
What was your vision behind creating Global Wellness Day?
Living well is a dream shared by many around the globe and my vision was to make wellness accessible to everyone. I believe wellness is the inherit right of every individual, not just for the elite. The most valuable thing you have is yourself – and your body needs your attention and your love.
How do you recommend bringing wellness into our daily lives?
Wellness is a never-ending learning process. The earlier you bring it into your life, the better habits you will have. We have created a 7 step manifesto – 7 simple steps to help make wellness a lifestyle. We encourage people to try and incorporate as many steps as they can into their daily life on a regular basis. After 364 days, that will be the day that you celebrate your own personal day of wellness.
We have created a 7 step manifesto – 7 simple steps to help make wellness a lifestyle.
Why did you choose to study hospitality management?
I discovered hospitality management growing up in Turkey by watching an old American television program called Generations. Just like the PR Manager, I wanted to meet with people from around the world and help make their days more special. When I decided to study hospitality management, my father started a hotel business in Turkey. Today, I manage these hotels and Global Wellness Day is my passion project I run in parallel.
How has your education with César Ritz Colleges contributed to who you are today?
At César Ritz Colleges, I learned the importance of putting your heart in everything you do and to not be afraid to add your own personal touch. The extra detail is what makes things special. To this day, I can still remember the graduation speech from Mr. Kisseleff. He said, “From today on, you are professionals going out into the field. Show the world how professional you are and carry the spirit of excellence with you."
At César Ritz Colleges, I learned the importance of putting your heart in everything you do and to not be afraid to add your own personal touch.
23 years later, I look back on everything and think that, if I was able to contribute to creating a better future, even in a small way, this makes me a happy woman, and the first seeds were sown at César Ritz Colleges, for which I am grateful.