Real stories, from real people: proof that you can realize your dreams - if you are bold enough to push through.

Time to shine!

In our educational and working lives we go through many emotions - both good and bad. But one thing is for certain: sharing our stories is a way to help others overcome the obstacles and challenges they face.

Here you can find real stories from real people who dared to #BeBold and follow their dreams. We hope you will be inspired to do the same!

My Identity!

Having been brought up in orthodox Indian family at southern part of India where I believe the rules at home is quite strict, to have been able to pursue the course of education I did, and get into a job which is less preferred by most girls by getting the support of the family, is a bold step.


Now getting back to work with an infant at home who is always looking forward for his mamma is another phase which has been made possible with family support.


I want my kid to look at his mom as an independent, bold and successful woman who has achieved what she had always wanted, instead of speaking of sacrifices she made for family as reasons for not being able to achieve her goal.


By Ranjani Sree,

PME-Powertrain Engineering, India


Be bold, be yourself!


Early in my career I worked in a company with a strong patriarchal culture that did not embrace diversity. All the leaders were men, and they all shared the same attitudes and opinions towards the same topics. I had a good position, and my close friends and family were proud of me for working in a well-recognized company. Furthermore, I knew that if I played my role in the company as expected, I could be promoted in a short amount of time and strengthen my professional status.


However, I did not feel comfortable with the culture inside of the company, I remember being self-conscious every time I had to interact with anybody because new ideas were not valued, instead, fitting into a mold was much more appreciated. I was unhappy, but I was also scared of leaving a known and well-established company. Ultimately, I decided that it was more important for me to be authentic and that I could start from scratch in a place where I felt empowered to show my unique skills and values.


Today, being bold for me means daring to be my authentic self: raising my hand even if nobody else does, asking for help, being vulnerable about the things that I do not know, saying thank you and recognizing good work publicly when it is deserved, and most importantly not fearing that I need to be less than my true self to fit somewhere.


Being bold to me is recognizing situations that may scare me at first, but daring to do them anyways. I am glad to be part of a company where I am encouraged to be myself and where being oneself is celebrated.


By Gabriela Saldana,
FP&A Manager Region Europe Central East & East,  


 Crossing the Atlantic after a dream...

 I consider myself bold because of the many choices I've made in life.


Going after my dream to come to Europe from Brazil, my homeland, was a big step in 2010. I was 25 years old, moving to the other side of the Atlantic with a dream, no smartphone (!) and a job on a local contract at a time when people only came as expat in my company (Volvo Group).


Turns out that I made a great decision! I have met different people, learned a lot, and continue the move here, where in 13 years I have worked in 6 different organizations at Volvo Group. I am also quite happy that Volvo is so broad and allows us so many new challenges and opportunities to keep learning and always discover a new areas and work in new positions.

Not settling down helped me to create a growing career path, find my husband in Sweden, and start a wonderful family!


by Louise Milder, 
Regional Business Controller, Sweden



I can do anything I put my mind to...

My parents always told me that “I can do anything I put my mind to” and during my time at Volvo Group I have held on to that belief, as I have taken on a variety of different roles across the business which has given varied experience.


But what was probably my boldest move, was when I applied for a Business Control role within Volvo Financial Services with no accounting experience. I had worked alongside this team for a few years so I had an idea of what it was about and knew that it would be a big challenge with my background. So when I was offered the role it was no surprise that I spent the next few years learning a huge amount and I really had to believe that I could do anything I put my mind to as I took on this new challenge.


By Charlotte Riley
Capital Strategies Operations Manager,
Volvo Financial Services, UK




Believe in yourself!

My second child was 6 weeks old when I received a call from the Managing Director, my direct manager had resigned, and the Managing Director suggested that I apply for the role.

I remember thinking to myself “Now really, this is bad timing – I’m not sure I can do this”.  The Managing Director said think about it and I’ll let you know when we start advertising for the role.  I had so many self-doubts going through my mind at the time, can I do this, how will I balance a management role and a young family.  Finally, I thought what do I have to lose?  Professionally I wanted the challenge, and I didn’t need to decide before the interview process.

I applied for the role, organized interviews whilst juggling my 2 young children.  For me, it was important to be clear on my priorities throughout the interview process.   During the interview, I took the bold move to speak up, should I be the successful candidate, my highest priority now was my young family, finishing my maternity leave and continuing to work part-time until my children were older.  I was concerned that this could put my application in jeopardy, but not long after, I was advised that I was the successful candidate. 

Wow I thought, I can accept the role with my priorities.  Again, self-doubt began to creep in.  Should I accept the offer?  Can I take this on?  Is this too much?  But life is about taking challenges, understanding that accepting a role isn’t forever, you can change your mind.  Most importantly believe in yourself.  I took that role.  5 years later I’m still here working part-time.  I challenged myself I was bold and clear with my priorities before accepting the role.  There have been rough patches and days rarely go to plan.  But I ignored the self-doubt, I believed, and I achieved.


By Amy Tobin, Head of Finance
Volvo Financial Services, Australia




Make yourself happy first before making others happy!

Went to a new city by myself to join Volvo, while my husband and family live in a city 6 hours driving distance away.


By Alva Li, China






One big step!

I'm GenX, the boldest generation out there, when it comes to personal life. We're resilient and independent but, ironically enough, we were also told at a young age to find a job and keep it until we retired. And here I was, doing the same job for 16 years.


Yes, I had been bold enough to move to another country decades earlier, but I woke up one day realizing I was doing the job of three people and not able to decide anything for myself. Everything was set; routine was the only way to go as my boss hated technology and change.


Covid came and forced the company to reorganize everything. For me, it felt like a challenge of course, but most of all, like a breeze of fresh air. I missed improvising. I missed challenges. I missed....ME. The old, bold me.

Enough was enough! I decided to quit and put myself out there again, looking for a job or a company that would restore my old self. And Volvo welcomed me. At first, I was unsure about fitting into the truck world....but Technology! Teamwork! Soon I got offered the wonderful opportunity to be a part of a project that could potentially change the face of our customer support.


Now I'm thriving, learning, offering new ideas. #BeBold? Yes. To infinity and beyond! You're the engineer of your career, the engine of your self-development. It takes guts, but the reward is so sweet. And no one said you have to do it alone. There are thousands of wonderful, brave, smart women out there. It only takes one step to join them. I can promise you that. Because that old, bold me? She's back and I won't let her disappear again.


By Isabelle, Business Analyst, Belgium



The free spirit within

My entire childhood goal as an immigrant was to become a doctor. Fast forward to the end of completing my Bachelor's Degree in Biology and Management minor, I relied on Robert Frost's Road Not Taken and a spark of gut instinct to turn down a medical school admission and decided to become a Naturopath!


Fast forward 8 years, I was exhausted with burn-out, and I left my practice to take a flying leap to the far side of the earth for a dream job in international PR. Then the world economy collapsed and family obligations needed me home in Canada.


With a little exploration and plenty of test-taking and serendipitous timing, I landed in a government contract immersing myself in a new world of legislation. With that launchpad I leaped to another new adventure in disability case management, where all may past lives in healthcare, relationship building, and government policies merged.


Fast forward 12 years and I feel the gypsy in me wanting to fly again.. just waiting for a sign for the next adventure. #DareMeToNotTry #FearNotChange


By Seng, Canada 


Growth happens outside of your comfort zone

 A few years ago, I got the opportunity to take on an additional role in a field in which I had absolutely no background or experience. Some people questioned if it was the right thing for me to do: "but you don't know anything about security!" And of course there was also that voice inside my head that said "are you sure this is a good idea?". But I refused to let doubts stop me and decided to step out of my comfort zone. I really had to prove myself, because not only was I lacking experience, it's also a field that is typically dominated by men.


Looking back, I'm so happy that I believed in myself and decided to take that step, because today I've built a successful career, I'm leading a fantastic team, and we have gotten so far together, with many accomplishments to celebrate. None of this would have been possible if I didn't dare to #BeBold.


By Debby



What a cool career I have - thanks to my boldness!

I felt bold almost each time I have changed jobs in my career - even within the same company!

The 1st time was  when I resigned from my permanent contract as engineer in a big company in Paris, to take a temporary position in Volvo Group Purchasing In Sweden! I really scared my parents...

After this decision, I started a long career within Volvo (with a permanent contract just for my parents 😊),  where, after a couple of years in purchasing, I decided to move to Engineering. No one knew me there and I had to prove myself all over again…. but it was worth it!

I liked teamwork so much that I decided to become a group manager of technical experts. At that time the good experts became managers, so my profile was not so common!

After that I worked at Finance and more recently, I have moved to Human Resources…

New network, new jobs, new colleagues each time!

Bold choices indeed, but above all, a cool career full of discoveries!


by Odile, France


Moving to another country at the age of 18

Yes, I have been bold quite a few times. I consider boldness as not giving up, being courageous, Being good to everyone around you. So, as I grew up and became whole as a person, one of my boldest moments was moving to another country at the age of 18.

What I have learned from this  experience is being patient and not being scared of anything.

by Irem Deniz Turan, Student, Turkey


Freedom lies in being bold

It was August 15th  - Indian Independence Day - when I got my first chance to be #BeBold . My art teacher in 3rd grade asked me if I wanted to give an Independence Day speech to our entire school, and the chief guest was the corporate president and sponsor of the school.

I didn't know what it meant but felt it must be something big since she asked me. I spoke to my dad and he prepared me for the trial speech. It was a competition between me and a 7th grade boy - and I was chosen to make the final speech. I was congratulated by the president and felt euphoric.  I have held on to that feeling - both the faith my teacher and my dad had in me and the triumph I felt after all the jitters of seeing hundreds of kind faces looking at me and wanting me to succeed.

And since then I have found many in my path  - my partner, children, relatives , friends , peers, and managers wanting me to succeed and #BeBold for myself and sometimes for their sake as well. And every time it has been absolutely worth it,  every feeling of cold feet, the jitters and the euphoria after.

by Chandrika Rupak Rai, Head of CPA Software and Diagnostics, Digital and IT, Sweden


My family and Volvo


My relationship with Volvo began in 1995 when I left my position as a teacher in the public network to take new steps in the industrial area. I started in Operations, bending water pipes for the vehicles, became a document controller in the engineering area, and moved on to the production administration area.

In 2008, I was promoted to Front Line Manager of the F Production line, in the second shift. I was one of the first women to take this position in the factory. I did my best because I love a challenge, and of course I immersed myself with everything in this mission.

Three years later, I took on a position that I consider the most important of my life: that of being a mother. I've always had the dream of building a big family, just like I grew up in. That dream was achieved in 2011 when I adopted my three children, Mabily, Maylon and Wendrion.

I went through a lot of challenges, but the biggest one was this one: when I met my children, I was afraid I wouldn't live up to their expectations. But the moment was magical, when I met them, they came calling me my husband and father and mother, it was very exciting.

I always try, in both my personal and professional life, to help the people around me and to be a source of inspiration, because I believe that it is a way to leave a legacy. That's what I also try to teach my kids and I want them to be proud of me.

It's very gratifying when you hear that you're the inspiration for other people. I've always chased my life goals and embraced opportunities, and I hope to be able to inspire yet more people with my trajectory. I always say: be yourself, in everything you do, be humble with people and value the little moments.


by Sonia Cardoso rodrigues de oliveira, Front Line Manager, Brazil


Boldness is an art of women's victory


Due to family commitments I took a break for childbirth, as it was pre-term baby with weight of 1 kg. It took some months to overcome. At same time we were living through the Covid pandemic and my 10 month-old baby was the first member of our family to be affected first (later everyone in my family aslo got sick). The situation made me bold and strong enough to handle things better and I used this opportunity to upskill myself.


by Maragathavalli Badrappan, Sweden


Believe in yourself!


As a kid growing up I was always given freedom to lead & speak without fear. The confidence & strength only came through from an "I CAN DO IT" mindset & attitude.

Even though there was fear, overthinking, and a people mindset that came through my mind every time when I stood up alone for any activity, believing in myself & my work helped me achieve things which I never expected.

A major challenge I faced in my life was my first job in my previous company, where I had to lead around 80 people. People management was a very challenging task. Different mindsets, different cultures & with different age gaps. Dealing with them to make them work was difficult & stressful. Somedays I fell, I cried, & also thought about quitting my job - but the desire to 'NEVER GIVE UP' always made me grow, learn better & to make my name. Staying positive, effective communication & building good relationships was the key to overcome this difficulty which also helped me to secure a better job with the same role in my present company.

For me being bold is 'BELIVEING IN YOURSELF' - that is the key that makes anyone to get ahead, arise & conquer their dreams.


by Apeksha Baliga, Production Engineer, India


Catch opportunities


Boldness is a question of mindset that anyone can experience - even if you are only 25 like me! I always seek to catch opportunities, go for it, and do my best; firstly to challenge myself, but also to avoid disappointing people who place their trust in me.


After competitive studies and a year abroad where I learned so much about myself and other cultures, I joined the Defense and Security sector. Being a women in that field is being in an under-represented category.


While I was “only” doing an internship, I took on the responsibilities of a land forces officer at the Ministry of Defense. Hence, I was a young internship woman and a defense civilian with great responsibilities. It was a big challenge but it made me gain assurance in this type of job.


It also gave me the chance to meet my current manager. After working a few months by her side, she gave me the opportunity to take her place as the External Communication Director in my new company for a few months. This new responsibility can be scary at the beginning, but if you work with the reliable people and if you work hard, focused on your objectives, then I’m sure that work will pay off.


Don’t be afraid of working in a field you don’t know! I have been attracted to the Defense and Security sector but I do not come from it. I’m learning how to take my place and enjoy it every day. Being bold means looking to provoke the hand of fate in order to achieve ones goals.


by Camille, France


Boldly forging ahead

I am Sneha, a woman who dared to challenge societal norms and pursue mechanical engineering.


Despite being one of the few females in my class, I excelled and graduated, getting placed at my dream company. For a decade, I forged my career in a commercial vehicle industry, navigating the male-dominated environment, language barriers and the scarcity of female colleagues. I never let these challenges deter me; instead, I proved my worth through my dedication. I never shied away from the opportunity to learn and adapt.


Unfortunately, I faced health issues that forced me to take a break from work which was frowned upon by many.  I didn’t let it bog me down but used it as an opportunity to reconnect with myself and focus on my wellbeing. I seized this opportunity to upskill myself & decided to complete an executive course on Advanced Project in supply chain management from IIM C. With newfound knowledge and a burning desire, I made a bold leap and joined a construction vehicle company, stepping into uncharted territory to restart my career with a fresh, bold outlook. Here’s the end to my bold journey up until Volvo, looking ahead for many more!

by Sneha, Senior Commodity Buyer, India


Be bold – the way onward and upward!


I’d always wondered if I’d done anything radically different with my life. After all, being an accountant ticks most of the cliches one would imagine. Thinking back, the journey that has brought me here has indeed been fraught with challenging choices.

While I was encouraged to bet on the winning horse of Chartered Accountancy, I chose to explore the path less travelled, in Cost Accounting. I pursued B.Com and CMA simultaneously, knowing it would be demanding. I became the Purchasing Controller relatively young, a role previously handled by highly experienced Expats.


The nature of work, intricacies of the business, and engaging with multiple verticals, demanded enormous grit. In my personal life, it was a tragedy of immense magnitude that required every being of my soul to gather the strength to move on.


At every crossroad, at every dilemma, at every tragedy, at every self-doubt, I took solace in the inspiration and support offered by the people around me. I am, however, grateful for every one of these experiences, for they all, in many inexplicable ways, inspired me to Be Bold!

Being Bold is not a choice – it’s the way to move onward and upward!


by Priya, India



Emboldened failure

Not being scared of failure! Too often we limit ourselves through a fear of not succeeding. We unintentionally give up before we have even tried.  The reality is that failure is never as catastrophic as my imagination tells me before I have even tried.


Over the years I have learnt to embrace being stubbornly optimistic. I like to do what is right and good, regardless of its chances of success. This helps me frame failure as a learning. It helps me to evolve my ideas and actions, meaning when I succeed its sustainably successful.


by Kate, Sweden



 A journey of stereotypical defiance


Amidst a classroom predominantly occupied by male students, I found myself as the apprehensive fresher in my Mechanical Engineering class. However, I refused to let the circumstances deter me. Embracing the challenge of being the sole girl in class, I persevered with unwavering determination, disregarding the obstacles that arose.


Despite societal stereotypes suggesting Mechanical Engineering as a male-dominated field, accompanied by my initial intimidation and doubts, I stayed true to my abilities and took immense pride in surpassing my limits and shattering those imposed barriers.


As a result, I emerged as the top achiever in my branch, showcasing that dedication and perseverance can triumph over gender biases.


by Anushka, Graduate Mechanical Engineer, India



How boldness set me up for success!

I was 31 and had been in my position for roughly 3 years. I wanted a new challenge, so I was looking for jobs that were available within my company when I was recommended by a colleague to apply to her team. We had worked together previously and I really enjoyed our collaboration, also, the type of work she did seemed interesting to me - so I applied.


A few weeks later I get a message from the recruiting manager: "Are you at the office today? I would like to interview you."


What do you say… yes, of course! So off I went to an interview that I can admit I was obviously not prepared for as it was totally out of the blue. The recruiting manager asked a few questions, only around soft skills & how I deal with others, nothing about my hard skills or what I have achieved. He stood up, thanked me for my time, left the room and told me he’ll be in touch. In total, the interview took no more than 15 min. By then I thought it was a formality so he could tell his boss that he had interviewed a female applicant and to this day, this was the shortest & out-of-the-box interview I have ever had.


Two days later I had a job offer in my mailbox. Even though the full process was different, the few questions he asked were on point and matched my way of thinking… so with only that, I trusted my gut and accepted the job offer. I stayed with that manager until his retirement. I learned so much from him and I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for him. Being bold that day was the best leap of faith I made for my career.


by Julie, Factory Director, USA



A leap into the unknown... 

That's how I started my journey to pursue my dream of doing my second masters. With 13 years of experience, being a toddler mother, at the age of 35. While people around me were questioning my decision, I was entrenched towards my learning and growth. It was daunting yet exciting at the same time. I had to take care of my child, do late night assignments and group study after work. There were so many times that I felt jittery and wanted to quit. But I didn’t, my eagerness to learn kept me going.


While pursuing my second masters, I also took a decision to step out of my comfort zone and leave the fashion and apparel industry, where I had worked for 13 years, and join the Construction Equipment Industry: moving from shirts & trousers to yellow machines, fashion trends to technology trends. I trotted off the beaten path, and chose the one less travelled. It was my boldest move.


Looking back, from both of my decisions, I gained so much in terms of learning, experience, perspective, and much more.


by Surbhi, India


Speak up!

The boldest moments in my career have been recognizing moments where the group consensus is to accept mediocrity and frown on speaking up to challenge the mindset of the moment.


When being interviewed by a panel of three men for an extremely male-dominated role, one of the interviewers would frequently lower his head and snicker. I finally decided to politely but directly ask him if I was missing something that he felt was so funny.  Quickly he gained control and apologized. When I was called back to be offered the position, the hiring manager opened the conversation by admitting that he didn't want to offer me the job as he was concerned for my well-being as a female in the industry - despite the fact that I was the best candidate for the job.


I took the job regardless, and within a few years overhauled the branch and was promoted and recognized as one of the key leaders of the entire national organization. In that moment during the interview moment I could have chosen to be offended but instead, I chose to be bold and I'm proud that I did.


by Alexis, Electromobility Sales Manager, USA.



Let boldness be a lifestyle

Well, being bold is not something you do overnight, like "Hey! I woke up bold today morning!". In fact it's as hard as any other skill; it takes a series of events, a heck load of embarrassment, and a lot of not so bold moments to actually get to the point of calling yourself bold.


For me it's been just a year since I joined the Construction Equipment industry. As a fresher it takes a lot to prove yourself, to be heard, and to make a mark. Well, it's not just about the corporate world but I'm pretty sure, even as students, the young men and women out there have to work twice as hard to make an impression in any walk of life.


Well, my story of boldness hasn't been any game-changing event, rather it's a very regular, normal, everyday lifestyle. It's those little moments of boldness that count - for example when you choose not to give up when you're about to, when you bring about change in yourself for the better, when you stand up for yourself and when you push through just a bit longer.


Like the popular saying goes "A Hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver 5 minutes longer." This simple saying has helped me out in every phase from childhood to adulthood.


by Divisha, India



Your story of boldness can appear here....



Tell us what drove you to take a leap of faith and pursue your dreams!

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