It was a little under a year ago that I stumbled across the job posting for “Performance Excellence Team Member”. The job was for a handful of young professionals within ARCADIS and from around the globe to support the beginning of the Performance Excellence program. Just reading the job description, I was overwhelmed with excitement and the potential for such a great opportunity.
After talking it over with my supervisor, mentors, and my family, I decided I needed to at least apply. After a few weeks and a few interviews, I was offered a position on the team! I had a mere 3 weeks to complete and delegate all of my current work before heading off for 10-12 weeks of travel.
The team met at our home base in Amsterdam. Here I met the other Arcadians from around the globe that would be part of the team. It was this first day of the program, where the importance of the journey we were about to embark on really hit me. Neil McArthur (CEO ARCADIS) came by the office we were gathered in to say a few words about the program. It became apparent the importance of the program to building the ARCADIS Way and being able to deliver on our strategy.
The next 5 weeks were a whirlwind of travel, workshops, new cultures & foods, and sightseeing. During this time I visited Amersfoort, Frankfurt, Chicago, London and Hong Kong, and tried everything from bitterballen in the Netherlands to pastys in London to Peking Duck in Hong Kong. During this time I also had the opportunity to meet with Arcadians from all of these offices with a variety of different roles within the organization to better understand their business and gather best practices.
During the second half of the program we returned to Amsterdam to complete the data analysis and prepare to present our findings to our company’s top leaders. This was a lot of hard, but interesting work that was performed at a pace and level I had not been exposed to previously. While we spent long days in the office, we had the evenings and weekends to explore Amsterdam with our coworkers. We visited the windmills and clog factories in the country side, we went to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum, experienced Kings Day, and ate mayo on everything!
The first phase of the program was winding down and we were invited to watch our results be presented to the leaders of the company. The presentation went over great! Everyone was excited about the opportunities that were identified by the team and it was clear how this could potentially help us to achieve our strategy. The icing on the cake for me, was that I was asked to continue on supporting the Performance Excellence program after this phase!
Overall, it has been an amazing experience to learn so much about ARCADIS’ business, meet so many Arcadians from around the globe, and get a chance to work with an amazing group of other young professionals.
Jennifer Sturza, ARCADIS US