BLOG – Dana Lynn Tan traveled to the Philippines during her Quest to visit one of Arcadis’ Global Excellence Centre

Quest is an international transfer program which connects Arcadians from all over the world. Quest is sponsored by the Lovinklaan Foundation. Every week we are highlighting one of the stories our employees who went on an exchange. In this blogpost we cover the Quest story of Dana Lynn Tan who traveled from Abu Dhabi to Makati City in the Philippines.

Skill is not enough to deliver the best results, if not supported with experience,  passion, and work ethic.

My name is Dana Lynn Tan, from Arcadis Abu Dhabi, and I recently went on a Quest to the Philippines to visit the region’s Global Excellence Centre (GEC) .

                                                                            Why did I apply for a Quest

The inspiring Quest blogs motivated me to submit my application and I already had the perfect Host Region in mind. Why the GEC Philippines? Last year, I had a strong and successful collaboration with GEC Middle East Cost & Commercial Team. Whilst the GEC ME C&CM Team may only be just over 1 year young, the OpCo engagement with GEC is already very strong. Generally, the GEC’s reflect the needs of the OpCo regions. If we clearly understand how both operate and do things, I believe the Arcadis One Team Approach can be fully realized and this would be best achieved by raising GEC awareness (which I have contributed to in my own little way, via my participation on Quest). Working in my home country for a week made me both nervous and excited. At this time of year, there is no hope avoiding the busiest and congested city of Manila. I really thought I wouldn’t survive day 1, but it really wasn’t that bad after all (despite the scorching heat). Luckily the Arcadis office was only 1 km away from my accommodation.

Highlight of my Quest experience

There are several aspects of my Quest experience that I consider highlights:

  1. One Team with GEC. Our GEC colleagues are our team members who are just located in another region. Working with GEC increases our resources, skills and gives us a market advantage.
  2. GEC can do more. The GEC is not just a measurement team. The GEC has expanded cost & commercial management capabilities.
  3. Best Practices. Understanding the Middle East clients, market, and work culture, via knowledge sharing and secondments of our GEC colleagues to the Middle East region.
  4. GEC in the Digital Era. The global cost database is being created to feed into BIM 5D. The new generation of quantity surveyors is more open to innovations, progressive technologies and demonstrates greater digital capabilities.

                                                                              Learnings and experiences

I was very glad to be working with the GEC team as they have a happy, refreshing and open working culture. Also, contrary to what some think, GEC is not outsourced. Our GEC colleagues are our team members located in another region and function as our resource multipliers. I also found out that full support from OpCo regions is needed to help the GEC’s populate the global cost database for various sectors by sharing available project data. All in all, I really developed a strengthened appreciation for the GEC team. Let us not forget to send our simple appreciation to our hardworking bees in GEC! We all need good motivation.

Back in the Abu Dhabi office, my colleagues were clueless that I was going away for a Quest. I really had planned it to be a big surprise! Any Arcadian is qualified to be a Quest Candidate. You just have to find a Host Region that is willing to help you achieve your objectives. It is also ideal to chat with colleagues from both regions to make the most out of your Quest. The application and approval process were fast and easy. Once in, you just have to make it an enjoyable give-and-gain experience. Thank you Lovinklaan, Arcadis Middle East & GEC Philippines for supporting my Quest journey.


The international transfer program Quest, which connects Arcadians from all over the world, is sponsored by the Lovinklaan Foundation.

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