My journey at Global Shapers 2018 – Melina Breves

The 2015 Trainee Generation

I joined Arcadis as a Trainee in 2015. I participated for a year in job rotation at the Environment Division. After, I was hired as a geologist engineer to work in one of the teams of the technical area, where I stayed for another two and a half years. In the middle of 2018, I decided to move to the area of New Business Development. So, I left the technical area and I started working on developing business proposals and customer relationships, which I identify with and I’m really enjoying!

Along with changing teams, in October I was approved and got to go to Global Shapers 2018, which took place in Boston. These were very significant changes and events in my life, and I will share them with you!

In 2017, I applied to Global Shapers for the first time. I recorded a last-minute video and I felt I didn’t try hard enough. I also felt I didn’t get into the theme of that year, because I was afraid to participate in the program, fearful of the unknown yet to come! But, in 2018, I had as one of my New Year’s goals to give my best in the application of the program. So, when I applied, I really dedicated myself, got into the theme, and did the best I could with the resources I had… and that worked!!! I was very happy to have been selected for the program. So, a change of mindset began…

At the beginning of the program, we had the kickoff meeting, and the challenge started. Firstly, there is the Virtual Phase of the program, in which there were weekly meetings with my team (composed of one person from each country), besides the assignments. It was very interesting since it wasn’t only assignments related to the theme, there were also tasks which involved our career, our personal goals, the Arcadis values and behaviors, and also learning about different cultures! There were some challenges along the way too, such as adjusting all tasks with work and my personal activities. I had my post-graduation class, and I had just changed teams, so I was still adapting to the new job… But then I saw that this was also one of the program’s lessons, to be able to adjust and plan all the tasks in the best way.

The others GS from Brazil and I at the airport going to Boston

And so we moved on, until the day of the trip came. It was a mix of feelings, concerns, fear to be in a place outside your comfort zone, where I would have to speak a language I was not so familiar with, talk about a theme that I wasn’t an expert in, and at the same time I felt a great happiness and excitement for that opportunity.

After a long day with two flights, I arrived at the hotel the day before the event. There were some people already, and it was late at night, so many had gone to sleep. When I arrived in my room, the girl who would be my roommate was already there, so we met and talked for a bit, then I went downstairs to have dinner. The other day, which was the beginning of the F2F Program, I first had coffee and then decided to explore Boston before the opening meeting, which was only at noon. It was raining a lot, but it was great, I met some people too and we walked a lot around the city and the surroundings.

Grand Finale presentation – Another GS2018 (Megan Klar) and I presenting our workflow

After a delicious lunch at the hotel, the opening meeting started, and it gave me a very good feeling of excitement to be there. It was like this during the 4 days of the event. There were some difficult times too, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t express myself exactly as I wanted, because I was speaking in a different language, to totally different people, and there was a lot of work and pressure to deliver a good project… a fantastic immersion that went very well at the end! We presented great projects in the Grand Finale, it was a splendid presentation that I even participated in, which also represented for me crossing a great personal barrier. I admit I was afraid to speak in public, even more in English! But it was great to have the support of people I had just met saying that they admired me for doing that, and that it would be great. Then everything went well, I received many compliments, and I was very proud of myself!

And that was the end of a program that has changed me, not only for my personal growth, but also for all the connections I’ve made all over the world. I could see how people are there for you and how much they are willing to help you, but there are also competitive people, and you have to learn the best way to deal with them. It was also great to meet global leaders who you admire and who are there having lunch with you and are open to your questions in a direct relationship without obstacles.

The team from one of the workflows I worked on during the program

It was a fantastic experience, which enabled me to see that the main goal of the program is not to have experts on the theme of the year but is to have people willing to collaborate with colleagues, do research, get involved with the theme in order to have ideas on behalf of an issue of global importance. This way, we can continue living and we can leave the planet in habitable conditions for the next generations. And why not exploit technology for this, since it exists and is here to be explored?

This was a bit of my experience in the program, which is not even over yet, because we are still developing the Ripple Effect and other programs. In addition, I feel the motivation and improvement in all aspects of my life, especially in my work, because I broadened my vision to believe in our potential to make things happen, and also to become more involved with our planet’s issues and sustainability… We can act now to improve our life quality, which after all is the vision of Arcadis! I hope you have enjoyed my experience and if you have questions it would be a pleasure to answer them!

The Ripple Effect – Presentation of our experience for the leaders from Brazil and Latin America

By Melina Machado Breves – Brazil– Latin America

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