Michael Hearn – GS2018 Virtual Team Ambassador for Team 8 – London
Who are you and what is your role within Arcadis?
I am Director for Operations and Business Development at Arcadis Philippines and Regional Sector Leader in Asia for Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Multiple hats to wear but I enjoy the varied tasks and the wide range of Arcadians I get to work with, makes for an action packed but fulfilling day!
What is your role as virtual ambassador? Why do you like to do this?
As a virtual ambassador my initial task was to help establish team rapport, to be honest this came naturally for the team and after first skype sessions you would have thought they had known each other a lot longer. One basic ground rule I introduced was that all team members got a fair and equal chance to express their thoughts and lead the virtual meetings – that we be mindful that some of our colleagues may not have English as their first language, may be nervous about talking in front of groups and actively encourage each other to open up.
Once established, the team progressed quickly through the activities where my role shifted to more of an advisor, continuously overseeing their communication and coordination, stepping in where needed to guide them as well as provide one to one sessions should they have any questions they would rather ask in private.
Part of developing as a professional is sharing your knowledge and experience, this was a key learning I took away from AMP19. It not only reinforces our understanding but allows us to shape the next generation of leaders.
How has the experience been so far, particularly in the second part of the virtual phase, ‘the Arcadis Experience’?
It still amazes me how much there still is to learn about our offices around the world, their business lines and the projects they work in. Cultural differences based on geographical location do influence the way we interact and conduct business but it is this very diversity in Arcadis that we should embrace and be proud of.
“Walk in to the office each day, not only thinking about the tasks you must complete but what learnings you wish to take away.”
What is your advice to Global Shapers and other early career professionals within Arcadis?
There is no easy route, everyone has worked hard to get to where they are through dedication and continuous professional development. Walk in to the office each day, not only thinking about the tasks you must complete but what learnings you wish to take away. Make time for reflection, look back at what went right or wrong on a project or with a client, this is key to you being able to make decisions later, particularly as you rise through the ranks and up the career ladder.