99 Friends Walk into a Conference Room…

No, it’s not the beginning of a joke—it’s Global Shapers!

My journey to Malaysia began at 4:00a.m. on a Thursday morning.  As I followed the sun across the globe, I scrolled through the #GS4Impact, #ArcadisGS and #Arcadis “travel selfies” of my fellow Shaper’s adventures en route to our Face-to-Face (F2F) event.

We gathered for a plenary session on Saturday afternoon, eager to see what the organizing team had in store for us. As they presented what was going to happen in the next 5 days, I could not contain my excitement, and I don’t think anyone else could either, judging from the smiles that spread across the room. From there, the program hit the ground running and has flown by thus far. It says a lot about these people and the F2F event that we work nearly 12 hours a day but barely even feel like we’re working, and then we stay up well past the work is over to hang out.

Without disclosing too much information, the Global Shapers F2F program has helped me gain a better understanding of myself as a professional and as a member of the Arcadis culture. I am empowered to carry my experience back to my regional offices and begin the ‘ripple effect.’ I believe that is when our work here truly begins.

My experience at the Global Shapers F2F event has been nothing short of inspiring. I am honored to work with and know the most incredible, talented and enjoyable people—those who make up the roots of Arcadis. I can honestly say I will walk out of this program with 99 new friends who are scattered across the globe.

But it’s not over yet. The ripple effect has only started!

Genevieve van der Velden – North America 

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