In 2015, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of six Australians to attend the Arcadis Global Shapers Program in our country’s first year with the company. This had a number of pros and cons.
PRO – We were able to delight our fellow global shapers with previously unheard Australian colloquialism such “sheila” and “hooroo’.
CON – No one knew what on earth we were talking about.
PRO – Our colleagues were incredibly excited for us to be the guinea pigs for this mysterious journey.
CON – We had no idea what to expect, and the longest way to travel.
Face to Face Program
Once we finally arrived in The Netherlands after 27 hours in transit (by plane, and not by kangaroo – contrary to popular belief), we hit the ground running. I was excited to meet my fellow Forza Sally team mates, with whom I had completed the virtual phase challenges, as well as the 90 other Global Shapers.
With no time to waste, we commenced working on our various workflows. Despite the Organizing Team emphasizing the importance of “using your feet”, and moving from workflow to workflow, I found myself completely committed to the Passion Movement from Day 1.
During the Virtual Phase, it became very apparent to me that my colleagues were completely unfamiliar with Arcadis’ Passion. As our company was a recent acquisition of Arcadis, I wasn’t overly surprised, however, I was surprised to find that my teammates from North America, South America, and Asia had experienced the same unfamiliarity with their own colleagues. As such, I really felt as though the Passion Movement could make a positive difference.
Not only did the workflow make sense to me, but I became very close with my fellow Passion Movement team members, as is often the case when you are trying to achieve miracles within tight frames.
On the final night – we were able to present our results to the AGLF in Rotterdam, and were delighted to find so many Senior Leaders from within company shared our enthusiasm for Passing the Passion. In fact, several senior leaders even recorded and sent in their own Pass the Passion videos on the night! Our team had been excited about the Passion Movement for days, but it was rousing to witness equal enthusiasm from our fellow Arcadians. There was much to celebrate with our fellow Global Shapers that night!
Since returning to Australia, we have shared our Global Shapers experience with both the office as a whole, as well as providing a more detailed presentation to the Brisbane and Gold Coast Graduate Groups, with hopes of inspiring the next generation of Global Shapers.
Our colleagues were incredibly interested in our experiences, due to our having no exposure to the program previously, and I think it’s safe to say that there will be a large number of Australian applicants for Global Shapers 2016.
One key highlight for me was getting to meet AGLF members I wouldn’t have met otherwise. As a result, I have been able to assist with projects I would not have been exposed to otherwise, simply through making strong connections at during Global Shapers.
The other highlight of the program was certainly the people. Getting to share such a challenging and rewarding week with 100 like-minded individuals is unlike any other professional experience I’ve had to date. I am grateful for the friends I have made, and was lucky enough to have been able to visit some Global Shapers in the UK over Christmas.
Heidi Duncan – Australia