“I couldn’t believe it when I got the e-mail!”

14 September 2016

I am Karen Troen, a structural engineer based at Arcadis’ Antwerp office in Belgium. I have exactly 3 years of work experience with approximately 2,5 years of this time being for a different company than Arcadis. One of the main reasons I chose Arcadis when looking for a job change was because of the many great programs they have for young professionals. I was excited to work for a company that gives people the opportunity to grow and learn, not only on a technical level, but on a personal level as well.

Before applying, and even at the beginning of the program, I didn’t really know what the Global Shapers program implied. On the website and different blogs everyone talked about a great experience, the possibility of meeting senior leaders, a way to grow your network and an international week somewhere in the world. This all sounded really good so I decided to apply. I think I must have checked the Global Shapers website every day waiting for the application process to start. I was eager to be a part of the Global Shaper community so I was really excited when the application process finally started. Off course I was a bit anxious about making a video, the possibility of making a fool out of myself for everyone to see. But I put that thought aside and just went for it. It was really fun making the video, only really hard to put everything I wanted to say in just 60 seconds!

Then the day of the selections came… I couldn’t believe it when I got the e-mail! I was among the lucky 25% who got in. And I must say I have had a lot of positive reactions from everyone about my application. I was surprised at how supportive and interested people are in my Global Shapers journey.

My Global Shapers experience so far has been better than I could have imagined. It is a lot of fun to meet young professionals who are all so motivated, enthusiastic and open-minded. Everyone has been so friendly and respectful of each other’s cultures. My journey has really been about learning more about myself and how I work best in an international team. I have always been interested in an international career and although I haven’t left my home country yet I have already learnt so much about working in and with different cultures. I can’t wait to go to Qatar and meet more Arcadians and learn even more about all the different people and cultures.

This year’s theme of client focus is also a great one for me. As a technical engineer I don’t work much with clients so this theme will teach me a lot and it will truly bring me out of my comfort zone. I believe this will be an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Karen Troen

Global Shaper Generation 2016