“It is not only a major turning point in my career”

“I hear that you have been selected for what they call THE HALL OF FAME!!!” one of my colleagues said as I stood next to him, waiting for my turn to retrieve the design drawings from the printing machine. I smirked and laughed, realizing I made it and got in!

This is just one of the feelings I have since Global Shapers 2016 happened to me. Right from day one, when I was encouraged by my line manager Kenneth Heney to send in my application video, to the day when I was fortunate enough to get selected as one of the 105 Global Shapers of Generation 2016. Since then, I have experienced being challenged, inspired, driven and successfully.

It has been almost one and a half year since I joined Arcadis as a Graduate Engineer in the Middle East region. Amidst of all the technical expertise I have been gaining, I believe Global Shapers has easily been the icing on the cake. Honestly, before applying for the program, I barely had a clue what the prestigious program actually was about. The awe-inspiring feedback from the alumni, the overwhelming opportunity it would be in terms of my personal development and creating a global network. However, it was only when I actually got the e-mail, a journey of WOWS!! and OOMPHS!! began at every stage. It started by working together in Virtual Teams, Right from learning new skills to work together in Virtual Teams, that brought along a extensive cultural collaboration across the globe, to discovering your own strengths by exploring your MBTI profile. Or new acquaintances that turn into long lasting connections, comprehending the Arcadis Businesses by effectively engaging with a more global group of inspiring colleagues who are culturally diverse and yet exceptionally likeminded.

Working in a Virtual Team has been an absolute new and quite challenging experience for me. Trying to conquer the different time zones, cultural differences and understanding someones different approaches. However, it has also offered a lot of prospect to make the Virtual Phase a learning success. While Virtual Phase 1 helped us to navigate through intercultural differences by exploring Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and creating our personal development plan, Phase 2 further smoothed the virtual road by learning about our personal profiles, helping to (re)discover our preferences when working in a team. In short, right from setting personal development goals to paving a path to actually reaching them has, has proven to be an enchanting experience in my career.

To top it all, I have been feeling particularly thrilled to endorse and practise this year‘s theme “Client Focus”. Coming from a technical engineering background and not being able to meet a lot of clients, this very relevant theme -being one of Arcadis core values- has been turning out to be a real learning experience that shall be cherished always.

I honestly believe that this ‘Arcadiness’-boosting program shall help equip me with the required know-how to create an impact within our business, by creating a ripple effect. The whole experience, including the current Virtual Phase and the upcoming face-to-face program in Doha, is certainly going to be a memory that shall remain with me forever. It is not only a major turning point in my career, but a personal one too.


Rabia Danyal

Global Shaper Generation 2016

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