My name is Francesca, a Civil Engineer based at our office in Santiago, Chile (South America, next to Argentina, south of Brazil… just in case! ;), and I am a Global Shaper – Generation 2015.
Before Global Shapers and during the application process, I was not sure about what Global Shapers really was. I read some blogs like the one I’m writing now, but these were not very helpful. Words like “amazing experience”, “great friends”, “international environment”, “great opportunity” and so on didn’t really answer my questions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Global Shapers isn’t all of that! But if you are supposed to write about your experience, you shouldn’t use ‘set phrases’ or what the organizing team would like to read (sorry guys!). Just write your own experience down with your own words, your fears and your fulfillments.
Here I go… from the heart.
First of all, I almost didn’t apply for Global Shapers. I was 32 years old without 5 years of profesional experience, so I was eligible to apply. But I felt -or some people told me- I shouldn’t apply because I was too old. Second of all, I’m an Engineer and goals like “discover the potencial of new generations” sounded more like a HR thing. After I put all these prejudgments aside, I applied and got selected. I never knew if I was the eldest in the program, but 30+ was not a minority.
During the face-to-face meeting we went through a project with a specific goal, sessions on body language, personality tests and physical exercises with others. We met with with some of our global leaders and talked like colleague to colleague.
For a non-native English speaker, moreover for someone who doesn’t need to communicate in English on a day to day basis, the face-to-face meeting can be tough. Non-natives are more straight forward to express themselves and some people could feel awkward about this. But some others really appreciated it and even thanked you for being there. Did I mention I got a very strong cold during the second day of the face-to-face meeting? That made it even more tough.
Global Shapers is about finding talents in new generations and in every area. I remember I asked our CEO, Neil McArthur, what it was in it for us “technicians” in a program like Global Shapers. I do not remember his answer, I do remember though he gave a very long one. I now have my own answer.
Your degree has nothing to do with the activities and outcomes of the program. Global Shapers is about getting to know yourself better and how you interact with others. What is an engineer doing there? The same as the IT technician or the HR assistant. Everyone needs to connect with others and talent is needed in every area of a company.
Global Shapers is about connecting with yourself and with others.
Global Shapers Generation 2015