Kody O’Hea: How Lovinklaan Kickstarted My Global Ambitions WITHIN ARCADIS
Besides promoting the interest in shaping the future and continuity of the enterprise, Lovinklaan aims to help Arcadians grow and reach their full potential through different inspiring programs. But what is the concrete added value of these programs and how do they enrich personal and professional development? We recently published an article highlighting the experiences of Bianca Brandizzi. In this article we cover the story of the Australian Arcadian Kody O’Hea.
Introducing: Kody O’Hea from Australia
Kody started his career 4 years ago as intern at Arcadis and a lot has changed since then. He recently changed offices, is actively building his international Arcadis network through the different Lovinklaan programs, and on a personal note: he recently got married. We spoke to Kody on his first day in his new office in Brisbane, Australia, just one day after returning from his honeymoon in the US, and talked about his experience as a Global Shaper, his Quest exchange and learned why he is participating in the Global Share Plan.
Kody learned about Lovinklaan and its sponsored programs through a digital newsletter. He explains: “I tend to read a lot. There is so much valuable information available about opportunities to further shape your career at Arcadis. That’s how I was introduced to Global Shapers and Quest. A Global Shaper also gave a presentation in our office. From there on I started following Global Shapers on Yammer, Facebook and Instagram and kept track of those.”
Kody initially applied for Global Shapers in 2016 without success, but won the pre-application challenge during his second try in 2017. “The first time I underestimated the application procedure and selection process. I did not put enough effort into my application and was rejected. The second time I decided to do it right. I connected with many colleagues around the globe and we spend quite some time on the pre-application. It definitely paid off.”
“I couldn’t have done it without the help of others.”
Winning the Global Shapers pre-application challenge wasn’t easy. Kody enthusiastically recalls the experience: “It was an exciting challenge. I started working together with people from different parts of the world. I made a few friends in Manila, who I still keep in contact with; also in Romania, the Netherlands and the UK. The pre-application was just one of those things you can’t do alone. I couldn’t have done it without the help of others.”
Through Global Shapers Kody did something he hadn’t done before: connecting with colleagues within the international Arcadis network. It opened a world of possibilities and contributed to his professional and personal development. Kody explains: “Global Shapers gave me a platform to connect with, and learn from, international colleagues. Through the challenging group assignments, I also learned to adapt to different situations and collaborate with people from different business lines. However, to me the most important was the opportunity to learn from Arcadis leaders. As part of winning the pre-application challenge I had the chance to personally meet with our CEO Peter Oosterveer. This certainly made an impact. It was fascinating to talk about strategic business decisions, as well as openly discuss our personal ambitions.”
“Everyone has got that opportunity. Everyone can reach out, but Global Shapers gives you the voice and the chance to do so.”
Through his Global Shapers connections it was easy for Kody to find a host and organize his Quest exchange. He spend two weeks in Europe, visiting the UK and in the Netherlands. During the exchange he shared knowledge with colleagues about flood prevention and containment in the fields of engineering and consultancy. “One thing led to another and I ended up doing a Quest as well. My ability to go on a Quest came from me doing Global Shapers. I knew someone in the Netherlands and the UK through Global Shapers. It shows once more the added value of building a global network within the organization.”
Kody likes to be involved in different aspects of Arcadis and think about the direction the organization is heading in the future. That’s why he also started participating in the Global Share Plan. The plan offers Arcadis employees the ability to buy Arcadis shares at an attractive discount. Kody shares: “I love being able to log in and track what you’ve got in terms of shares. I think it’s great that they offer it to us and that you get that 20% off, which is more of an incentive. It is great to be involved in the company in that way. What you do for work every day contributes to what you have financial backing in.”
“Don’t be lazy and just do it!”
So What’s Next?
First things first. Kody will focus on getting fully up to speed in his new role in Brisbane, but he prefers to keep the ball rolling: “I met some Global Leaders during Quest and have expressed my interest in working internationally. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed for an international relocation in the long run. In terms of programs sponsored by Lovinklaan? I will continue with the Global Share Plan and will share my experience internally. I will most definitely start to look at the other programs offered, but I have held back for now. I am just very grateful I had these other two extremely rewarding experiences.”
Kody’s advice to other Arcadians: “The information is available, and the opportunity is provided. A lot of people don’t realize what the benefits are from participating in one of these programs. It just takes a little bit of effort, but it’s all worth it. Don’t be lazy, just do it!”