Quest is an international transfer program which connects Arcadians from all over the world. Quest is sponsored by the Lovinklaan Foundation. Every week we are highlighting one of the stories our employees who went on an exchange. In this blogpost we cover the Quest story of Kevin Swiadek who traveled from Columbus, Ohio to Milan, Italy.
Why did I apply for a Quest
My name is Kevin Swiadek from the Columbus, Ohio office. While planning my Quest, I started to research possible locations (included the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands) and decided to visit the Milan, Italy location, based on upcoming remedial field activities. I ultimately wanted to learn the regulatory framework from European countries as well to see how health and safety programs apply in offices outside of ANA.
Highlight of my Quest experience
During my first day, I made it to the office and had a meet-and-greet with the environmental employees and my host, Marco Frigerio. They were all very accommodating and friendly. With everyone gathered in the conference room, I presented about myself, project work, and the culture of Arcadis within the United States. Later, I learned how health and safety is implemented on Italian projects. The office H&S coordinator walked me through HASP production/development and other specifics about the European OSHA.
I had three, one-day field events, where I shadowed tasks and project managers on active remediation sites. The first was a haul/dig event in the southwest portion of Milan where the land was being rezoned from commercial to residential, and environmental cleanup was required. Second was to visit to two remediation systems at petrol stations in Alessandria, similar to the AUS retail projects. Lastly, I visited a multi-faceted site in Vincenza, near Venice. The scope of work included many remedial technologies including soil farming, in-situ injections, thermal in-situ remediation, asbestos removal, and much more.
The last day of my quest was in the office where my host explained Italian regulations and procedures and how the European Environmental Agency works within Italy and through the broader European nations. A few of us went to dinner that night, having great Italian pasta. They were a gracious office and patient with my lack of Italian.
During my weekends I explored the highlands of Milan, like the Duomo in the city center. After my quest, I took a speed train down to Rome and visited the Colosseum, Pantheon, and the Vatican to name a few.
Learnings and experiences
I learned a lot during my Quest, from Health and Safety procedures, to fieldwork practices and how regulatory agencies work within Europe. I also connected and networked with individuals I may have never gotten to connect with.
Lastly, I would encourage everyone to travel and get perspectives outside their own office or country.
The international transfer program Quest, which connects Arcadians from all over the world, is sponsored by the Lovinklaan Foundation.