Mukund Ramesh, Assistant Engineer, Environment based in Karle Town Center, Bangalore shares how the GS program has helped him growing within Arcadis and what the program entails.
Why did you apply for Global Shapers?
Barely a month into joining Arcadis, I was introduced to the Global Shapers program in 2016. I loved the excitement around the application phase and connected with many people from different regions through Twitter/Yammer. However, I did not get into the 2016 program.
In 2017, I decided to try again and was highly motivated after hearing all the experiences from the 2016 generation. I was able to submit a better application and got selected. Learning basic video editing helped me for my application!
The Global Shapers program provides a great opportunity to represent your region/country and connect with Arcadians from across the globe. Through the Virtual and Face-to-Face phases, we brainstormed ideas for the development of Arcadis goals/values. The theme for 2017 was #Sustainability4Impact – Digital solutions to improve quality of life. Being related to my business line (Environment), I was keen to contribute. This was another reason why I was eager to get into the program.
L to R: Christopher Moult (Dubai) , Mukund Ramesh, Irene Perosanz (Spain) , Amanda Uhlarik (USA) , Karina Siems (Australia), Vicki Chou (USA) and Zi Ni Soon (Malaysia)
My Virtual team included colleagues from Australia, USA, Malaysia, Spain and the UK.
What were your expectations of your first Global Shapers get together?
Our first get together was the team introductions at the Face-to-Face event. I was instantly able to connect with all the Global Shapers from my virtual team as we had interacted before and worked on a few assignments. My expectations through the program were:
- To be able to connect with many Global Shapers and understand their background, culture and interests.
- To connect with senior leaders and learn more about their journey through Arcadis
- To connect with colleagues from my lead region (North America)
- To spread a word about GEC and our capabilities
The Global Shapers (GS) program was designed in the exact same way. Every meeting we would take assigned seats, which were randomly arranged each time, and we had to find them. Next the activities would make us interact with new people sitting next to us, and ensure we get to know more Shapers.
By choosing different workflows teams, we were able to interact with the senior leaders and Shapers with a shared interest. I choose to work for the sustainability workflow.
What is your top highlight from the event?
The Global Shapers program went very fast and I enjoyed every moment. A few of my top highlights were:
- Teaching Yoga: Before the face-to-face event, the organizers asked us our preferred sport, skill or dance to give a class to fellow participants. I was keen to teach cricket, however the organising team asked if I could teach yoga. This was a challenge for me. I have been practicing yoga about 3-4 years, and knew most of the poses, but had never instructed a class. I prepared a list of basic poses/asanas for a duration of 40 min. I was able to teach the Surya Namaskar, some breathing exercises, chanting of om and a few other asanas. The class was a huge success, everyone mentioned they felt very relaxed and refreshed at the end.
- Contribution to the Sustainability Work Flow: During the four days we worked on the strategic goals for Sustainability at Arcadis. We brainstormed ideas for the tool/platform “SPOT ON”. I helped by giving ideas, preparing a few slides and videos. The videos I prepared, introduced the audience to SPOT ON.
The video was amazing, and it was exactly what the team wanted. I was really thrilled, and our Senior mentors really appreciated the efforts.
- Connecting with Senior leaders, Global Shapers and explaining about GEC: Before the Global Shapers event at Malaysia, the team from GEC was briefed by our management on the GEC model and how lead teams benefit from working with our offices.
At the event, I explained about GEC and my team capabilities to a few senior leaders from the Netherlands and many global shapers from the US, Brazil. Many were impressed, and keen to explore working with us. Soon after the Global Shapers, I have setup many calls, along with senior engineers, and have presented our competencies. Our Environment team is exploring working with new regions. Being able to connect and explore new projects where GECs could assist the lead regions was a key highlight for me.
What are the key learnings or take aways that you will use or do from now on?
Team work and skill set: Through Global Shapers, I have learnt about different cultures, working styles and the how much we can achieve in a short time, if we align all our efforts to a common purpose. The 2017 generation greatly contributed to the Sustainability and Digital platforms in just five days of hard work, which is amazing looking at all the outcomes we have created. There were many different skills people brought to the table, however identifying your talents and applying them where the team needed them the most is very important.
Networking and staying in touch: The event has helped me understand the importance of networking and being in contact. There is so much in common we share with many regions and to be able to understand and identify how we can help/work with each other is the key.
Importance of health, work and time off: The event focussed on health through sports activities every day. I have learnt it is important to stay fit and play/work out every day. We worked hard through the five days and partied a lot. On the third day evening, the organizing team took us out to Putrajaya, on a boat cruise with dinner. This was a refreshing experience after the days hard work. The boat circled around a large mosque and we enjoyed the city lights over a good meal.
Boat Cruise to Putrajaya
Overall the experience is something that is truly worth it. It has given me a lot of opportunities and helped me grow within Arcadis as well. I would encourage and recommend everyone who is eligible, to apply for the program and not miss this incredible opportunity.