As a foreigner who studied and subsequently working in Singapore, I always hold close to my heart the words of Dr Daisaku Ikeda, the 3rd President of Soka Gakkai International: “To be a global citizen wherever we are.”
So when I first learnt about the Arcadis Global Shaper, a sponsored program which gives the young professionals an opportunity to connect and to deliver something great together with another 99 young people around the world, it just caught my mind naturally.
Words can’t describe how happy I was when I received the confirmation. The excitement was just building up as each day passed. However, one week before the face-to-face meet up, something happened in my life.
I still remembered it was a Tuesday morning and I woke up with 30+ missed calls: my dad passed away due to heart attack. I was shocked as we just met over the weekend and he didn’t have any symptom of heart attack beforehand at all. It was his 1st attack, he was only 52 years old, but it took his life.
Immediately, I packed my stuffs and rushed back to Malaysia. Things just happen too fast and too sudden. As the elder sister, many decisions were awaiting for me to make and take action. On top of that, other stuffs such as works, trip preparation, last virtual team assignment, etc. kept running in my mind but all had to be put a halt. 5 days later, after the funeral and things settled down, I returned to Singapore. With the supports from my family – especially from my mum – and I knew my dad would still want me to go, I decided to continue the journey.
The day when I got back to my home in Singapore, I received a FedEx package addressed to me. To my surprise, it was a condolences card by the Arcadis Global Shaper’s Organising Team sent all the way from the Netherlands! My virtual teammates informed the Organising Team about my dad’s passing. I was touched and I can feel their concern to me as they were putting the theme of our Generation, #engage, in action and trying their best to “improve the quality of my life” during this difficult time of me.
Though it was a painful incident, I am thankful for having this experience to see the unseen side of the program. The Global Shaper Program itself is already amazing. Now, I feel even proud and glad that I can be part of this amazing community.
It doesn’t stop here. Another big gain for me from Global Shaper was the friendship I forged. One year down the road, we still keep in touch with each other through many ways. It is really a special feeling whenever seeing the updates of each other on Facebook or Instagram – I’m just so happy to see everyone is doing well and even better at their respective region. Occasionally exchanging messages through Whatsapp or Skype just makes me feel so fortunate to be part of this program once again.
It also opened up my exposure. The Global Shapers program received many supports from the AGLF and the senior leaders in Singapore. We were given opportunities to be involved in some eye-opening experiences, such as the management workshop before the launch of the Arcadis Way, and the recent Singapore International Water Week 2016.
Global Shapers indeed developed me into a true global citizen through all these unique and wonderful encounters. I am determined to continue improving the quality of life of myself and others wherever I am!
Global Shaper Generation 2015