Interview with Thijs Pruijssers about organizing Global Shapers

17 février 2017

Normally these blogposts are the platform for Global Shapers to share their experience. This time we do something different.

12 Questions asked by the HR Trainnee Melloney Tertaas and 12 answers given by Thijs Pruijssers. Enjoy reading!

  1. Who are you and how and how does a typical working day look like for you?
    My name is Thijs Pruijssers and I joined Arcadis in December 2014. I started as Campus Recruiter at Arcadis Netherlands (Region Europe North) and in May last year I made the transition to my current role. At the moment I am part of the Global HR team and my role is Project Manager within the Leadership Academy. In this role I focus on several projects within the Leadership Academy. Mainly I focus on Leadership and Development programs, such as Global Shapers, Onboarding and Quest. Also since this year I focus on Talent Acquisition as well. As my role is so diverse I don’t have a “typical” working day. As I have to combine various projects I must say that planning and organization is very important in my role. Not only having these divers projects, but also the flexibility that I have in my role makes me enjoying my work each day within Arcadis.
  2. What is the Global Shapers Program?
    The Global Shapers Program provides 100 young professionals the opportunity to improve Arcadis, create more international connections and share knowledge. Global Shapers is an annual program and started in 2012 and this year we will host the 6th edition. The program is about learning through working together in an international group, in a virtual and face-to-face phase. By creating international connections, facilitating and improving knowledge sharing and making sure the challenge is taken back home, a ripple effect is created. The program wants to contribute to being the employer of choice for the best young professionals.
  3. How did you get involved?
    As I mentioned earlier, I made the transition of Arcadis Europe North to the HQ in May last year by applying on a vacancy that was sent to me by my previous manager within Arcadis. After the completing the application process successfully I started with my current role. A big part of this role is organizing the great program Global Shapers. As I never participated in the Global Shapers program myself you can imagine it was hard to organize such an event which you never experienced. Luckily I was surrounded by 3 other members of the Global Shapers organizing team who had more experience about the program. This really helped me a lot! So last year in November I witnessed the 5th edition of the amazing program myself. You can say it was very hard work to make the program a big success. Not only the virtual phase, but also the face-to-face program. Getting rewarded with seeing all the collaboration, dedication, energy, creativity, outcomes and eagerness of all Global Shapers made all the hard work definitely worth it!
  4. What was the most wonderful moment you captured during last year’s F2F?
    The group process! As I personally welcomed all Global Shapers I can say that from the moment they arrived to the moment of saying goodbye that they made an amazing change. From not knowing each other upon arrival to becoming ‘friends’ and saying goodbye in just 4 days shows how intensive this program is. To witness all this amazing process is something I will never forget!GS foto 2
  5. What are you working on at this moment?
    I can tell you all about my work in general, but I am sure you only want to know things that are related to Global Shapers. So Global Shapers it isJ. At the moment I am working on both Global Shapers 2016 and Global Shapers 2017. For Global Shapers 2016 we are in the phase of introducing the three tools in the business. I check with several stakeholders and Global Shapers what the exact status is and how we make sure to create the best ripple effect in the organization. Also various evaluations, statistics and reports need to be made. And not to forget the administration/finance side of the program as the financial year 2016 is closed. Also in the meantime I am busy with Global Shapers 2017. In the near future a brainstorm is planned regarding this years theme and location. So research, research and more research.. Actually I have a question to all who read this interview. What should be the theme and location of this year’s edition? All ideas are welcome.
  6. Is the location of 2017 already decided, if so can you give any hints?
    It can be hot, it can be cold.. It can be North, it can be South.. Unfortunately I can’t say anything more about it for now.
  7. What do you like most about organizing this program?
    To bring something unique to the program. So this year we decided to bring the client, Ashghal, on board. Not only developing tools for them, but also having three of their employees joining the program as well. With this we had to keep ‘Client Focus’ in mind at all times. Seeing the great outcomes for both Arcadis and Ashghal was the confirmation that we did a great job on introducing the client into this program.
  8. Is there anything you dislike or find hard to do?
    First of all there is nothing to dislike about this program, so no answer to that. What I find hard to do is to make sure that the program is beneficial for all applicants and participants! You have to keep so many things in mind when making all decisions. Think about culture, language, personalities, backgrounds, profession, roles, gender, religion, politics, laws and regulations and all important stakeholders, both internally and externally. On the other hand this keeps you 100% focused as the devil is always in the detail!
  9. What are/were the risks you encounter?
    For the Global Shapers 2016 edition I was responsible for planning, organization, logistics (hotel, transportation and all related to the program) and first contact point in Qatar. Not to forget also Health & Safety. To make sure I was well prepared for this I took a first aid course prior to the event. Well as mentioned above, the devil is in the detail. For me is was about little things that you forget easily, but have an enormous impact on the event. I will give two examples. First the WiFi connection in all rooms. No internet, no access to information. Second was the 4 wheel drive tour in the desert. Leaving the hotel was easy, but leaving the desert (in complete darkness) and arriving safely at the hotel with all 105 participants + 10 coaches was a big challenge. You don’t want to leave someone behind in the desert… So basically feeling responsible for all Global Shapers at all times and everything that was related to the program. So check, check and double check really worked for me.
  10. Why is the program valuable to participate?
    Not only it is an amazing life chancing experience, both personal as professional, but also getting to know people from all over the world, making new friends, collaboration, valuable outcomes of the program (tools), understanding of other cultures and stepping out of your comfort zone. On top of this it is a privilege to be part of the alumni Global Shapers community.
  11. Who decides the participants of the program?
    The program is available for all young professionals within Arcadis and CallisonRTKL with a total maximum of 5 years work experience. Everyone can apply for the program! Based on the quality of the application the candidates will be selected by the Organizing team, local HR and (line) management. Once this is completed a total of 100 candidates are selected to join the Global Shapers program. As the competition is very high I would recommend all who wants to apply to really invest in your application as this is not done in just a couple of hours. Stand out from the crowd!
  12. How, Where and When can I apply?
    You can apply via two options. The first option is the ‘Pre-Application’ phase. During this phase you need to complete a certain challenge. Out of all who succeed in completing this challenge a few candidates will be selected. The second option is to apply via the normal way. Please note that you can make use of both methods! During the normal phase you have two weeks to submit your application. Once it’s submitted, you can’t change it anymore. So really check your application before submitting it. In the upcoming months more information will be provided regarding the application dates, where, what and how. So keep on checking the website, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Yammer.GS2012-2016