BLOG – Maria’s love for sports allowed her to connect with her US colleagues on a different level

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 Maria Fernanda Alvarez who traveled from Santiago, Chile to Tampa, USA.

Why did I apply for a Quest

I applied for the Quest because as a geologist from Site investigation and Remediation area in Arcadis Chile I felt the need to learn more about investigation field techniques and in situ (on site) remediation, because this a common discipline in development in Chile.

I chose the Tampa office, because they have a lot of experience in this area and I already met and worked with my host when he came to support us on a project in Chile. Therefore, Tampa seemed to be the perfect place to strengthen our bond and create new connections.

“Small changes can make huge differences!”

Highlight of my quest experience

I think the highlight of my experience was that I noticed that small changes we can make large differences in terms of process efficiency, both in the field as well as in the office.

In my opinion, there is no need to invest large amounts of money or implement huge changes in order to achieve these improvements.

My Quest in one word

“Unique opportunity”

Learnings and experiences

For me this was an amazing experience. The fact that I got to see and interact with people from different cultures and experience different ways of working, made me improve my own thinking . Furthermore, my colleagues in Tampa are really nice and I enjoyed working in the field. Everybody took the time to show me their work and include me in different activities.

Daily routine in Tampa
I truly enjoyed every day I spent in Tampa. My days would usually start with work at office, checking the material warehouses and directly report from the places that we would visit at afternoon. After that we had very early, but fun lunches with the colleagues, before heading out to visit diverse Arcadis facilities around Tampa.

But not everything was work related. My American colleagues and I also shared a lot of fun experiences outside of office hours.  I love sports so we went to see a baseball and a hockey game and in both games the locals won! During my farewell diner, we visited the Bush Gardens and enjoyed a delicious barbecue while watching the soccer qualification games for the World Cup in Russia.

I think this was an unique opportunity and I want to encourage more people to do it, specially those who work with colleagues from other offices, because getting to know them in person makes everything easier than if you only interact by email or chat. Oh and by the way: the application process is very simple, so don’t worry about it!

The international transfer program Quest, which connects Arcadians from all over the world, is sponsored by the Lovinklaan Foundation.

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