Global Shapers on the move – Freek moved to Doha, Qatar

IMG_23032011: Almost 5 years ago I started at ARCADIS as a thesis graduate – Master Construction Management and Engineering at University Twente. It was 2012, due to the economic crisis since 2008, there weren’t many jobs. So, I was very excited that I managed to secure a full-time job at ARCADIS before I even finished my thesis. This was a stressful period, but I nailed it!


Making the connection and adding value

Global Shapers- Emma Phillips
As one third of Australia’s small marketing team, I was tasked with promoting the Global Shapers program to the Australian region. Considering we were still quite new to Arcadis following the co creation with Hyder Consulting, I read as much as I could about the program to be able to discuss it my colleagues and promote it on our intranet encouraging my colleagues to apply. Upon further reflection, I realised I wanted to be part of the program myself and thought, why can’t I apply?


Global Shapers – Passing the passion

Schermafbeelding 2016-04-11 om 22.18.37In 2015, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of six Australians to attend the Arcadis Global Shapers Program in our country’s first year with the company. This had a number of pros and cons.

PRO – We were able to delight our fellow global shapers with previously unheard Australian colloquialism such “sheila” and “hooroo’.

CON – No one knew what on earth we were talking about.

PRO – Our colleagues were incredibly excited for us to be the guinea pigs for this mysterious journey.

CON – We had no idea what to expect, and the longest way to travel.


Stand Up and Stand Out: My Global Shapers 2015 Journey

Schermafbeelding 2016-04-07 om 16.39.53My Global Shapers journey started with the “Crack the Safe Challenge” when I was stuck on the very first puzzle. I couldn’t figure it out and no one in my vicinity had any clues either. Left with nowhere to turn and in spite of my anxiety about standing out, I decided to reach out to other Global Shapers Generation 2015 hopefuls who I knew would also be trying to solve the puzzle at the same time I was. I posted on the GS2015 Yammer page and asked my fellow applicants to work together with me to open the safe. The first few minutes after I posted my message on Yammer felt like an eternity as I waited for someone to respond. My anxiety about standing out proved to be unfounded as responses to my post started coming in one after another with fellow applicants wanting to work together to solve this puzzle. With the help of several other global shapers applicants, I was able to solve all of the puzzles and I ultimately cracked the safe, even though I wasn’t one of the first five to do so.


Blog overview Q1 – 2016

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To busy to keep up with all the blog posts Global Shapers alumni have been publishing? Don’t worry, we got you covered! Here’s an overview of some the great posts that were published in Q1 of 2016.

Take a cup of coffee, sit back and relax and catch up on some of the posts you may have been missing:


Planes, trains and automobiles

GSPICLet’s start by looking back on the ‘crack the safe challenge’. After completing what seemed like an endless number of challenges, I was fortunate enough to be one of the first five to crack the safe and potentially earn myself a place on GS2015 without having to put an application in. Lady luck was nowhere to be seen on the day the golden ticket was drawn as it went to Jerome from the UK, at the time it felt as if the odds of getting into GS this year had slightly dwindled. There was only one thing left to do, it was time to make my on-screen debut.

As the applications were slowly uploaded to various forms of social media, the chances of being selected this year were looking slim. I was really impressed by the overall quality of each and every application, some of them looked as though they had production budgets that would have put the latest Hollywood blockbuster to shame. Judgement day finally came and to my surprise I’d been selected to be part of Global Shapers 2015.


My Global Shapers experience is something I will always treasure

Schermafbeelding 2016-03-16 om 07.31.55When you wake up on Day 1 of Global Shapers more tired than you were when you went to bed, remember that you are 5,000 miles away from home, and are equally excited as you are nervous to start your day, you realize that this is probably the best opportunity of your life. You also then realize that coffee is in order.

Global Shapers is everything you’d imagine it would be: you suddenly have 99 new friends from all over the world, you’re immersed in a sea of cultural differences, and long but rewarding hours are to be expected. One thing I did not expect was having the experience as “boss”, and what that really feels like.


Global Shapers and the GBL-E collaboration

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Gotten freshly of the Global Shapers workshops I of course thought I would be CEO in the upcoming 5 years. Well…. maybe a bit longer, but still the experience you get during the event is not one you soon tend to forget and gets you motivated to really run the extra mile for Arcadis.

For some reason I was so lucky to be selected as guest for the Global Business Line Environment (GBL-E) meeting in Rotterdam, following the Arcadis Global Leadership Forum (AGLF). This was not the first time this happened, since Mark Fenner and his team have invited Global Shapers before to their GBL-E face-to-face meetings. During the meeting you could notice that the team members valued my inputs and often tried to clarify things to me, in order to make me fully aware of the things that were presented. The meeting really helped me place goals and developments within the department in perspective. In the evening we thanked Zack Smith for all his work done for Arcadis in the past years with a great dinner, full of speeches (even one of myself, which hopefully wasn’t to embarrassing…).