The Starters Initiative saw the light at the end of 2020, when three engaged starters joined forces to organize corona-proof events for their fellow juniors. Meanwhile, Leonie Degandt, Senne Eeraerts and Jordi Cools have received the support from Lisa Commerman, and with several successful events under their belt it was high time for a chat about their experiences so far.
How did the Starters Initiative take form?
Senne: “We all started working at delaware during the pandemic, so there was a lot of demand for ways to get to know other starters or colleagues in general. That’s why I launched the question in the starter group to see how we could organize starter events in these difficult circumstances. Leonie and Jordi immediately jumped on the wagon and together we started brainstorming for new ideas.
Leonie: “After two weeks of remote brainstorms, we had a meeting with HR, and they were very enthusiastic about our concept of organizing ‘teambuilding’ events for starters, from starters. A few weeks later, we even had the chance to pitch our ideas to Patrick, our Managing Partner and the rest of the management, who were likewise quickly on board and willing to help us logistically and financially.
That didn’t take long! Which events have you organized until now?
Jordi: “When we had our ‘go’ from HR and the management, we immediately got to work. As an internal workforce at delaware, we had a lot of support to organize our events from start-to-finish. The first events of 2021 were still online, but, in June, we could finally organize a real-life after-work drink, in the Blaarmeersen in Ghent, and right away we had a great turn-out. Everyone was of course dying to get out of their home-office, and the fact that we had free pizza might have helped as well 😉.”
Senne: “It was a great way to get the ball rolling, and since then, we organized another successful after-work in the pop-up bar Bar Bizar in Bruges, set up by Jelle Cattrysse, one of our own #peopleofdelaware. Personally, I thought it was amazing to see how people from different teams and solutions naturally clicked together, even though they might not even have met otherwise.”
Leonie: “When we saw what we could achieve through the Starters Initiative, we thought about other ways to share our own experiences as a starter with others. Fortunately, we were asked by Joyce Mervielde, one of the organizers of the delaware starter bootcamp, to help set up the live session ‘Life as a Consultant’, during which we talk about our life as a consultant – what’s in a name – and share fun anecdotes about working at delaware. This live session is now a part of the annual starter bootcamp, and together with Joyce we also added a podcast to it in which we interview starters from every delaware domain.”