Starting at delaware: our famous bootcamp for rookies

Mar 18, 2020

Working at delaware is being involved in more than just the company. We care about all of the #peopleofdelaware and we just love to see how our rookies get involved from the get-go and take up their responsibility to make this company one that can be passed on to the generations to come.

We’ll take a closer look at four of our rookies’ journeys: Bram Decoene, Loïc Lenaerts, Céline Mareschal and Isabel De Bruyn. What was it like at the start and how did they experience our rookies’ bootcamp?

Starters matter

Starting at a new company is never easy, but the #peopleofdelaware made our experience unforgettable. The core values of this organization – care, commitment, team spirit, respect and entrepreneurship – are no vain promises. Whenever a starter is given so much privileges, you get the impression that talent is truly appreciated from the very beginning.

During the introduction week, – yes, it’s a full week – we were indulged with different coaching sessions, coffee and desserts, breakfast buffets, and lots of other gifts.

Warm welcome week

We were welcomed by Patrick Andersen, Managing Partner of delaware BeLux, to learn more about what delaware really stands for and how this company started out from a dream to create a company that will last 150 years. It was a pleasant surprise to see all of these people working together as a big family, while they have kept their identity and sense of togetherness over time. As for the big family feeling, what better way to get to know the partners of delaware than to enjoy an exquisite lunch, an opportunity to get to know the stewards that are making this company stronger for future generations.

"It all started on a beautiful day on the 2nd of September. The sun was shining and I was expecting a lot from this day. After some good pastries (notice that #peopleofdelaware love food) we enjoyed the inspirational presentations, had lunch with the partners and took part in a five-week training program tailor-made for us, to make us ‘the best possible us’. It is a big journey and I am so glad to be part of it." – Loïc Lenaerts, delaware rookie

Where our hearts go out to

Our journey wouldn’t have been complete if we didn’t discover what delaware really cares for. One of the many projects delaware supports is called SuperKrachtig Lekker or Energy Supplies for Superheroes. This is a beautiful organization, focused on nutritional conditions at hospitals adapted to the little ones fighting against life-threatening diseases. It promotes a healthy and balanced eating experience. SuperKrachtig Lekker works in close collaboration with the Children's Hemato-Oncology departments in hospitals across Belgium. They are currently collecting money to install a kitchen in the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology department of the Ghent University Hospital.

We carpooled families to the movies, did some babysitting and helped out with fundraising for children affected by life-threatening diseases.

The delaware buddies organized a wonderful day for the children and their siblings at Kinepolis cinema, where they could enjoy a fantastic healthy breakfast, watch a movie and play some games. A great way for the parents to unwind and for the brothers and sisters to have fun.

“This day was one of many beautiful experiences at delaware, one I will never forget.” – Céline Mareschal, delaware rookie

And… there is more. We’re setting up a more permanent babysitting service, and we’re developing a card game to build awareness around the importance of healthy food. We will provide surprises based on the children’s favorite superheroes to keep them motivated to move when they are hospitalized – and we’re helping out with fundraising, too.

“It’s great to see our new people being so dedicated and motivated. I’m proud of our new colleagues. I couldn't have done it any better.” – Patrick Andersen, Managing Partner delaware Belux

Intense training and deep-dive sessions

The second week, we were up for a general training in different groups. These are the people you meet at intense but incredibly fun moments and who stick with you throughout your further career. We learned how different solutions have to work together in order to complete the business flow in a particular software tool. Every team also attended some deep-dive sessions, to really grasp the specifics per module. These trainings were given by the best trainers we could possibly imagine – our delaware colleagues.

Every Friday, we gathered as rookies in Ghent to learn about the subtle art of presenting and communicating, and the fundamental basics of project management.

Presenting our business game to the partners

Once our training was over, it was time to put every lesson learned into action. The challenge? Present an entire, end-to-end flow, built in 4 days, to multiple partners. We divided our group of 70 people into multiple teams for communication purposes, as this is seen as a common pitfall in projects.

"And so it began, the famous Business Game. Five weeks of SAP training led up to this moment. First error: communication. This was an issue that dragged on during the week. The team spirit was great but the deadline was approaching rapidly. After some struggles and late nights at the Antwerp office we were able to deliver a live demo with a sublime presentation." Bram Decoene, rookie at delaware

The rookies at the B1 event

To end our 6-week training program, we were all invited to the B1 event at Kortrijk Xpo. Our first delaware employee event ever, and a special edition at that, because of the launch of the new strategy (delaware 5.0). The delaware partners took turns on stage explaining the key strategic pillars, which definitely helped in understanding what the future of delaware will look like.

To top it all off, we created a video on the different projects that we initiated during the bootcamp period: ranging from the babysitting service to the development of our card game.

“Obviously, now the real challenge has begun: putting all that knowledge from the past six weeks into practice and contributing positively to new or existing projects… However, we will never forget the experiences and friendships made during the bootcamp. In the end, it’s true what people say: time flies when you’re having fun!” Isabel De Bruyn, rookie at delaware