Volunteer Day & Grow Program
The second edition of the PMI Belgium Chapter Volunteer Day took place on February 18th in the very cosy environment of the Hof Ter Musschen in Woluwe Saint Lambert in Brussels.
Our goal was to explain volunteering and engage with new volunteers. For that, we use our Volunteers testimonies to talk about our various and diverse experiences as Volunteers for PMI Chapter. For this second edition, we have also decided to invite all the participants in the Mentoring program “Grow” led by our Professional development team.
The day started quite early for us. By the time I reached site at 7:15 AM, Ionna was already waiting outside for the tenant to open the doors. We started right away, joined by Roeland and setup the rooms and the registration desk. We did a short alignment with the tenant for the practicalities and tested the projection and audio system. Finishing on time to welcome the first attendees who started by proceeding thru registration before a nice cup of coffee and some pastries.
The program was quite packed and we started right on time. Guy Goossens our president and our President Elect Stephane De Vroey opened the day by stressing the importance of Volunteer engagement for the chapter.
I then had the opportunity to give few key words on Volunteering at PMI Belgium Chapter and on few initiatives, we will be working on. But First and foremost a slide with faces, our volunteers of 2016 and Big thanks for their dedication and they devotion to our community. We will never say it enough Thank You. We then review with all the participants the 4 key values rooted in the core of our volunteer engagement: Commitment, Integrity, Respect and Quality.
We briefly introduced the new concept of Volunteer Management Model. Vivid and constructive interactions followed and our work should continue to transform this model to a framework which should be used to guide all the volunteers working for the chapter.
After the general information on the Volunteer engagement we broke up in two groups. First group discussed the mentoring program and second group followed the various Testimonies.
The testimonies track started with an overview of the work and the possibilities available for the PM Fair 2017. Anja Vandenbergh a.k.a the PMFair Lady came up with a key lesson learned on the balance each volunteer should have between his Volunteering engagement, his professional life and his family life. Based on the PMI well known Triple constraint triangle, this concept seeks equilibrium between Volunteering, Family and Job while maintaining Quality at the heart of your delivery. She exposed in great details the PM Fair setup and disclosed the open positions in her team.
This extensive introduction was supposed to be followed by a Testimony by Matej Matejicek who volunteered for the PM Fair 2016. Unfortunately, Matej could not join us and instead sent a Video recorded the day before in which he gave a very vibrant testimony on his participation to the PM Fair “Dream Team” and the many benefits he collected doing so.
Then we paused for 20 minutes, had a coffee, networked with all attendees including the Grow program participants and resumed a bit later to hear Jacques Neyns on his Volunteering testimony. Starting in 2012 Jacques served as PMIEF group member and then as its Liaison Officer and still today as Director of Academic and Educational Outreach in the PMI Belgium Board. He is reaching out to schools and institutions to explain Project Management to teachers. He is leading the very popular VDAB initiatives where PMI Members are giving free Project Management courses to job seekers, and coordinating the volunteering work in his perimeter. He insisted on the many benefits he gets from his involvement and advised any aspirant to jump in, honor their commitment and have fun.
I gave the next testimony and explained my first engagement and all the positions occupied mainly in the organization of the PM Fair since 2011. From the Registration Team member to the Project Manager for the PM Fair 2014 to a position in the board, my various positions exposed me to many Project managers and gave me opportunity to touch domains I’m not exposed to in my professional life. I advise aspirants to get engaged with a goal, to avoid over commitment and to have fun and bring back to the Project Management community.
The last testimony of the day was given by Kris Troukens, Past president of our chapter who volunteered spontaneously to give a testimony. Kris inspired all of us in focusing his talk on having Fun while delivering for the community. Being an enthusiastic member since 2005, he held various positions up to Region Mentor. He did PMI for all the Friends he makes all around and for the powerful messages PMI sends around through the Community Service Projects we deliver all around. Kris cherishes particularly the wonderful connections he made all around the world and advise volunteering candidate to Give it a Try and have Fun.
The second track focusing on the Mentoring Program “Grow” was led by Bernard and Jessica and here is their summary:
20 participants with a good mix between mentors and mentees attended the session with a lot of passion, energy and commitment.
We started to refresh the program participants on what mentoring means and what the 4 main steps are in the mentoring process (initiation, identification, progress and end).
Then all mentors introduce themselves with their main expertise areas. Mentees expressed their needs. The first mentor – mentees pairs were created during the day and we will continue to support the pairing process after the event. We expect 8 to 10 pairs to be live in 2017 for a mentoring period of 6 months each.
What was impressive is the creation of a mentoring community eager to learn and grow together in project management.
We are looking forward to piloting this mentoring program for the first time in PMI Belgium and to welcoming new participants for the 2018 GROW program”
After the conclusion of both tracks all participants had the opportunity to discuss in details the Volunteering needs of the chapter. 4 booths were setup for PM Fair, Chapter and Satellite event, VDAB initiative and the Mentoring Program. Thanks to a generous sun, the Mentoring booth was set outside and many attendees enjoyed the beautiful weather.
We closed the day with the Wrap up sessions and will follow on the many commitments we receive from various attendees.
We left site with the sentiment of a day well spent. Thanks to all participants, your happy faces and the kind words are also testimonies to your commitment to our Chapter.
Ionna, Roeland and Samuel
Check it all the pictures of the event in our website!