Reflections and Multimedia Stories from EJWP 2nd Group’s Journey

“Great experiences together – changes in expression and contributions – confidence in more uncomfortable and new situations – getting to know each other more by engaging in conflict – accepting imperfection, to ask for help and be less afraid – shaking off the layer of shine/ social conventions…”

Our 2nd Group is speaking out about its EJWP journey together, after wrapping up last month in a training week in Germany with partner organization DECHEMA. These young professionals from water and environmental organizations around Europe began together online during lingering Covid pandemic conditions in November 2020, then began meeting each other live in Training Weeks hosted by organizations in their home countries.

“Through the combination of professional networking across Europe, along with career skills development, you created your tools to stand out and make a bigger impact in your life, your work, your organizations and the sector. I hope you have experienced your EJWP2 journey as a win-win opportunity to invest in yourself, while opening possibilities for partnerships that can benefit communities,” said EJWP Director Naomi Timmer.

Here are selected reflections from participants – and one of our EJWP trainers:

Merel Mostert with Delfland in the Netherlands:

“There were so many great experiences together, especially with the people in the group. With all the stuff that we managed, we became close and a hard-working group. My biggest take away was that you can never be prepared for everything you expect, so you need flexibility. Thanks to the programme, I hope I have developed more sensitive skills in team dynamics, as well as soft skills. In the end, I think I’ve gotten the impatience down and my flexibility up. In the group, we didn’t let go of each other: loyal, creative and flexible. Our different characters brought out something new.”

Click here to watch Merel’s video recap

Andres Lucht Uribe with DECHEMA in Germany:

“I learned to be more confident in more uncomfortable and new situations, and can now be more personal in professional situations. When I started, I was focused on content and working for myself. With EJWP, learned to not work only content but also processes. On impulses in systems, we have high motivation and wishes for high impact. We need lots of impulses not to lose motivation because of impatience. I am more aware of myself in the context of dependency of the team. Yes, you may run fast alone, but longer in a team.”

Benjamin Hermans with De Watergroep in Belgium:
“We started one exercise by playing Pictionary, and I chose to also draw my journey in EJWP.
We learned from the projects that everything is connected and depends on the size of the picture.
There were obviously different communication styles within the groups and organizations – and externally, politics and policies which led to so many questions. The value may not have been clear at the beginning; it went quite slow, but was needed. In the trainings, we learned to embrace conflict, the impact of team frustrations, and the openness in teams to create with it. My biggest takeaway in growth of mindset was that we got to know each other more by engaging in the conflict.”

Borko Radivojevic with Consult Biro in Serbia:
“My biggest take away is my change in expression and contribution to the group. So much! I’ve been making connections with people in the water sector. I also see the mindset of people in different professions, and this can help to advance intellectually and improve communication with colleagues. I have seen my development every month during the EJWP journey, and over the two years of collaboration with colleagues in my team. Working with people from different backgrounds has allowed me to look at some issues from a different perspective and solve them in different ways than I am used to.”

Click here to watch Borko’s video recap

Manon Berge with ACTeon Environment in France:

“The EJWP journey was a roller coaster of positive energy. I tend to go for perfection, but often that is not so helpful. So I tried for the imperfect: a transformation to confidence, accepting imperfection, to ask for help and be less afraid. I am thankful for the really special experience and am looking forward to stay connected in the community. And I’m open to the real kick off of our EJWP Alumni program that can begin now with the closure of our second group!”

EJWP Trainer Jennifer Cronick on EJWP2 as group:

“This group really shook off its layers of shine and social conventions. Sometimes this can create an uncomfortable feeling, but it is so enriching to work as a “family”- with trust in each other while it is ok at the end to be who you are.”

Click here to view the interactive EJWP Journey Book

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