Nova is a global talent network, which I joined in December 2015. The Nova Experience is a weekend where about 40 selected network members from all over Europe gather to share, learn and connect.
I still remember that it took me a while to decide if I wanted to go. It was August 2016 and I was commuting back and forth between two countries. In the end I went and it was one of the best decisions that year. My take-aways from the Nova Experience 2016 (theme: “How can a global talent network make Europe a place for everyone?”) where that there are so many talented people in the world which we need to provide with great opportunities, that I don’t want to compromise on my values and that individuality is weird at times.
During our stay in the archipelago we had the opportunity to listen to two refugees and two founders challenging and tackling the pressing situations for newcomers on the job market. I found it extremely impressive to listen to their stories as I have been working with a start-up project in this field before. It reminded me of the horrible experiences but also the power which these experience generate to make things happen. On the long run, this impressions have led to the fact, that I still think a lot about the difficulties when it comes to an open labor market existing today. I believe that it is especially language requirements (read more here and here) which create barriers for newcomers and I am working on a little project to bring more awareness to this.
During the week before heading to the archipelago I was waiting for an answer concerning a recruiting process. Unfortunately I did not get a reply until the week after the Nova Experience. I remember sharing my thoughts about this and the constructive input I received. In the end, I did not get a positive response but I established valuable connections to an inspiring company. And during that weekend I decided that whatever opportunity would open up in future, I didn’t want to compromise on my values to take it. Sitting here writing this one year later makes me smile. Some opportunities passed by and pressing circumstance could have easily led to accepting them. But discussing my personal values during this special weekend established a strong inner compass. And finally today I am happy to say that (without compromises) change is on it’s way.
You often hear people talking about how important it is to be unique and to be yourself. Rarely do I hear these people speak about how demanding it can be an individual. During the weekend I dared to share an introduction of myself describing me as a “hybrid” who sometimes does not know where she belongs. Who has a split heart with one half each in the opposite country. Who wakes up in the morning and immediately knows which language day it is. Who at times just seems confused and lost in thoughts. I am happy that I shared my description even if it did seem weird to most of the rest. Because I found someone who came up to me afterwards and told me she would feel the same. I found a unique, outstanding and weird friend.