Meet the GenQMers
2022 has been an exciting year here at Quadmark. We’ve grown our people, gathered for a global summit in Scotland, and attended our first Learning & Development conference… and most exciting of all, we launched our first-ever graduate scheme. We teamed up with Bright Network, a careers platform connecting students and recent graduates with companies from a range of sectors. They worked with us to advertise our new grad scheme and supported us through the recruitment process. Stay tuned for a deep dive into our journey, but for now, meet the first round of GenQMers!
They all participated in a three week academy onboarding program to prepare them for the next two years. We sat down with them to quiz them on the rollercoaster of their first few weeks. Read on to hear what they had to say.
How have you grown in the last few weeks? Was there anything you didn’t expect to learn?
Belledivine: I’m surprised at how much I’ve been able to do, especially considering I was concerned that I wouldn’t contribute much to the team, or give suggestions that would make that much of a difference. The reality is completely different. I’ve done more than I initially thought I could: quality checks of various documents, researching and ideating for proposals with people from different teams.
Carmen: In these last few weeks, I didn’t expect to grow much in such a short time and I am amazed at how much I did. I’ve become more confident, ambitious and feel more in control of my life! Feeling more in control of my life might seem weird, but before I came to Quadmark, I wasn’t sure where I was going, and it was scary — now I’m excited about it knowing Quadmark has my back!
I didn’t expect to learn so much about mushrooms, holograms or reusable spaceships. That’s what happens when you combine 6 incredible people, unlimited knowledge and great company!
Ciara: I’ve become a lot more open to trying out new things and going with the flow — not entirely knowing what I’m doing but enjoying the experience nonetheless. It can be difficult adjusting to a new environment and starting a new job. You can feel like you’re doing it all wrong, but everything takes time, and it’s easier if you see it positively because you’re constantly growing each day. Something I didn’t expect to learn is how to be bold and just talk to anyone, ask questions even if they aren’t relevant, and it’s nice to make friends along the way.
Ellie: I grew massively during the onboarding academy. My biggest fear was presenting to a large group of people, and I didn’t think I’d be able to do it without panicking and stumbling over my words. Just days later, I could present during a large meeting, and it was completely fine. I didn’t expect my confidence to grow so much in such a short time.
Kacper: I’ve grown massively in confidence, especially being able to voice my opinions and ideas. This has come from understanding the team, process and scope of the account we’re working on a little bit more.
Naomi: We were thrown into the deep end with different challenges, including presenting to others. At the time, I felt like it wasn’t my strongest point, however, this is where I found I grew the most. Practicing with the other GenQMers and getting useful feedback helped, as well as knowing that there wasn’t one exact definition of success to aim for, but as long as we felt we did well, that was enough.
What has surprised you about your first 3 weeks?
Belledivine: I picked up a new language in three weeks! (Eat your heart out, Duolingo.) There was a lot of terminology to learn, but now I can join a meeting and understand 80% of what is being said. Pretty good for a newbie!
Carmen: The thing that surprised me the most during my first 3 weeks was how nice and eager everyone was to welcome, get to know and help us all! We didn’t meet anyone who wasn’t interested in us, with everyone going out of their way to make sure we all felt at home. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so at home that quickly before!
Ciara: How quickly it went! It was a whirlwind and just a great time. I was nervous to start, but every day just felt like it flew by.
Ellie: I do a lot of self-reflection, so I generally feel that I know myself well. It was surprising to learn even more about myself through the experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow, followed by targeted reflection tasks that allowed me to process and synthesize how I was feeling and what I learned.
Kacper: How lovely and down-to-earth everyone is and the level of collaboration. It’s also amazing to see how much teamwork and collaboration are needed to pull off these massive projects.
Naomi: I was surprised by how easy it was to adjust to working from home in our second week after the first full week of onboarding in the office. But I did miss my fellow graduate mates (soppy, I know!) The scheduled calls helped that transition.
Have you got any particular highlights from the onboarding academy?
Belledivine: Nothing specific, it’s more about the undertone of working here: people are pretty helpful. I was working on some research and hit a mental wall and getting over the wall was as simple as asking for help from GenQMers and my shipmates. I appreciate that; I’ve also seen my manager asking questions no matter how small or ridiculous they might seem to her, which is cool because I know there won’t be a point where I should outgrow asking for help.
Carmen: Being strapped into a VR headset and trying to ‘escape’ from a weird Alice in Wonderland story was a highlight. I am a very competitive person who usually sucks at obscure puzzles and brain teasers, but with the help of the rest of GenQM, we managed to escape in 50 minutes and beat the hardest game! We all got to show off our strengths and help each other with our weaknesses which made for a great game.
Ciara: I really enjoyed going to the comedy night. I keep remembering things from that experience that have helped me in unexpected ways. Also, meeting all the other GenQMers — we’ve become a team to rely on and we all talk to each other and share insights. It’s great to have them to bounce off and laugh with when I need to.
Ellie: I think my favorite experiences were those that allowed us all to bond a bit more. I loved the mystery shopping task and I also really loved the VR escape room because it was a great shared experience and it made me feel closer to everyone after working together to escape the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland!
Kacper: Creating and presenting for my team. It was great to be able to provide an outsider’s, or new person’s, perspective on some of the work my new team creates and how it resonates with me.
Naomi: I always looked forward to the end-of-day activities. It allowed us to get to know each other outside work. They were always just what we needed and were a great opportunity not to take ourselves too seriously and relax — especially the VR Escape room. Also, whenever we were in the office, people were always kind, and it never felt like we had just met. They had tips for how to best work from home, which was very useful too.
And finally, what advice would you give a new QMer?
Belledivine: Ask for help when you need it, don’t be afraid of asking questions, and have fun because, surprisingly, a job can be fun!
Carmen: Have fun, embrace every opportunity and embrace yourself. Talk to everyone and ask for help. And come with a really good GIF game.
Ciara: There will be lots of people to meet and lots of information to take in, so take breaks! Find what works for you while working from home — but don’t spend too much time on your sofa!
Ellie: Embrace mistakes! Don’t be afraid to make them, because that’s how you learn.
Kasper: The academy is the perfect place to learn and hone your skills. All the challenges you take on in those 3 weeks apply to real-life work.
Naomi: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Live in the moment because every day is going to be different! Have faith in yourself that you can do it.
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