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Volunteering with Colleagues in the Community #ExperianStories

NaomiHardeveldF

As any new employee knows, it takes time to adapt to a new company and set of coworkers. I recently joined Experian’s team of 56 employees in the Netherlands office after hearing about the company’s inspiring work in the community. I was eager to get to know each colleague outside of our daily tasks so I could learn what type of CSR projects could work for our office. Luckily, I arrived just in time to participate in a new volunteer partnership with Stichting Present.

Stichting Present is an organization that facilitates volunteering programs to support those facing poverty, poor health and social isolation. This new partnership gave my coworkers and I the opportunity to volunteer in the community. During last year’s holiday season, the Experian team collected personal hygiene items such as shampoo and body wash to donate to homeless individuals or those with mental health issues.

This past spring, we spent two full days doing renovations for Stichting Leren Doen, a program that teaches at-risk students how to fix and sell bicycles. The students’ program was, by coincidence, moving into Experian’s old office building, so my coworkers and I helped give the place a makeover – we put in new floors, painted the walls, stairs and desks, installed new computers and completed some electricity work. Working together as a team helped us connect on a deeper level as we served those in need.

These experiences have given me the opportunity to get to know and appreciate my colleagues better. For example, during the project, I learned that two of my colleagues had bonded with a young woman with autism who was the only female student of Stichting Leren Doen. Although the young woman was reserved at first, she eventually opened up and mentioned that she walked three hours to and from school every day. My colleagues were surprised by this admission and informed the director of the program. Since Stichting Leren Doen is a bike repair education program, the director presented her with a new bike to help shorten her commute. Her face lit up – she loved it.

I cannot imagine a more fitting welcome to Experian. Opportunities like these are exactly why I joined the firm and why I am excited for the opportunities ahead. Giving back to the community is a big passion of mine, and I cannot wait to spend more time volunteering and getting to know my colleagues.

Naomi Hardeveld

HR Business Partner, Netherlands

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