How time flies! YPFP’s second weekend away in Normandy

Taking the long weekend as an opportunity to go abroad and take some time to think about the future of the branch, YPFP Brussels recently organised its second self-funded weekend away for its volunteer staff.

Building a great team

I was very happy to host the second annual YPFP weekend away. Especially now, in this transitional period with the change in the leadership and new people joining the team. I have total faith it will bring the Brussels’ branch to new heights”, said Marine Vallet, the host and YPFP Programming Director.

Just like last year, it wasn’t only about brainstorming. "This now annual weekend is a perfect opportunity to get to know each other away from our desks in Brussels. For new and old volunteers alike, you are always learning more about each other, and forging bonds in this atmosphere is what makes the branch so strong”, said William Fox, YPFP Brussels Managing Director.

Saturday was dedicated to team building. In the morning staff members talked about their day jobs, presenting the skills and experiences each one brings to the team, and once again proving how diverse YPFP Brussels is. Ranging from policy advisors to communication specialists and consultants, they all have the same goal: to encourage young professionals to be more engaged in global issues and challenges and to build a strong community for them here in Brussels.

A new vision for the future

After a healthy breakfast prepared by YPFP’s very own master chef Alessandro Gallo, a special session took place with the new Executive Director, Katrina Murray, and new Managing Director, William Fox. It was their first chance to present to the team their vision for YPFP Brussels and their goals and objectives for the next two years.

As we start a new era of YPFP Brussels, it was the ideal time for Katrina and I to present our strategies for the branch, as well as hear some great ideas in a brainstorm session. Through taking the branch back to the basics and core values of who we are and what we do, we have come out of the weekend with an even more enthusiastic team and some promising ideas and initiatives. We can't wait to work more on these and make them a reality for our members”, added William.

Dream big

The idyllic surroundings of the French countryside proved the perfect setting in which to inspire bold plans.  Noora Lampinen, newly appointed Membership Director, is excited about taking the Membership team forward. “For the summer months, policy picnics are planned following their success last year. In the autumn, a new round of the Advisors Programme will be launched and there are grand plans for the end of the year which will be revealed in due course, but should be well received by members!”, said Noora.

With many new faces in the team, it was also a great opportunity to hear completely fresh ideas, and for new staff volunteers to become familiar with their colleagues. “I joined YPFP Brussels as a staff member one week before the weekend away. Having arrived in Normandy I became overwhelmed by everyone’s enthusiasm! I felt as part of the team from the first minute. I am not only joining a great organisation but also a group of awesome people”, said Kasia Jasik, who recently joined YPFP Brussels as Communications Officer.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of their employer or Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.

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