We’re asking what we have to look forward to this year from our organising committees as well as taking some time to reflect on what they achieved in 2015. Brussels New Generation Chair Amelie Coulet, tells us what BNG have been up to and what’s coming up.
As we are starting the New Year, I wanted to reflect on BNG achievements in 2015 and what we can expect from the British Chamber’s young professionals group in 2016. The BNG prides itself on being the leading network for young professionals in Brussels, offering unique opportunities for networking, professional development and a chance to give something back to our adopted hometown by encouraging our young members to participate in charity events.
After almost two years as Chair, I feel particularly privileged to have had the chance to get involved in such a great platform, building on the legacy left by my predecessors. I also feel very grateful for working alongside a fantastic group of young colleagues from great companies, consultancies or trade associations in Belgium. Together, and with the support of the Chamber, we spent a lot of energy in 2015 trying to further build on our successes and mature our group, particularly focusing on bringing great value to our members:
- Professional development events: in 2015, we gave our members the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most respected influencers in the EU and Belgian business communities. Alison de Maret, VP of Human Resources at Burberry and Max Jadot, CEO of BNP Paribas Fortis, gave us their views on how to pursue a successful career in a changing world. We also had the chance to hear Politico’s Ryan Heath, Blogger Jon Worth and former MEP Sir Graham Watson share some of their impressive EU experience with us. Our objective for 2016 will be to continue to connect our members with more senior EU and Belgian leaders.
- Strasbourg annual trip: for our fifth visit to the European Parliament, we took advantage of the 2015 UK General Elections’ context to meet with many British MEPs and their assistants from all parties. We also had the chance to discuss current important topics such as migration and gather insights into the inner workings of Strasbourg over a lunch with key political advisors from various committees and political groups. Our sixth trip will take place this year on June 6-8th and we hope that many of you will join us for this event which is a fantastic way to create the necessary contacts to build a career in EU Affairs.
- Brussels Bake-off: last but not least, our last edition of the Bake-off was a great success thanks to all baking teams, donors, tasters and chefs. With more than 150 attendees, we raised around 5,000 euros for YouthStart, a charity which focuses on empowering youth through training with experienced business leaders. The Bake-off will be back in 2016, with even crazier themes around music, new chefs and many new prizes so register and show off your baking skills!
We are very excited for 2016: our group is now working on new ideas for young professionals to better connect with each other and learn from the best in Brussels. For example, we plan to be very much involved in the Chamber’s activities around the UK Referendum to make sure that the voice of young people can be heard on this crucial issue. In June, our BNG core group will also be renewed so if you want to be part of this amazing team, stay tuned!