TMC’s Buddy Project: matching Employeneurs from all over the world
TMC is a truly global company, welcoming talented Employeneurs from every corner of the earth: almost 20% of TMC Netherlands Employeneurs are non-Dutch. This diversity is a great source of pride for TMC, and the company works hard to support its expat community. The Buddy Project is a case in point: in a little over a year, it has made lots of international Employeneurs feel right at home.
‘I myself am from Mexico and have been living in The Netherlands for six years,’ says María Frías, TMC Employeneur and one of the Buddy Project’s founders. ‘I joined TMC three years ago. From my own experience, I know that a few words of simple advice or a little help with settling-in can make the transition much smoother.’
To that end, the Buddy Project kicked off last year. ‘We’re a mixed group of volunteers from all over the world and all over the company. At the moment, there are seven of us overseeing the project, all from different cells and of different nationalities. Some of us have been in The Netherlands for three years, some for fifteen. The project is one of the four action points we established with the aim of supporting TMC’s expat community.’ The other three are Social Activities, Cultural Awareness and Dutch Classes.
'It’s a great way of getting to know new colleagues.'
‘If you put it like that, the project sounds a bit more formal than it actually is. Being active in the expat community and the Buddy Project is fun. It’s a great way of getting to know new colleagues - sometimes through particularly Dutch social activities, like ice-skating or visiting the Kinderdijk. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of having a beer or exchanging practical information through WhatsApp.’
The Buddy Project matches every new international TMC member to another Employeneur. ‘The idea is that the buddy helps the new Employeneur with everyday situations, for instance with advice on how to find a nice apartment, or where to get the right kind of documents. Often, the newcomer’s questions can be answered with a simple text message. Trust me, a small effort like that can make all the difference between an awful afternoon and a promising start to a new adventure.’
Sepideh Khandan Del has experienced the benefits of the Buddy Project first-hand. Born and raised in Iran, Sepideh has lived in Sweden, the USA and Germany over the past eight years. Two months ago, she joined TMC. Currently, she works as an R&D Engineer at TNO.
'Partly through the help of my buddy, I already feel quite settled
in The Netherlands.’
‘Even before I moved to The Netherlands, my Account Manager alerted me to the Buddy Project. Over the years, I’ve had some experience with living in different countries, which made the move much easier for me - but there always remain lots of questions if you’re new to the country.’
Not only did Sepideh’s buddy help her with practical matters, like finding an apartment in Eindhoven (‘which can be quite a hassle’) - he also made her feel at home by showing her around her new city on the first day she arrived. ‘So far, the transition has been good. Partly through the help of my buddy, I already feel quite settled in The Netherlands,’ Sepideh says, adding, with a laugh: ‘Of course, the weather has been very welcoming too - but my buddy warned me I shouldn’t get used to that!’