From managing events to facilitating ceremonies

Up until recently, my career has been a straight line.

I studied ‘Trade Fair, Congress and Event Management’ in Ravensburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg at a Cooperative State University – the first higher education institution in Germany to integrate academic studies with workplace training. Following my studies, I went on to work in the events industry. I have worked on the venue side of conferences and big exhibitions, as well as organized international conventions for the pharmaceutical industry and scientific conferences for the European Space Agency.

When I joined Leaseweb, I was working as an Event Manager as part of the Marketing team. I was learning and developing different event aspects once again, while having clear goals on return on investment. I oversaw events for high-level customers, internal events and parties, as well as my favorite event: the companies’ own one-day Tech event “TechSummit”.

Because of my role as Event Manager, I was able to establish relationships with different departments in the company. I have found through my experience that’s where I get all my energy from – I thrive off connection and interaction with people! I like to connect with them, understand their goal, and try to connect people together. To create synergy, combine efforts to achieve something bigger and more meaningful together.

Reflecting on my time in events

After years of exploring different aspects of event management I knew that it was time to broaden my horizons. What would be a good next step for me to grow as a person and a professional? Growing within the event industry would most likely mean bigger events, hard deadlines and probably a lot more stress and pressure which can be difficult to manage. For me, this is not sustainable and doesn’t fit in with my values – so I decided to leave Event Management behind. I was ready to step into a new adventure.

So I began reflecting: what is it that drives me as a person and what am I interested in? I found the answer was the human element. As I stated earlier, it was the human connections and interactions that motivated me in the events industry. Maybe I could take that into my next role and be motivating others? Learning how can we support each other to be the best we can be.

Discovering the ways of Scrum

So what is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework that was developed as an agile answer to the challenges that software engineering has been facing for years. It’s a framework that enables engineers to develop, deliver and sustain complex products. Scrum builds on a set of human values that supports a way of working that is not only more fun, but also closer to the customer and more efficient.

The product portfolio of Leaseweb consists of highly complex technology and it is essential to react with short release cycles to the market. Scrum was implemented about 4 years ago within the product engineering department and sets the right conditions for us to reach team goals and therefore reach goals for our customers.

Scrum and the role of a Scrum Master caught my interest, and the more I talked to Scrum Masters within the organization, the more I got inspired and excited about it. Scrum Masters facilitate Scrum events (referred to as ceremonies), ensure practices and principles are followed, and coach the teams with the goal of creating self-organizing happy teams.

I was lucky enough to only receive positive feedback and supportive responses when I told my colleagues I was thinking about a change of role. The main bits of feedback were that they were happy to help with my development and they saw it as a great next step for me!

Making the transfer

It’s been 2 months now since I cleaned my desk in the marketing department and moved to the developers. It has been a very interesting journey so far, and I am very grateful to work with a team of talented individuals and most of all great human beings. I am learning each and every day!

I have a strong feeling I found my “Plekje” (translates to English as “the right spot”) and I am thankful I was given this opportunity and trust from my employer. The fact that I could make this step within the same company means a lot to me. I can stay in a company and environment that inspires me, and I am excited to continue learning and exploring.

On a bigger scale I believe that the Scrum approach can be transferred to other departments and industries as well and can add significantly to the employer happiness and well as the efficiency. Who knows maybe one day I can coach event planners on how to adopt the framework to their day to day work.

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