March is Member Month at IABC. If ever you needed a reason to join the IABC, read this very personal insight about its value, by IABC EMENA Region Board Blog by Ilze Raath.
When I first moved to Belgium 18 years ago, I knew exactly one person: my professor at the university. For all intents and purposes, I was living in the jungle. I did post-graduate studies and hardly interacted with fellow students. But, on a good day, my life and career changed forever: I went to an IABC event at a hotel in Brussels. Trying to blend in with the wallpaper, I was gently lured from my corner by a kind soul: Silvia Cambie. That was the start of a lovely friendship with Silvia and the IABC.
When I was a newbie in Brussels, the many friends I made in the IABC helped me to find a job, network, get experience in fields yet unbeknownst to me. Later I joined the Belgian and EMENA boards and became a Trustee of the Research Foundation.
The thing is: the IABC opens doors and hearts. I have friends all over the world. We may not see each other that often but when we do, it is as if time has stood still. Being a member of the IABC is like being a member of a huge family: warts and all.
Whenever, I changed jobs or even made major career changes, the IABC has always been there in some form: whether as a mentor, a coach or a teacher. The more you give of yourself, the more enjoyable it becomes too. For me, being an IABC family member is a life-long commitment that has enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams.
About Ilze Raath
Starting in a multimedia communications agency just before the heady days of the Internet boom, Ilze saw her career moving into corporate communications, journalism, publishing (online, magazines, newspaper, corporate), and training over the next 20 years. She was the editor of e-Hospital and International Health & Equipment magazines. She is currently involved in cross-cultural training and research, working with the ITIM/Hofstede Institute and teaching at Fontys Business School in the Netherlands.
Follow Ilze on Twitter: @illieb