Now in its second year, the Dave Robinson International Scholarship was designed to expose talented H+K staff to the opportunity to work in an international office and strengthen their skills in an international consulting environment. In memory of the late Dave Robinson, who served as president and CEO of H+K Australia, the Middle East, Africa and South and Central Asia, the Scholarship allows recipients three-month assignments in another H+K Strategies office.

This year, five staff were selected from diverse backgrounds and geographies and are in the process of beginning their assignments. This is one of
several blog posts in a series where we chronicle their firsthand experiences.

It has been a truly incredible experience, spending three months in my dream location as part of the Dave Robinson Scholarship. I've met some amazing colleagues across the U.S., many of whom have become good friends. I've worked on some really inspiring campaigns, from promoting a Nobel Peace Laureate to opening America’s most sustainable factory. And I have sampled every culinary delight San Francisco has to offer (thankfully I spent a good deal of time exploring by foot to earn it!).

I am so very grateful to H+K Strategies for this experience, to my team in London for supporting my application, and to my team in San Francisco for being so welcoming. I whole heartedly encourage all eligible H+K colleagues across the globe to apply next year, and if you get selected, to make the most of every moment. I know I did.

To apply for the Dave Robinson International Scholarship I had to teach myself how to make a video (a long overdue skill). So I thought it appropriate that I end with a video. It’s pretty cheesy, but here you go:

Now in its second year, the Dave Robinson International Scholarship was designed to expose talented H+K staff to the opportunity to work in an international office and strengthen their skills in an international consulting environment. In memory of the late Dave Robinson, who served as president and CEO of H+K Australia, the Middle East, Africa and South and Central Asia, the Scholarship allows recipients three-month assignments in another H+K Strategies office.

This year, five staff were selected from diverse backgrounds and geographies and are in the process of beginning their assignments. This is one of
several blog posts in a series where we chronicle their firsthand experiences.

In H+K London we sometimes refer to ourselves as “H+Kers,” and when interviewing or welcoming new colleagues it’s something I’ve always used to sell the company. Even though we are a big office and the nature of our industry means the staff make-up is constantly changing, everyone fits a certain brand. We’re in communications for a start, so most of us like to chat. And we’re at an agency, so we tend to thrive on change, variety and a challenge. We are knowledge-hungry, inquisitive and passionate people.

So it’s unsurprising perhaps, that one of my biggest take-aways mid-way through my Dave Robinson Scholarship with H+K San Francisco is that H+Kers are the same halfway around the world.

The H+K San Francisco office couldn’t have been more welcoming. Someone had obviously read my first blog post, as there was a bowl of avocados on my desk when I arrived! The team put on an English style afternoon tea to welcome me, and over the last eight weeks have done everything they can to make me feel at home. It’s been a fantastic two months, seeing everything San Francisco has to offer and getting stuck in with as much as I can.

So far I’ve been lucky enough to go to H+K New York for a new business pitch, participate in a cultural exchange breakfast with H+K Berlin, and spend a few days with H+K Chicago. In all these meetings, whilst the environment has been very different (from the buildings, to the weather, to the city’s media and culture) the people have much in common. It struck me as pretty amazing that, when having never met before, the San Francisco and Berlin teams were laughing and chatting away within minutes, via a video conference that made us feel as if we were sitting around one communal table.

Of course technology is a huge enabler – the breakfast exchange was a testament to that. But sometimes you can’t beat getting to know someone face-to-face.

And that’s what is so great about this scholarship programme. I haven’t just met colleagues in San Francisco, New York and Chicago, but also those visiting from Seattle, LA and Toronto and at sister agencies SJR and Blanc & Otus. It has opened me up to the entire H+K US network, establishing relationships that will no doubt last long beyond the time I have stateside.

And that’s something rather special.

Suzy Greenwood is a Senior Account Manager based at H+K London

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