Anja Sloth Ziegler and Freya Mosbæk
INTERVIEW - Leaving members
After 3 years in the YWPDK network, we depart from Anja and Freya’s contribution! In December 2021, Anja and Freya left the network, due to the age limit required to be a YWPDK member. They have covered leading roles in the Regional Group of Northern Denmark (Aalborg), taking care of its birth and early development. Their contribution has been fundamental for the local group, so the new leading members recently paid homage to Anja and Freya with a basket full of goodies! In the following interview, we have collected their memories and feedback about their experience in the YWPDK network.
Thank you Anja and Freya for helping the network to get started and to keep the local members united!
What motivated you to join the YWPDK network?
ANJA: When I started at Aalborg Forsyning (Aalborg Utility) in 2018 I was new to the water sector. Becoming a part of a network with others who were new (or relatively new) within the water sector was very appealing. It is sometimes nice to have others (like-minded) whom you can talk to and discuss the “stupid” questions that can be difficult to ask your experienced colleagues
FREYA: I first heard about the YWP network at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Tokyo 2018 where I met some of the Danish members. Being new to the water sector the YWPDK is an excellent platform to establish new partnerships and friendships across the sector, which was the main reason why I joined.
What was your role within the network?
ANJA: I was one of the driving members of regional group. Where I helped plan and hold events together with the rest of the group.
FREYA: I was regional representative in the Aalborg group for about two years, then changed to driving member passing on the role as regional representative to Giulia.
What will you remember about the network?
ANJA: Definitely the very talented and committed members in YWPDK – especially the board and regional representatives who make a really big effort for the entire network.
FREYA: The passion and drive of the YWP members, and above all getting to know and work with everyone has been a great experience. I also really enjoyed all our local and national events and networking.
Which challenges did you face during your work in the network? How did you solve them?
ANJA: When I joined the network, there was no regional group in Aalborg. It was first formed in 2019. A new group was to be created in Aalborg with a focus on recruiting new members and arranging a number of exciting events. There were not many members in Aalborg at that time – now there are significantly more and, because of the work of the regional group, we now have events to advertise, even though the Covid-19 pandemic made it difficult plan and host events. We had to brainstorm about "what and how", and that was really educational actually.
FREYA: In Aalborg the major challenge was getting the local group up and running. When I started as regional representative, we didn’t have a group in Aalborg. Just as we were starting the network the Corona pandemic came and reset most of our work. The recruiting process is on-going in the Northern Region group, I and believe the local YWPs group will continue to grow.
FREYA: "I got some new collaborators and partnerships on specific projects that I’ll continue to work with even after leaving the YWPDK."
What did you gain from joining the YWPDK network?
ANJA: First and foremost a lot of new contacts and friends, but also lots of good experiences and participation in exciting events. It has been a pleasure to be part of!
FREYA: A broadened understanding of the whole water sector, not just my own work field, and knowledge of the newest trends. Many ideas have originated from participating in YWP events. And of course, I got new friends and professional partnerships.
It has been amazing!
Would you recommend the network?
ANJA: Yes! It is a good opportunity to create a network when you are new in the water sector. The members represent many different industries: research institutions, consulting companies, private companies, utilities, municipalities, agencies etc. It is very inspiring and it is possible to get a good insight into what people work with. There is also an international network within YWP, so if you want something outside DK borders it is also possible.
FREYA: Yes, I would recommend the network to any young water professional that I’ll meet. It’s such a great way to meet people in the sector. The water sector is relatively small, most of us will be colleagues for many years and we’ll benefit from knowing each other through YWPDK.
How did the network improve your experience within the water sector?
ANJA: A broad perspective on the water sector as a whole, but also knowledge about what it is like to work with different types of jobs.
FREYA: I got some new collaborators and partnerships on specific projects that I’ll continue to work with even after leaving the YWPDK.
One particular memory from the network?
ANJA: The national conference in 2019 with really good academic content and a splendid social arrangement in the evening. I was especially excited about the workshop on graphical facilitation!
FREYA: I have to say I really liked our national yearly conferences.
ANJA: "Becoming a part of a network with others who were relatively new within the water sector was very appealing."
The event you liked the most or you had fun arranging?
ANJA: I really liked the technical tours (Vestre Fjordpark and Nordsøen Oceanarium), where we got to go “behind the scenes”.
FREYA: Unfortunately I missed out on the trip to Nordsøen Oceanarium, but the technical tour to Vestre Fjordpark was very interesting.
What is your recommendation to the current members of the regional group?
ANJA: If you want to contribute, do it! It does not matter if it is small or big contribution, it will be well received.
FREYA: Just to keep up the good work that they have been doing.
What would you have changed about the network, if anything?
ANJA: Not really anything. But I truly hope that there will still be committed people to run the regional groups – it means a lot that there is something going on in your immediate area.
FREYA: I don’t know, nothing comes to mind and I guess it's a good sign!