“What does Connect mean to you?”

LONDON

NAME

Julie Bradshaw

FUNCTION

GC and Compliance officer at DH Private Equity Partners

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“‘Only Connect’ is what first came to mind. This is a UK TV quiz game hosted by Victoria Coren-Mitchell who is a journalist and writer and even more interestingly one of the few top European female professional poker players. The quiz game requires panellists to find connections between seemingly unrelated items – for instance (1) He is my brother ( 2) Well nobody’s perfect (3) It was Beauty killed the Beast (4) Love means never having to say you are sorry……… (last lines in movies – (1) Return of the Jedi, (2) Some Like it Hot, (3) King Kong, (4) Love Story).

The way the game is played means that there are at times more than one right answer as you are challenged to identify the connection and finish a sequence. The winning team is effectively the one that makes the connection as early as possible in a sequence.

Making connections in all aspects of life (personal and  professional) as well as on quiz shows can be really rewarding but it is not always easy to do so and may require thinking outside the box using knowledge and skills acquired over time, intuition and (as with quiz game answers) sometimes a leap of faith.” Click on read more for the sequel.

NAME

Katharina Auer

FUNCTION

Former VP/Head of Internal Communications and Engagement at ABB

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“Connecting people across organizations is what I am proud of. This involves establishing real or virtual networks, ‘connecting the dots’ on workstreams or projects, and bringing people together from all over the organization to collaborate on topics or challenges, or crowdsource knowledge. Not only does this improve efficiency and reduce duplication, it also build communities of people who might not otherwise get to connect.

Looking at life with hindsight and 20/20 vision: better listening. Especially when excited or fired up about a topic or work, making sure I really take the time to listen to everyone properly.”

NAME

Rebecca Clayton

FUNCTION

Managing Director, Oil and Gas A&D, EMEA at Starcap Energy

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“I grew up overseas and travelled internationally since I was born so have always been socially aware of the importance of connecting and adapting to different situations, personalities and cultures. I believe good communication, openness to change, personal develop-ment, and a high level of integrity are important to success in a world that is becoming smaller. As globalization removes geographic boundaries, the ability to connect successfully in a multi-cultural environment is vital for success. Communication incorporates many life skills which helps one connect through maintaining relationships, networking and delivering effective messages.

Working in the Middle East, I was part of a progressive team, drilling in a depleted gas field using a cutting-edge technology that was still to be implemented worldwide. I played a key role in a team of 25 individuals with 10 different disciplines. My job was to plan 110,000ft of open hole drilling, assist with monitoring well placement whilst drilling and incorporating the results going forward. The project was a huge success due to the team’s connection; working together, listening, acting on and being open to other’s opinions, resulting in tripling the field production in a year.”

NAME

Jessica Terpstra

FUNCTION

Partner at Houthoff

PRACTICE AREAS

Banking & Finance
Capital Markets
Projects and Project Finance

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“I met my husband while working on assignment for Houthoff. Does that count as connecting? ; ) Seriously: as a lawyer, my work almost always depends on my ability to form connections and to understand where my client and the other side are coming from. Once I’ve done that, it’s possible to find a solution to almost any problem.

When you’re making new contacts, it’s best not to come across as too keen. Cultural differences play an important role in this respect. British people are more reserved. When I first arrived in the UK, being Dutch, I didn’t realise that my approach to networking was a bit too enthusiastic and direct.”

NAME

Merel Zwankhuizen

FUNCTION

Counsel at Houthoff

PRACTICE AREAS

Corporate / M&A
Private Equity
Capital Markets

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“‘It takes a village’ comes to mind when thinking about Connect. Like it is supposed to take a village to raise a child, I believe that it takes dedicated and talented individuals working together to become successful as a team or an organisation. I have a wonderful supporting village at home and within our firm we have an interdisciplinary group of talented and dedicated co-workers. Considering this on a global level, it becomes more and more important to have a village of international friends to serve your clients globally when needed.

Looking at the rapid developments in innovation and the increasing demand of clients for more than ‘just’ legal advice, our village cannot consist of lawyers only.

Connection is key to success, taking everyone in your organisation on board. Thankfully it makes life a little bit more interesting as well.

I truly enjoyed our first global ladies event. It connected around 300 women globally, including the women of our firm. Heartwarming.”

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