Where are they now? Alumnus Kay Waardenburg
Kay was in Tribe 9 and graduated in the beginning of 2015. During his year at Knowmads, he and Sebastian quickly became buddies. They started an initiative Studentank; a student think tank that generate creative solutions for companies.
A great idea, but it also quickly became apparent that it needed too much time to really set it up to generate enough revenue to support the both of them after the Knowmads year. So, when Kay got offered another gig as tour manager for a street-artist-slash-friend, he took it. It sounded like an adventure and he decided to go.
He had a blast organising all these performances at different festivals. He noticed how well he could work with such a varied group of people, cultures and communication styles. His desire for adventure, variety in work and at Knowmads he had learned to combine this personal quest with fulfilling this chaos / stress professionally.
He quickly followed up his tour managers work with another job: To do sales and account management for a solar panel company.
He worked super hard. Hoping that in the end, that energy would boomerang back to him. It wasn’t that easy. He needed to stand up for himself. Have difficult discussions. Fight for his place and his compensation.
Besides that, due to the Art of Hosting training he participated in at Knowmads, he began to notice that the company wasn’t properly structured. The focus was always on crisis management. The important things were never taken care of. And an unhealthy dependency on the founder.
Besides the struggle, he learned a lot in the chaos and freedom it provided. He also became really good at doing sales. A skill that never goes out of style.
Through all these experience, he has learned much about the professional side of work. That simply stressing out about a work relationship that’s off, doesn’t change it or improve you chances. But what does is having the frank conversations in the beginning, doing the hard thing and taking care of the formalities.
The silver linings however didn’t make up for the fact that he this was not an healthy place to be. So, he left.
Looking back, he views the last two years as a continued Knowmads learning journey. Two more years with a lot of ups and downs, learning in chaos and where he learned how to work. Through which he zoned in on himself, his qualities and his passions. Culminating now into creating his life for himself as a freelancer.
He is loving this period where so many options are open again. He trusts that the process in the long run will generate good things as long as he keeps doing good things. This was confirmed with all the love and help he got when he needed some. And, when his continued relationship with Knowmads and former coach came to fruition in a working relationship with Peoplerise – Knowmads’ consultancy partner.
So, besides working in projects for Peoplerise, Kay is thinking about an Energy-Complete Package, in which solar panels, a heat pump system and energy storage are all included.
Besides that, like said, he’s great at sales and facilitation. And he still has a love and a lot of knowledge about sustainable energy producing. His dream project is to combine his skills to facilitate and implement an energy transition for an organisation. So, quickly hire this Knowmad before somebody beats you to it!
Also, he worked at a cocktail bar in Beirut for a year. So, if you’re tempted to try one of his mean shakes, contact him too!
PS: Maybe the best thing to come out of Knowmads for Kay is that he met his girlfriend at the school!