Stéphanie Daireaux began volunteering less than one year ago at HBA Paris on the marketing and communication team because “she wanted to discover these activities that she was not familiar with”. In less than nine months, she participated in all communication activities, helped the Paris chapter to lay out its strategy, organized one event and has been a special assignment lead on business development
1.You were hesitating before committing yourself as volunteer. What was the trigger to apply to the marketing and communication group?
It was a question of the right moment and right people. I have known the HBA for a long time and was always hesitating to join as I had a lot of expectations from such an organization in terms of their energy and the potential benefits. Then, HBA Paris organized an informal drink and I decided to join as I wanted to make new connections. I remember that I met with few volunteers who gave me the desire to join, because I thought that being a volunteer could help me build strong bonds across companies. The director of marketing and communication, Mai Tran, was willing to grow the team and I liked her mindset; I thought I could learn a lot with her. This is how I began volunteering, and as my role progression within the HBA, I became more and more convinced I made the right decision.
2. Can you explain how you moved so quickly within your responsibilities?
HBA Paris is a truly diverse group and all members, and particularly the board, are willing to build something and grow it together. You are very welcome to propose out of the box ideas and take responsibilities on any topic that you like. In my case I proposed to facilitate our very first strategic planning exercise, this is how HBA Paris Vice President Rhym Abdendi approached me to be a special assignment lead on business development.
3. Does one need to be very committed and effective to become a successful volunteer?
I would say that indeed it takes time because the human dimension is important, and you need to discuss and coordinate with your colleagues. The good thing is that when you cannot commit, because you have other priorities or you are busy, there is always somebody to take over and nobody will put pressure on you. So being a volunteer is rewarding in the sense that you just bring the energy you have.
4. What did volunteering bring you during these past months?
It brings me confidence and diversity in my relations. I was not expecting that the HBA could bring me such richness in terms of contacts, ways of working and support. Again, you must find the richness yourself, but it is all there in HBA: just engage and you'll soon see the value for you.