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#WeAreNexthink: Volunteering Blog Spotlight with Nicolas Martenet

#WeAreNexthink: Volunteering Blog Spotlight with Nicolas Martenet
January 4th

At Nexthink, giving back to our communities is an important pillar of who we are. That’s why we offer all our Nexthinkers 3 paid volunteering days each year to make a positive social and environmental impact. Since the implementation of our volunteering platform, Alaya, in 2020, Nexthinkers across the globe have volunteered over 1,400 hours to support local NGOs.   

Today, we are sharing the story of Nicolas Martenet, Quality Lead in Cloud Engineering based in Lausanne, who volunteered with the organization Powerhouse Romandie to host a workshop about the Agile approach to software development. Powerhouse’s mission is to offer a supportive ecosystem to help people rebuild their careers and advocate for more diversity particularly in the information technology field. 

We asked Nicolas to share his experience volunteering with Powerhouse. Read his empowering story below: 

1. Why is it important for you to take time to volunteer?

I consider myself a very lucky person. I have been able to learn and grow with Nexthink and now I feel that I can share back some of this experience. It is also an opportunity to try something different with motivated people from various backgrounds and experiences. 

2. What do you like the most about our volunteering program at Nexthink?

I think many people are interested in volunteering but it’s not always easy to know where to find the right opportunities and connections. Thanks to Nexthink’s volunteering platform, Alaya, it is very easy to find causes or charities that are close to my heart and start volunteering.  

And of course, having days offered by the company allows you the flexibility to find time to volunteer. There are no excuses to not contribute! 

3. In your opinion, what are the benefits to having a volunteering program within a company like Nexthink?

 I think it is a win-win(-win) situation.  

  • It is important for the organizations we’re able to support. If they have volunteers, they can continue to do great things and help local communities. 
  • It is great for employees; you feel good after giving back. It is really rewarding. You also get the chance to spend time with your colleagues in a different context where you can grow, meet other people and learn from others. 
  • And it is also good for Nexthink. In addition to having happy employees who feel like a valued part of the Nexthink community, it creates connections with local communities, and it makes the company visible and generates a positive company image beyond our core focus in IT. 

4. Why did you decide to volunteer for this activity with Powerhouse?

It was something I was considering even before we launched Alaya. I was looking on my own for this type of activity (teaching seniors how to use computers / tablets, for example). With Alaya it makes things easier. I started talking with Powerhouse through the platform and we decided to launch an Agile workshop. It was different from their usual courses but still aligned with their goal to integrate people in the IT industry. 

5. What did you focus on during your workshop? (Format, activities, etc)?

I adapted a workshop that was done previously for Nexthink newcomers to fit into one afternoon. The subject had to be specific, but still understandable for people with little knowledge of the subject. So, I focused on presenting basic Agile concepts during the first hour, then experimented with Kanban and Scrum through games for 3 hours.  

6. How did this activity bring value to the participants?

Most of participants were unfamiliar with  agile. It was an opportunity for them to go a bit further and practice Kanban and Scrum. Since this is a model widely used in IT, I think it was crucial for the participants to learn basic knowledge of those concepts before applying to and joining an IT company. 

7. Any other takeaways or anything else you’d like to share?

Volunteering and giving time is great for many reasons! It empowers you to grow professionally and expand your personal network. It creates connections that could lead to opportunities such as having interns. I encourage anyone to participate.