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History of YoungRUG

How it all started…

In 2015, Hinke van der Burg (Communications department) and Charlotte Hoekstra (University College) started an interesting personal assignment. They felt like something was missing at the University of Groningen (UG) and had ideas on how to solve this. Filled with enthusiasm, they met with Marion Stolp (HR) to discuss their plans. And so this is how it all started, at the Christmas Drinks of the Office in 2015…

Charlotte and Hinke were members of YoungLink and were inspired by the many initiatives organized by this Noorderlink-network; they wanted to start something similar for the UG. Hinke and Charlotte observed that the UG already organized activities focused on the development and community of research staff, but not yet for young (support) professionals (OBP) or teachers.

After they received a green light from Marion, Hinke and Charlotte started to make plans and investigated if their observations were shared within the UG. Together, they organized drinks to find out whether other young professionals also desired a stronger focus on their professional development.

The drinks, which 41 colleagues attended, proved to be a successful start of the initial plans for a young professionals organization! Hinke and Charlotte asked attendants for input: what do you expect from such an organization and what do you need as a young professional working at the UG? This resulted in a lot of post-its with good ideas and suggestions!

Encouraged by the good ideas and suggestions provided, Hinke and Charlotte continued their plans and worked evening hours to make their project a success. Was this going to be the first project initiated from the bottom up? They visited similar organizations (YoungUvA and Young@EUR) to learn how they promoted the development of young professionals. Soon thereafter, they came up with the name “YoungRUG” as the name for the network organization of young professionals focused on professional development. Together with Marja Rozema (HR) and Gerald Lier (HR) they wrote a memo. The Board of the University approved the proposal for YoungRUG on Monday 29 August 2016!

The initiators of YoungRUG celebrated its start by organizing a special College Tour interview with the President of the University, Sibrand Poppema, on Tuesday 18 October. Tanja Grgic held the interview with Poppema on the main stage about topics such as the importance of young professionals to the UG, what the UG can do for young professionals and about his own experiences as a young professional. Tanja joined YoungRUG and together with Charlotte, Hinke and Marja formed the first YoungRUG Board.

The objective first set by the YoungRUG Board was to start small and from the bottom up, in order to build a community and make people enthusiastic about YoungRUG. Within one year, however, the YoungRUG network had become very well known and many colleagues were enthusiastic about YoungRUG! Now, it’s impossible to not picture YoungRUG as part of the UG!

Last modified:01 December 2023 1.35 p.m.
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