Matthew Willemsen (24) – rising star, industry advocate and student supporter.
14th March 2019
Matt has been a key part of the IDP team for almost four years now and it’s safe to say he joined us with an absolutely glowing profile – a ‘CIAT Student Award Winner’ and headhunted from Coventry University by his first employer.
Since then he’s put in the hours at IDP and perfected his craft… but he’s also worked hard to support other students too. Matthew has notably given several lectures and informative talks about architecture at his beloved Coventry University; including a headline spot on stage with our very own Chairman David Blake at the Construction Symposium. Fantastic!
His passion for his work is crystal clear to anyone he meets; and equally evident is his goal to inspire and channel innovation within our industry and to support his peers and future rising stars.
IDP are extremely proud of him and are dedicated in our support of his wider goals and aspirations, such as joining the CIAT committee and accrediting university courses, it’s our absolute pleasure and quite frankly our gain too.
Matthew was presented with a fantastic opportunity early on in his career when he was offered the role of Chair of West Midlands AspirATion group: an initiative set up to involve a younger audience within CIAT.
Matthew said: ‘’With IDP’s help and networks, I was able to take time out of my working week to organise and carry out events (socials, talks, workshops, collaborations with other firms and CIAT head office/RIBA/CIOB etc) I was mostly focused on engaging current students and recent graduates and am pleased to say we’ve had some great success.’’
This recognition led to a further election as both secretary and vice-chair to the regional CIAT committee and gave him an invaluable understanding of the inner workings/politics of organisations as well as the opportunity to branch out and grow his professional network.
He represented IDP several times at Birmingham City, Coventry and Wolverhampton Universities’ end of year degree shows, he’s scouted for talent and presented prizes and has honed his general schmoozing abilities – helping IDP to recruit some exceptional new talent.
With flexibility, support and great responsibility, come even greater results.
Matt says: ‘’With all of the extra responsibility, I found I needed even greater flexibility in my role, and again my directors and teammates at IDP were brilliant. They afforded me time off to carry out a visiting lecturer role at Birmingham City University, where I taught second year students in building technology for example. This was a huge confidence booster and I was able to take this new perspective back to my role at IDP; as well as all of my newly acquired knowledge and skills to put into practice. It was like the perfect storm really.’’
‘’I’m also doing the RIBA Studio course part time which IDP is supporting me with both financially and logistically; and they were hugely helpful in guiding me to achieve my MCIAT chartership. They’ve not only helped me juggle my time; but have been there every step of the way, ensuring I’m mentally strong too.
I feel really supported and incredibly lucky that I’m made to feel so comfortable about blending the two types of work that matter to me in this way… deadlines get met, emails and calls get answered, and everyone is happy and thriving – something I owe in no small part to IDP.’’