Arcual Life: Meet Director of People & Culture, Ricarda!
Tell us about your professional background?
Although my background in terms of industry is quite varied, I’ve always been drawn to professions with people at their core. Surprisingly, during my academic years, specializing in HR was never on my radar. Studying hospitality management at Les Roches in Switzerland and gaining firsthand experience in hotel operations across Munich, London, and Berlin had me determined to one day become a General Manager for a renowned hotel chain. Only when cross-training with the People & Culture team at Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, it struck me - shifting my focus from creating exceptional guest experiences to crafting memorable & meaningful employee experiences was exactly what I was meant to do. And so my journey in HR began! Ever since I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work both within and outside of the hotel world, gaining experience across the IT, Pharma, Finance / crypto banking space and now in Art Tech.
What was a career highlight?
Joining Arcual is definitely a career highlight for me. Having the opportunity to join such an early stage start up and being a part of building the team, formulating our company values, learning about the key requirements to shape a successful, healthy and happy company has already taught me so much and I look forward to many more years of being part of shaping our success.
What drew you to Arcual?
I remember coming across the LinkedIn job advert and getting excited about the opportunity to be part of a digital transformation for an entire industry. At that stage I was working for SEBA Bank where I gained valuable knowledge in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), and was eager to apply the experience gained to another sector at a different stage in its digital evolution. Although I had not had many touchpoints with the art world, it’s a space that I’ve always found intriguing and that I kept being exposed to through my grandmother, who had a deep passion for exploring exhibitions and museums worldwide. I’ll never forget what she said to me when I told her about accepting Arcuals offer “Ricarda, you will see, the art world will enrich your life” and the experience with Arcual and learning about the vast breadth of today’s art world has already proven her right.
What does a typical day look like for you and your team?
The beauty of my role is that no day is like another! Some days start with company or team syncs on Google Meet, setting the pace. Between those, there are impromptu Slack huddles and regular catch-ups across our three hubs. I make it a point to carve out dedicated time in my calendar for tasks to ensure I can plan my week well and focus without interruptions. What makes the P&C work at Arcual so enjoyable to me is how effortlessly we collaborate. Despite the distance between us, we are a supportive team that values teamwork, as well as a fast-paced, transparent, and creative work environment.
What is your favourite thing about culture at Arcual?
It’s the people that make our culture so unique. We are such an international team, with a vast breadth of experiences and know-how and enjoy sharing and debating ideas to come up with solutions that push Arcual ahead of the curve. It’s great to see that we aren’t scared to try new things and share honest feedback to continuously improve. Another vital aspect is our company values - often values are only words on a company website but what I love about working here is that we shape these values together as a team and live these daily. From spontaneous shout-outs to team members or providing value-based feedback throughout our bi-yearly 360 cycles the Arcual values are deeply ingrained into our DNA and a true reflection of our unique Arcual culture.
What would you be if you weren’t Arcual’s Director of P&C?
I’m a people person as much as I am also a dog person. So if I weren’t working in P&C, I’d either go back to university to complete a degree in social psychology or do something entirely different and launch a dog business. I love being creative and, throughout COVID, started designing and manufacturing dog harnesses. Although this has been very much on pause for the past 1.5 years, if I weren’t in my role at Arcual you’d probably find me opening a dog cafe + boutique somewhere in the world.
What is your People & Culture highlight from Arcual in 2023?
There are so many! But if I had to pick one highlight that I’d love to rewind back to, it's our first company retreat. Back in March marks the very first time all hubs came together to meet in person in Provence for team building, socializing and launching our initial OKR cycle. Despite facing travel hiccups like train strikes and canceled flights, everyone was determined to make it to the retreat. The positive vibes, resilience and fun we had together made it feel like we’d been a team for so much longer than only a few months. It was a great experience that brought us closer as a team and remains a trip we'll always remember with a smile.
Where do you see Arcual in two year’s time?
Wow, 2 years is a lifetime in the startup world! I am confident that by then Arcual will have become a household name across the art ecosystem for a range of transformative solutions. Our team will have continued to grow with even more talented colleagues contributing to our awesome culture and success.
Stay tuned for more from Arcual Life!
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