With Partnership Brokers Training Course right around the corner, who better to advocate for it than past participants? So JS Daw & Associates took a (virtual) trip across the pond and interviewed two graduates of the Partnership Brokers Training Course who are presently working in London, UK. Scroll down to see their interviews and find out what makes the Partnership Brokers Training Course so unique.Introducing Marieke Hounjet, Head of Development and Partnerships at Start Network, London, UK.JSD:Can you briefly explain your role at your organization? MH: My role is Head of Development and Partnerships at Start Network, a global consortium of 19 leading international humanitarian NGOs based in London, UK. This collaboration started in 2010 and since then the organisations have piloted and designed programmes to strengthen the humanitarian NGO sector. One of the flagship programmes is the Start Fund, a fund managed by NGOs for NGOs to provide rapid funding for humanitarian crises that lack (rapid) funding.JSD:How has the partnership brokers training transformed your role at your organization or the way you approach your work?MH: After the course I literally had a list of 30 follow up actions for myself, all things I learned or discussed with others and thought 'that may help me at work'. Furthermore, it connected me with people in completely different sectors but who have very similar roles and challenges, and that network is extremely valuable.JSD: What is one lesson you learned from taking the course that has stuck with you throughout your career? MH: There is no such thing as 'difficult partners'; people that I may perceive as 'difficult' have a valid point of view and may end up playing an important role for clarifying and shaping a better partnership. Another important personal mantra I adopted from the course is that partners need to have the answers and brokers the questions. If a broker provides all the answers than the partners do not own the partnership and dis-engage over time. Oh, and lastly compromise is not a success in a partnership, it's in fact lose-lose for all parties. Introducing Ian Lobo, Global Lead, Cross Sector Partnerships at Accenture Development Partnerships, London, UK.JSD: What motivated you to take the Partnership Brokers Training Course? IL: The opportunity to learn from the significant experience of the world leading experts who have pioneered the profession of partnerships. Moving beyond the rhetoric of ‘partnerships’ as a buzz word and deeper into understanding the mindset, approaches, roles and skills of an effective partnership broker.JSD: How has the partnership brokers training transformed your role at your organization or the way you approach your work?IL: As a result of a successful L1 course, where I had the opportunity to learn the basics as well as network and share ideas with other likeminded individuals across a variety of NGO, government and private sector organisations, PBA and I organised and ran an additional customised training sessions for our global ADP teams in London and Washington, DC.Through participating in the course, we have been able to take a fresh approach to brokering to fully understand the complexities of partnering. These new skills and processes also enabled us to tap more effectively into our creativity and empathy to fully understand the barriers that were constraining progress on a number of partnerships that we have been supporting with clients around the world.JSD: What is one lesson you learned from taking the course that has stuck with you throughout your career? IL: Empathy is a strength that is often overlooked in a world of technical experts. Click here to learn more about our upcoming Partnership Brokering Course!