60 seconds interview: Sarah Beckwith, Admin & Membership Director JCI UK 2012

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60 seconds interview: Sarah Beckwith, Admin & Membership Director JCI UK 2012

Posted By admin |04 Oct 2011
60 seconds interview: Sarah Beckwith, Admin & Membership Director JCI UK 2012

Sarah BeckwithCongrats! You've just been elected Admin and Membership director JCI UK 2012! What made you stand for the position?
The position really plays to my strengths. I am well-organised, logical and love spreadsheets. I was membership director in JCI London for two years in 2008 and 2009 when the chamber grew hugely. I loved the role as I got to interact with and encourage lots of new members to make the most of JCI.

JCI is a membership organisation and I therefore really feel getting membership right is very important to the future of the organisation.

Having worked with you (Solveig) for the past two years, I am very excited about your plans for next year and getting to continue to work closely with you to make them happen.

Thank you! I've enjoyed working with you too and I'm very happy to have you on my team! What made you join JCI in the first place?
A friend was a member down in Fareham and she was always telling me about all these things she was off doing after work, like public speaking and organising charity balls. She told me it was a great way to meet new people and I was also really interested in the community aspect of the organisation. Once I joined, I discovered all the other great aspects of the organisation like the training on offer and international travel possibilities.

If there's one advice you'll give a new member, or someone just getting active, what would that be?
Talk to as many members as possible - ask them what they have got out of JCI, what they have done as a member, where they have travelled and who they have met. This is the best way to discover all the many amazing opportunities in JCI.

What's your plans for JCI UK in 2012?
I'm looking forward to using my five years of experience in JCI to help out the local chambers around the country with all membership and general queries. I'm hoping to make processes for joining and renewing membership as easy and transparent as possible and make sure the membership database is always up-to-date.

And of course I'm still intending to be very involved in my local chamber, JCI London, in my role as Immediate Past President. JCI London has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, we currently have so many fantastic, enthusiastic active members, I'm looking forward to seeing where the chamber goes next.

What do you personally expect to get out of the position in 2012?
To me the best thing about taking on this kind of role in JCI is the people you get to work with. I'm looking forward to working with other members of national board and the presidents and council members of local chambers. I always find I learn more about myself by working with different types of people.

This year you've been really busy as local president for JCI London, if you could tell me three things about being local president, what would that be?
1. The best thing about being local president is meeting members and watching their JCI journey unfold (and knowing you've helped to facilitate that a bit), as well as working with my council team - I love their passion, creativity and team spirit.

2. I have personally learned a lot of new skills this year, like setting up a website, blogging and editing a newsletter, something I'm pretty proud of as I'm not the most technically minded person in the world.

3. I've given up trying to join in with some conversations at work - watching TV is generally not an option so I often have not even heard of the programmes my colleagues are talking about!

I'd also like to get to know Sarah as a person, what do you do in daily life?
I'm a chartered surveyor working in a commercial property consultancy. I specialise in retail lease advisory, which means that I negotiate lease terms and rents on shops. I also enjoy getting involved in wider company activities such as graduate recruitment and training.

Can you tell us one thing we don't know about you?
I refuse to ever go near a ski slope, but have been sand boarding in a desert in Peru

Thanks Sarah! 

(interview done by Solveig. JCI UK Deputy National President 2011)