A Member's Experience of the 2014 COC Academy

A Member's Experience of the 2014 COC Academy

Posted By admin |17 Apr 2014
A Member's Experience of the 2014 COC Academy

Wasim Alfaisal, 2014 Deputy President of JCI Leeds, recently had the unique opportunity to attend this year's COC Academy - JCI's flagship training event for anyone wishing to learn all about being part of a JCI conference organising team.  Here's what he had to say about this fantastic experience:

"Good Morning!  I have just woken up from two days continuous sleep which I really needed after coming back from Estonia where I attended the JCI Conference Organising Committee (COC) Academy from 18-23 March 2014 in a magical place called Roosta on the west coast of Estonia.  On my way back from Tallinn airport I was asked to pay extra for my flight as the weight of information and knowledge I brought back with me was so heavy I think I exceeded the allowance!  I also needed additional insurance because the information I was carrying with me was worth a lot.


2014 COC Academy


Anyway, I say it's a "Good Morning" because, since the Academy, I feel it has given me a new lease of life.  I have returned a different Wasim to the one who left.  It has been a week of extensive training on how to organise a successful JCI conference.  It was a week of being pushed to my limits, with no more than two hours sleep per day.  A week of working with a great team, learning from great trainers, hearing the experience of Know-How Transfer trainers, making friends from around the world and having fun.  It was an unforgettable and extraordinary experience.

I worked with a fantastic team of 10 JCI members from Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Latvia, Norway and Switzerland.  We were called the 'Green Team' and we lived together in the green hut.  On the first day we took the task of organising a JCI World Congress and, because we were 'green', we decided to have this conference for the first time in JCI in Greenland and the theme of our conference to be 'Be Smart, Be Green'.  We divided the tasks between us and I had the honour of being the COC Director for this conference.


2014 COC Academy - Practising Presentation Skills


Our time during the Academy was divided between attending seminars during the day and coming back to our hut to cook, eat and work on the project at night, then presenting our task first thing the next day.  We were taught modules on Team Building, Conflict Management, Presentation Techniques, Leadership, Project Management, Time Management, Marketing, Communications, Sales and Lobbying.  In addition we heard daily from the Know-How Transfer trainers who told us about their experiences of organising previous JCI international conferences and provided tips on how to make them successful.  We were essentially put in a real situation similar to what the Conference Organising Committee would face when organising a JCI conference; starting with deciding the location, planning and bidding, promotion, organising sponsorship, budget management, right through until the departure of the last participant.


2014 COC Academy - Team Building


I am proud to be one of the 31 graduates of COC Academy this year, and I encourage every JCI member to attend this life changing experience.  Finally, I would like to THANK from the bottom of my heart - the trainers (Patrick, Per, Deniz and Benjamin) for the valuable skills and information they have taught us; the Know-How Transfer trainers for sharing their great experience; my Green team colleagues, I learnt a lot from every one of you and hope to see you again soon; the JCI UK National Board and JCI Leeds for supporting me to attend this Academy.  I am now ready to put the experience I gained into practice.  Last but not least, I would like to thank the organisers of the Academy, Eva and her team.  You guys were great and everything was professional, I hope you will continue your chain of success - it's a great contribution to JCI."


2014 COC Academy - Graduation


Wasim Alfaisal

2014 Deputy President - JCI Leeds