When scrolling through ‘Meetup’ to find interesting events in Cambridge, I discovered JCI Cambridge and it struck a chord with me for two reasons. I had just recently moved to the city and didn’t really know many people, so I was on the lookout for interesting groups to join for networking and to develop my social life in the city. In addition, I had also set myself some personal development goals for the year, including getting out of my comfort zone in order to develop my confidence and skillset.
I went along to the introductory evening and found a group of like-minded people led by an enthusiastic President, Naily Makangu. I signed up for my membership the very next day, 20th of January of 2017.
Since becoming a member of JCI Cambridge, I have helped set up and organise a monthly personal development Books & Beers Club. Hosted by Rich Wainwright of ActionCoach, members benefit from group coaching which is unlike your average book club.
I have created links with local venues, such as Novi and 12A, that have agreed to host the book club on a monthly basis as well as provide a space for other events we are planning throughout the year.
I have also organised a training workshop in October with Simon Morton, CEO of Eyeful Presentations coming to talk to us on the art of presenting and a different approach to presentations.
My next task is to arrange a training workshop that will be British Sign Language interpreted so that JCI Cambridge can extend the reach of our personal development to those with hearing impairment. This is an exciting and challenging task and will definitely be something I have not done before. I expect that I will learn a lot from this.
JCI Cambridge has been great for me so far. Being surrounded by like-minded people keeps me on track with what I want to achieve and to progress towards my personal development goals for 2017 and beyond. The monthly seminars and the book club have been great. I have gained training and an insight into areas that I would not have had the option to pursue on my own, or at least not a readily available option.
I have been bitten by the JCI bug and really want to continue working with and develop myself within the organisation by contributing to its growth and success. I am hoping that I can join the committee as Deputy President next year and possibly progress on to President in 2019.
I have some aspirations for the group itself and my big goal would be to bring a TEDx event to Cambridge. It is a pretty substantial task but I know the group of passionate people we have in JCI Cambridge are more than capable of achieving this.
In the meantime, I am just enjoying my first foray into JCI. I am excited to attend LEAP academy training weekend on the 7th of July 2017. I will also attend the 60th Crayfish conference this year, and possibly the national convention in Southampton.
I must say that I feel grateful to have stumbled across JCI and all it has to offer. The personal development opportunities as well as the friendships and social experiences are truly fantastic, you just need to put the effort in to make the most out of it! I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone seeking to develop themselves and get involved in some exciting projects.