Meet Sara - JCI Area Manager for Europe

Meet Sara - JCI Area Manager for Europe

Posted By admin |28 Mar 2012
Meet Sara - JCI Area Manager for Europe

Sara Rueckrimen at her office in BerlinSara Rueckrimen is JCI Area Manager for Europe. Sara is based in Berlin and helps the National Organisations in Europe stay on track, coordinates us and helps us with any questions.

Here's an interview I did with Sara to learn more about what she does.

Can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
My name is Sara, I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. I went to a French school in Berlin and then studied international relations, law and economics in Berlin and Paris. In my free time I play a lot of basketball and travel to visit friends around the world.

How long have you been a member of JCI and why did you join?
Unfortunately, I have never been a member, as in Germany, only young leaders and entrepreneurs can become members. I finished my studies in February 2011 and then immediately started working for JCI Germany. After six months, I started working for JCI at the international level. I started because I was very impressed by the networking possibilities and the great projects JCI members perform at the local, regional and also national level. But as I studied international affairs (focus on France and Germany), I wanted to get more involved at the international level. This, luckily, worked out well for me pretty quickly - and I am honored to do this international work.

How has your year been going so far?
So far, 2012 has been a great year for me. We started with a very creative JCI January Board of Directors Meeting, putting together ambitious ideas with all JCI officers in the JCI World Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. In February, Executive Director Arrey Obenson and 2012 Executive Vice President John Weber came to see me in Berlin to officially open my new office in the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Shortly after that, we had an impressive European Presidents Meeting in Sibiu, Romania. It was great to see many people again and offered a good opportunity to foster relations with many people I already met in Brussels and before.

Can you explain a bit what you do in your work for JCI?
In Europe we are so happy as to have two responsible staff members: Area Director Arsem Asikoglu and myself, Area Manager. Whereas Arsem is responsible for growth and development, I am responsible for membership services. This includes most importantly marketing, communications, JCI Programs, JCI Events and external relations. Usually, my days pass in answering your e-mail and phone call requests, creating input for a European homepage (that will hopefully be online soon) that will promote European projects and events, as well as preparing the legal documents of JCI Europe.

Yeah, I know, I send you quite a few emails! :)
What made you take on this job and what is your goal for this year?

I just loved the international network and all the great people I am working with. During my employment for JCI Germany, I learned to handle many problems that we also have at the international level. I felt that it was time to bring some of the "German style organizing" to the international level without being too German either ;) Creating general things such as a website and consistent legal documents is something that I consider necessary for an organization as big and important as JCI. My goal for this year is to fulfill as many of your requests as possible and hopefully find solutions to your problems before the problems even come up. I also hope to ensure good communications and spread the great ideas and projects of all the members across Europe while making sure that our partners are aware of the results and positive change we are creating.

Which countries and what events have you travelled to this year?
January: St. Louis, Missouri, USA: JCI January Board of Directors Meeting where I took part in strategy planning and got to know all international JCI officers.
February: Braunschweig, Germany: Site inspection for the 2012 JCI European Conference
February: Sibiu, Romania: 2012 JCI European Presidents Meeting
March: Brussels, Belgium: 2012 JADE Spring Meeting. JADE is an organization with whom we will possibly have a partnership. The members are young students who learn how to run or already run their own businesses, or are business consultants in addition to their studies. Similar to JCI, what exactly they do depends from country to country and from Junior Enterprise to Junior Enterprise and they have the one-year-to-lead system and do all their work on voluntary basis.
March: Augsburg, Germany: 2012 JCI Germany Spring Conference

Later this year, I will travel to Mexico City, Mexico for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit, of course to Braunschweig, Germany for the 2012 JCI European Conference, to Brussels, Belgium for the JCI European Know-How-Transfer with the European Parliament and last but not least, to Taipei, Taiwan for the 2012 JCI World Congress. I would be very happy to see you there!

Wow, that's impressive! If anyone is interested in getting a job in JCI, is there any advise or tips you can give them? Other than for the airmiles ;)
Be yourself. Be internationally active and get involved. Be communicative, interactive and a good team worker. Enjoy :)

Do you want to share something with us that we probably don't know about you?
I don't have any secrets from you. ;)

Thank you Sara! Its as always great working with you!