Meet the council team: Matthew Wong
Meet the council team: Matthew Wong
Council team position:
2014 International Director, JCI Sheffield
How long have you been a member of JCI?
A year - that was quick!
How long have you been on council team?
What are your hobbies?
I love hopping on a plane and seeing the world! This year alone I have travelled over 60,000km and I fully intend on hitting the 100,000km mark! Just need more destinations; any suggestions?
I enjoy all kinds of water sports. I'm both a scuba and platform diver. Earlier this year, I took up surfing in Bali and I think I've found something else that's really fun! Being from Malaysia, I have an affinity towards all kinds of tasty food. I often say that I'd have washboard abs if it wasn't for the amount of food I consume!
Why JCI for you?
For me, JCI has always been about meeting new people who I would not normally be able to in daily life - and boy has that been accomplished! From business owners to authors, the diversity of people within JCI is truly a unique one!
Where so many organisations out there focus on one particular area, I truly commend JCI for combining opportunities to develop yourself, raise money for local charities and the community, visit new countries and having a good time doing it all!
Tell us about your role:
As an international organisation with events happening all around the world, my role is to make these events as accessible to members as possible. I have been very pleased at our (record-breaking) representation at European Conference in Malta earlier this month and fully intend on smashing this record in Leipzig for World Congress this year - I would love it if you could join us!
What is your ambition within JCI?
At this stage in my life, I believe the potential for me is limitless! For now, I welcome the opportunity to continue to grow and develop, to better myself and be a young active global citizen.
Proudest moment at JCI (so far!)
For those of you who don't know, I organised accommodation in Malta for our JCI Delegates - and assorted others! Apparently, I did such a good job at this that I was approached by (non-JCI) people from Russia, asking if I could look into getting their holiday accommodation sorted. JCI sure has enabled me to get my name out there - if only I owned a travel agency!!
Most embarrassing moment:
Anyone who knows me well knows that I experience embarrassing moments on a daily basis. It's may be hard to believe but I seem to lack spatial awareness and walk into the sides of doors and walls regularly. One moment that stands out is when I was in Club Med many many years ago. I was involved in a circus performance and one of my acts was to do forward-rolls across the stage. Sounds easy right? Wrong! About halfway across the stage, I realised I had not been going along the expected trajectory and was pretty much about to fall off the front of the stage! So that's what the snickers from the audience was about!!
What is your occupation?
I've worked at the University of Sheffield in several positions but am currently at the English Language Teaching Centre supporting international students come to the UK to improve their English before starting their degrees.
Claim to Fame?
As a child, I appeared in many commercials (one of which was for toilet paper!) and quite a few Saturday morning shows. Interesting fact - on one of those Saturday morning shows, I was asked a very similar question to the one above: what was your most embarrassing moment. I launched into a whole story about eating wasabi and there not being water nearby. The question is, had I ever eaten wasabi at the time? No. How is it, then, that it came to be my most embarrassing experience which I could tell the nation about? Well, I was given a script to learn beforehand. I'm sorry folks, but TV is NOT real!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of joining their local JCI council team?
If you're already thinking about it, Just Do It - to use a well known company slogan! Being on the JCI Council team has put me on the biggest learning curve of my life and I have enjoyed every second of it. There is always so much to do but the support is unending. You'll get to shape the path of JCI Sheffield and help influence activities across the board. Obviously, JCI brings loads of opportunities to #BeBetter but being on the council team gives you that much more of an opportunity to make a difference.
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