Membership Impact Week 2013 Day 6 – Meet James from Cambridge and Michael from Southampton

Membership Impact Week 2013 Day 6 – Meet James from Cambridge and Michael from Southampton

September 21, 2013 2:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s two for the price of one on Day 6 of Membership Impact Week as we get to know two members who have taken on what is said to be the most challenging and rewarding role within JCI – that of local president.

James Mitchell leads JCI Cambridge:

Tell us about a typical day in the life of a local chamber presidentBlog » meet the members » James Mitchell.jpg
As President my role can vary a lot from one week to the next! Communicating with my Directors and helping them keep track of their events and projects, keeping in touch with all the members, being on the ground to meet with local businesses to maintain and obtain new sponsors of the organisation, taking part in volunteering projects, finding new trainers to wow our members and the hard life of attending the odd social to maybe taste some new Cocktails! This mix of roles and task suits me well as I get tired of routine very quickly! 

What has been your proudest moment as president to date?
My proudest moment was finally getting our mentoring program off the ground. When I took over in January I told myself if everything else goes wrong this is the one program that couldn’t fail! Following on from attending LEAP in 2012 I decided to take what I had learnt and provide a programme for Cambridge Businesses and JCI Members to understand and gain training about mentoring over a 6 week course which I designed with a brilliant trainer and mentor, Jeanette Harrison.  We then matched all mentors with metees in a “speed dating” style session. The outcome was gaining new members, providing excellent training, starting to address the local council’s 2020 goals and helping College leavers find employment, so I couldn’t be more proud!

What have you learnt most of being President?
With everything there comes unexpected problems when you least expect them and being President you get your fair share of problems that need solving! What I learnt most is that JCI UK has an amazing National board and senators that have provided me with enormous amounts of help and support to help me run an awesome chamber and personally develop myself to be more aware of problems in advance and have the tools ready to tackle them!

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that has benefitted your business?
We have 3 JCI members in the company and its a brilliant way for them to meet other business and other professionals in Cambridge and we have all attended the mental health first aid training which has been brilliant to reduce stress in the work place and have a strong understanding of mental health issues and how they develop. We also use the volunteering events to work together and improve teamwork and help with local promotion of the business.

How would you describe JCI to someone who has never heard of it before?
An amazing organisation for people in their 20’s and 30’s that holds business, social, training, community and international events throughout the year, its THE place to meet people that are really looking to make a difference! 

Michael Steel is this year’s president of JCI Southampton:

Blog » meet the members » Michael Steel (3).jpgTell us about a typical day in the life of a local chamber president
As a Local President it’s my job to develop & oversee the strategic and day-to-day management of my Local Chamber. Running my own business, I’m generally always in ‘work mode’ so talking to people about JCI Southampton often appears in every conversation. In my business I get to meet creative and positive young professionals who are looking for an employer to give them an opportunity – so recruiting them to JCI becomes my mission.

There usually isn’t a day that I don’t bump into a member or a council member in the centre of the city and grab a coffee.

What has been your proudest moment as president to date?
There is one moment that stands out firmly for me this year.

We work with a local Costa Coffee franchise, Premier Coffee, and they agreed to pay for six young apprentices who have progressed through our JCI Southampton Costa Academy to attend the JCI European Conference in Monte Carlo, Monaco. These apprentices were chosen by selection from peers and had the chance to go on this once of a lifetime all expenses paid trip. I remember seeing their faces as we boarded the helicopter from nice to Monte Carlo…it was amazing!

Has JCI presented any unusual or unexpected opportunities?
It’s all about international for me! I absolutely love travelling to different countries and visiting other JCI chambers. With JCI New York, JCI Stockholm and JCI European conference under my belt this year…I’m so excited to be attending the World Congress in Rio this November. I’m really looking forward to entering the debating competition on the world stage for the UK too. I’d never done debating before I joined JCI and now I try and enter everything involving debating I can!

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that has benefited your career?
Well there are lot’s of things in terms of public speaking and debating etc. This will be a great question for me to answer next year…as recently I’ve joined an international College which delivers British qualifications around the world. With JCI’s international opportunities….I hope to network and make contacts that will enable me to grow the college and develop myself further.


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This post was written by Sarah Beckwith

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