Which chamber are you a member of?
How long have you been a JCI member?
Since April 2007
What made you join?
I was first introduced to JCI back in 2006 when I was invited to JCI Southampton’s Annual Gala Dinner by my good friend Will Noble who was Local President at the time. With best dinner suit on I stepped into the room to find over 150 fellow young professionals in front of me – quite daunting for a newcomer, but I had an absolute blast & decided to go along to further events to find out more about this extraordinary organisation that I had never heard of before. I was fascinated by the fact that one organisation could offer so many different areas of opportunity whilst still retaining a sense of fun along the way & from that moment on I was quite simply hooked!
What is the most interesting JCI event you’ve been to and why?
That’s a difficult one as there have been many! I’d say probably JCI Academy in Japan. Anyone who has been to the JCI Academy or to European Academy, both of which are leadership courses designed to prepare incoming National Presidents or Local Presidents for their year to lead, will know why I’ve chosen this particular event.
As Deputy National President of JCI UK in 2014, I had the great privilege and honour of attending the 27th JCI Academy in Handa, Japan. Being a delegate at the Academy reinforced for me the real sense of global community within JCI and the fulfilment of getting the most from others. It helped to strengthen the knowledge that and I and my fellow JCI members had a fantastic opportunity to work across boundaries and make even greater contributions to the growth and development of our national organisations, our local communities and the world as a whole.
Drew in Japan
My 10 days in Japan will stay with me forever. From the moment I landed in Japan and stepped off the plane to the Graduation Ceremony and Farewell Gala celebrations I was immersed in the wonderful culture of Japan, surrounded by my peers – friends old and new – from across the world. It was quite simply a couple of weeks that I will never, ever forget. There were many late nights and early starts, where we worked hard, but I got to learn powerful things about myself and made many lifelong friends. I definitely had the time of my life… so far!
Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
It’s not often that you get a chance to meet foreign Embassy teams or join a reception when foreign royalty is attendance, but JCI has given me this opportunity. Along with other JCI members I’ve had the privilege to meet up with the US Embassy in London and join a reception with HSH Prince Albert of Monaco in attendance whilst attending the European Conference there. I’m lucky enough to have met our own royalty on a couple of occasions, but that’s another story!
What is your job/career/profession/business?
I’m a Change Analyst (that’s a Change Manager to everyone else) with Virgin Media, looking after planned works on our cable network. I assess the impact the works will have and who to, and work with the project management and implementation teams to ensure correct governance is followed. It’s a perfect job for someone with Blue-Red energy!!
Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Not directly per se, but it has certainly influenced my professional and personal development and therefore my career. My JCI journey was a major factor in helping me to successfully apply and graduate from Virgin Media’s year long Orbit Leadership programme. I regularly utilise what I learn from being a JCI member during my professional activities.
Drew in Monaco
Who is a leader you admire?
Well, being a Virgin Media employee and therefore part of the Liberty Global and Virgin Groups I would have to say Richard Branson. He’s just got it all going on and he’s quite rightly respected as one of the leading global entrepreneurs and forward thinkers of our time.
What’s your proudest achievement?
There have been a few – all very random such as winning the Egg & Spoon and Obstacle races at my first ever primary school Sports Day (a very proud day indeed), getting accepted into university which was a big thing for my family at the time, the numerous JCI UK award wins over the years, graduating from JCI Academy, to my home chamber nominating me for a Senatorship which was awarded on stage at National Convention in 2014.
If we gave you an elephant, where would you hide it?
Who wrote these questions?! Not quite sure why I’d want to hide it assuming it’s a real one, but if I had to then I’d probably paint its toe nails red, stick some leaves on it and hide it in the middle of a cherry orchard. Or something like that.
What’s a great weekend to you?
When I’m not attending a JCI event, then it would be a weekend that involves as little admin work as possible, long lie-ins, a nice lunch or dinner and drinks out with friends in the sun somewhere (as long as I’ve remembered to put some Factor 50 on!).
Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
Tough one! Probably dangerous would be the way to go – I’ve been off-roading in Crete at speed along narrow cliff top roads with sheer drops. The speed thing won’t come as a huge surprise to anyone who knows me, but it was very dangerous, with no real safety and therefore very scary at the time. The things you do on all-boys summer holidays back in the day!
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Fiona Silvester