Introducing our National Deputy President Sarah Beckwith. Find out a little more about why Sarah loves JCI.
How long have you been a JCI member?
Almost nine years
What made you join?
A friend from uni was a member on the south coast and kept e-mailing me telling me how she was going to public speaking training, organising a charity event or off to a black tie dinner. She said it was a great way to meet new people. I was interested in doing more voluntary activities so went along to an open meeting and project team meeting, soon joined up and quickly got involved.
What is the most interesting JCI event you’ve been to and why?
There have been lots, but one that sticks out is Inspiration Day in Barnsley in 2009. There was a speaker called Paul McGee: The SUMO Guy, which stands for Shut Up Move On. He was one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen and I still read his books and get his newsletters. We then did Samna Drumming as a team building activity, which was totally different and so much fun. After further bonding via a night out in Barnsley, the JCI London Council held our first team meeting the following day. It was a great start to the year.
Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
Yes, so many…it’s one of the reasons I stay a member. Every year I find new opportunities that surprise, challenge and excite me. Just some of the things I’ve done as a member include:
- Organising JCI UK’s first modern-format three-day programme National Convention in 2010.
- Giving my inauguration speech as JCI London President at the House of Lords.
- Taking part in international debating competitions in Budapest, Monaco and Rio.
- Standing for and being elected as JCI UK Deputy National Presdient.
- Getting to be a trainer internationally at European Academy in Sweden.
I could go on and on…
What is the best thing about JCI?
The people. There is just nothing like attending a JCI event full of the most enthusiastic, talented, generous, caring and inspiring people you can ever imagine meeting. Our members make our organisation and created that inexplicable buzz. Thanks to JCI I have great friends in my home city, across the country and around the world.
What is your job/career/profession/business?
I’m a Chartered Surveyor and director at BNP Paribas Real Estate, where I’ve worked for over ten years, joining as a graduate trainee. I specialise in the negotiation of rents and leases on high street shops, restaurants and pubs.
Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Without a doubt. The skills I’ve developed through JCI have helped me in many ways. The public speaking and debating skills have helped me when delivering pitches, technical training sessions for clients and even giving evidence in court. I’m recognised by my colleagues as bringing something different to the team in the way I facilitate team meetings and looking at problems from different angles. Generally JCI has given me the confidence to take on leadership roles, which otherwise would have been out of my comfort zone.
If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see?
Not a lot! I can’t profess to be any kind of masterchef at the best of times and at the moment I’m so busy I hardly ever seem to be home, so I tend to just buy food as and when I need it, rather than waste it. At the moment you’d find the staples of milk, orange juice, pesto, olives and chorizo.
Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
Walked on a glacier in Argentina.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Fiona Silvester