For years I’ve spent time networking on Twitter, and it’s on here that I first discovered JCI. I initially found them a couple of years ago but never really took it further. When last year’s President, Mark Smith launched the #BeTheChange campaign, that’s when I decided to investigate. In August 2015 I was appointed Head of Marketing for Bloo 88 (an Independent cocktail bar & pizzeria in Sheffield). The bar happened to be a honorary patron of JCI Sheffield and hosts the monthly networking events. And as if by fate, this is when I first became physically involved with the chamber.
Throughout my career I’ve attended some pretty dismal networking events, and over time became somewhat sceptical of their value. I went into my first JCI Networking event in August with this mindset, but God, I was wrong! The event was familiar, informal and incredibly beneficial. I found the team and other attendees very welcoming, and there was no pressure to force your professional accolades down everyone’s throat. The event was about the people, and that’s why I loved it.
After hosting/attending a few networking events, I came away feeling motivated and compelled to get more involved. And in December, Gareth, 2016 President asked me join the council team in the position of Business & Strategic Partnerships Director.
What I found amazing is that the chamber isn’t just about business. They’re actively involved in our local community and do countless charity work. There’s always something to get involved in, and activity is always different.
The development opportunities (both professional and personal) JCI provides is incredible. To be part of an organisation that gives you opportunities not only in your local community but internationally is inspiring. But above all, it’s the members that make JCI for me. Through becoming a member I’ve truly met some wonderful people, made many new connections and formed life-long friendships.
I’ve still not hit my 1 year anniversary of joining JCI Sheffield, but I’m looking forward to many more years. Together as a team, we can #AchieveAwesome!
Member since August 2015
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Ryan Pilkington