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23rd Nov, 2015

In just 11 months…
by Celestine Onomo on November 23, 2015 18:08

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…and it feels like I have been part of the JCI family forever!

How many times in 11 months have I heard: What’s JCI? What’s in for me? Why should I join JCI? Are you paid to do that? The best way to answer all these questions is simply to take you through my personal JCI Journey.

 I joined JCI in December 2014 and 11 months after joining, I am proud to say that I am not the same person today that I was when I joined the organisation.

In just 11 months (not in a specific order):

  • I became Marketing Director of my local organisation
  • I took part in the life of my chamber by attending almost all our Council Meetings, Social Events, Business & Networkings events, Trainings ect..
  • I attended my first JCI UK Academy Public Speaking
  • And because I loved the first one so much I took part in another one LEAP (Leadership Excellence in Action Program). Colours are not a secret for me anymore…
  • I attended JCI UK Summerfest in Cambridge
  • I attended JCI UK 2015 AGM & JCI Sheffield Gala Dinner in Sheffield
  • I was elected by my local chamber to become Deputy President
  • I have been awarded one of the 4 Bursaries to attend JCI UK LEAP
  • I spend a full week in Malta for the “Small Talk Project” among with a delegation form Jordan, UK, Morocco, Malta, Italy, and Estonia.
  • I met Malta President HE Marie-Louise Coleir Preca
  • I have been accepted to a program for Young Leaders run by US Ambassador M.Barzun
  • I met 2013 JCI World President Chiara Milani
  • I have become a Students mentor for my local University
  • I started a new job (#Ilovemyjob) with more responsibilities for one of the biggest cruise company in the world!
  • I attended my first JCI UK National Convention!
  • I took part in a Debating Competition
  • I was elected Most Outstanding New Member in the UK! 

I could carry on writing this list forever because every day or week brings on a new opportunity or challenge but one thing is sure, I would never have had done all of this without JCI and the great people I have met throughout the year. Every single action from this list triggered the next one and this is the reason why by expecting nothing when I have joined, I have earned everything.  

In just 11 months, I gained:

More skills: Public speaking is a great example. It has never been an issue for me until I started to do it in another language and then…I heard about JCI Public Speaking Academy. Attending the academy was a great way for me to improve myself to become a better speaker. With public speaking competition organised across the year, you get to practice all the things you have learnt across the year! Another great example is that one time where as a Junior I was offered a Senior role in Marketing & Business development because of the relationships JCI has with local businesses and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

More friends: You obviously pay for the experience and you end up meeting exceptional people, some of them that I could probably call friends soul mates! I have indeed met exceptional people with high ambitions willing to embark you on their journey and make you a better person everyday so you can one day be that person!

More holidays destinations: From sunny Malta to sunny not so sunny UK every person from another city you meet is someone who open your eyes on something different. We have a wide range of international opportunities that everyone should takes part in. (Watch this space for 2017)

More hotels loyalty cards: JCI doesn’t only takes you out of your comfort zone everyday it will also takes you out of your bed…But positive note is you will take advantage of the coolest benefits a loyalty card can offer you! i.e. Late checkout until 2pm :-)

More opportunities: at Local, Regional, National, European and World level. It’s also a powerful network of Jaycees, Senators, friends always willing to support you! 

I am proud of what I have achieved on a personal level this year and will encourage everyone who wants to grow and add something fun in there life to join JCI.

Here is to 2016, here is to another 11 months of fantastic projects, people, travels, memories, laughs and smiles! 

Célestine

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