JCI Southampton sail to victory at the JCI UK National Convention
by Michael Steel on November 30, 2013 19:45
What an amazing weekend we had in Leeds at the JCI UK National Convention last weekend!
We began with our friends over in JCI Portsmouth arriving in Southampton in the chartered minibus and collecting us on a cold Friday morning. The road trip began! A few hours later (and plenty of bags of chocolate devoured) we arrived at Oulton Hall in Leeds, the setting for the National Convention. It's all about celebrating the UK's achievements whilst participating in some great training, key note speakers, public speaking competitions &, of course, social evenings.
We didn't have to wait long for the key note speakers as Andy George (CEO at Asda) began proceedings - a great insight into one of the UK's biggest supermarkets.
Afterwards, I ducked in to watch the Public Speaking competition, which was a first time for me. A great standard this year and I wasn't envious of the judges at all to find a winner. In the evening I hosted the Extempore competition. Being last year's winner, it's tradition that the current champion presents the following year...and as usual in an 'off the cuff' spontaneous public speaking competition...we had many laughs and a few shocks!
A huge thank you to all of the JCI Leeds team and National Board who organised the event. They truly deserve the congratulations. I personally had an amazing weekend and also marked the last National Council for me as local President of JCI Southampton.
We move onto the part of the weekend I was excited/nervous about the most...the awards evening. With JCI Southampton achieving massive success in Belfast the previous year, we had worked extremely hard to continue with that success. Well, we had another fantastic awards haul & I am immensely proud that we were recognised for our programmes & achievements by JCI UK.
JCI Southampton won SIX awards on the night...more than any other chamber in the UK...for the second year running! What was even more impressive was that the awards we triumphed in were in different categories to those won last year...demonstrating the chamber's strength and innovation.
So what did we win?
Most Outstanding President - Michael Steel
Most Outstanding New Member - James Lambert
Most Outstanding Local Growth & Developing Programme - The Membership Benefit Card
Most Outstanding Inter-Organisation Collaboration Project - Monopoly Event with JCI Cambridge
Best Long-Term Community Development Programme - The Costa Coffee Academy
Best Debating Team - Michael Steel with Patrick McCrae & Ricky Kothari
Huge congratulations to the team & to all our active members - these awards are down to all of your hard work in 2013.
This year was themed 'Renaissance' with the re-branding of the chamber implemented and completed. The chamber has now expanded out into new communities, new partner organisations and has more student members than ever before. Next year's challenge will be to keep the momentum going and expand on the path set. Our challenge in 2014? To be come the biggest chamber in the UK.
As always, as a voluntary organisation we need you to help us! If you are interested in getting involved, sharing your ideas, or just attending some events please contact myself, Ryan Slaughter (my successor as President next year) or a member of the 2014 Council team.
JCI World Congress 2013: Rio, Brazil
by Michael Steel on November 27, 2013 22:02
Well where to start? Where to begin?
As a JCI member, I've always wanted to attend a World Congress. With three European Conferences under my belt I knew a World Congress had to be bigger and better...it doesn't get much bigger than Rio my carnival friends. Well what better time to attend during my time as local President I thought as I clicked onto the Air France website.
World Congress offers JCI members massive amounts of personal development. From superb training seminars to public speaking and debating competitions to networking with JCI members from all over the globe and let's not forget the parties...oh the parties.
Firstly, I arrived along with my JCI partner in crime, Katie Ogley from JCI Doncaster. As I was the only members of JCI Southampton to attend, you'd think I'd be nervous going on my own. I knew there would be JCI UK members in attendance and Katie and I met at the European Conference in Tarragona back in 2011 - we've been friends ever since. We arrived in our hotel and discovered other JCI UK members were about to set off to discover Rio - a good opportunity to check out the local attractions.
The sights were amazing. Christ the Redeemer was a particular highlight as was Sugarloaf Mountain. Six of us went out exploring and the weather was as glorious as you've seen in the book.
I even had time to get in a quick melon.
The World Congress started on the Monday and during the week I dipped in and out of various activities. One big highlight for me was to represent the UK at the World Debating Competition. Another great experience and although we fell to Norway in the Semi-Final...I personally lot's about myself. My debating style on an international scale gave me something to reflect on...ready for next time.
Lot's of parties followed. The Japanese night was a great success and we met friends from all over the world - old and new. Great to see our friends at JCI Malta who are hosting the European Conference in May 2014. The global village night was all about different countries coming together and giving out different items...such as alcohol from their countries. The UK...well the best gin in the land along with Cadbury's chocolate!
Another great JCI international event. Massive amounts of new contacts made from all over the world. What for 2014 you ask? Well Malta for European and Germany for World...can't wait!
Supporting our friends in JCI Portsmouth
by Drew Charman on July 13, 2013 15:58
James Lambert, 2013 Community Director, recently attended a training session organised by JCI Portsmouth. Here's what he had to say about it afterwards:
"The event was on “Body Language, Confidence & Presence” and was hosted by Solveig Malvik (2012 JCI UK National President). During the evening it was great to receive some tips on how to improve self-confidence and also to have the opportunity to practice what impact body language could have on conversations. All of this was held in a relaxed environment. The added bonus was the ability to meet new people and catch up with other JCI members who I had met at previous events.
We are always looking for new ideas on types of training which we can offer our members (and future members) - subjects that they would really like to take part in & benefit from. If you have any ideas please contact our Training Director by emailing email@example.com,uk
JCI Belfast Trip
by Michael Steel on July 2, 2013 17:56
One of the best aspects for me about JCI, is the fact that there are so many chambers all over the world - and gladly, with the drop of an email...those chambers love other members to visit and share good practice and experiences...
Hold on Michael you might be thinking...the world...that's thinking not just outside the box...but off the page! OK OK...I'm always one to think BIG...and those at JCI Southampton who know me...have long stopped rolling their eyes when I'm ranting on about going international.
So, let's stick with the UK then. Last weekend saw me hop on a plane from Southampton airport and fly to visit our friends at JCI Belfast. In little over an hour I had arrived and was gearing up for their event on the Friday night. JCI Belfast had organised a quiz night support their local charity, the Prince's Trust.
With the room buzzing and teams assembled...I made my way to our table where I hooked up with JCI UK National President, Emma Eastwood. Emma had flown over from Leeds earlier in the day. I had also dragged my cousin (who lives in Belfast) along with his friend, as they wanted to find out more about the event and the chamber. Our team was complete...we were excited, pumped up and...then the sport questions came. Ok, we didn't win, but we had a great time speaking to local members and I personally made a great business contact with an organisation based in Belfast.
Their President, Richard O'Neill, and Deputy, Gary Rocks (great name...almost as good as Mr Steel ‘Man of Steel') gave the typical Irish welcome and I personally had a blast. I mean, I flew to the other side of the UK and had no reservations about rocking (pun intended Gary) up - it's JCI UK - we're all within the UK family!
I stayed in Belfast for the weekend and Emma and I attended a Christmas (yes you read correct) party on Saturday night....a new one for me indeed.
Result: Business contacts made, UK networking, Irish cider, new friends gained and a very Happy Christmas!
Left to right:
JCI Southampton President, Michael Steel
JCI UK President, Emma Eastwood
JCI Belfast President, Richard O'Neill
Just Dive Straight In!
by Drew Charman on June 26, 2013 17:59
Kathryn Haines joined the JCI Southampton Council team in January this year after being a member for only a few months. Here's her account of why it's been a great experience for her:
"I decided there's no better way to get involved in JCI than to just dive straight in!
I took on the role of Marketing & Social Media Director even though I had very little marketing experience. It didn't matter though as, in February, JCI UK held a Marketing Academy for a weekend in Birmingham where I learnt almost everything I needed to know - from the basics about what JCI is and what we do, to how to design documents and use the website. I certainly came back from the Academy with plenty of ideas and eager to get started on my new role!
One of the main things I have done in this role is to start a new Facebook page for JCI Southampton. I'm really proud of the page, especially now that we have reached 100 likes! It's regularly updated with information about what we're up to and photos & videos of our events. It's a great way to get very current news about the chamber and about JCI UK too.
Our Twitter page has also recently passed the 200 followers mark and I am hopeful for increasing this further!
There is still plenty more to do with the marketing for the chamber and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve in the next six months! I would certianly encouarge any members of JCI to join the Council of their local chamber or to simply get involved in a project they would like to be a part of.
Don't forget - if you have any marketing suggestions for the Southampton chamber, please feel free to contact me!"
JCI European Conference - A First Timer's Perspective
by Drew Charman on June 24, 2013 21:29
James Lambert, 2013 JCI Southampton Community Director, attended his first JCI Conference in Monaco at the end of May. Here's what he had to say about the experience:
"I was apprehensive that I didn't know many people but the UK delegation were all really friendly and I have met loads of great people who are all really passionate about the difference that JCI can make to their local community and the rest of the world.
During the conference I got to attend various training sessions about how JCI make changes to local communities; got inspired by some really motivational speakers; got to walk the Formula One Track; did LOTS of partying and socialising; helped raise money for our Nothing But Nets Charity through the sale of wristbands; and increased my friends base.
I took part in the First Timers competition which involved answering a number of questions about the conference and I was extremely fortunate to win the Best First Timer Award which involved collecting a trophy at the Awards Ceremony and getting free entry to the 2014 European Conference in Malta!
It is hard to describe the buzz and enthusiasm that surrounds the conference from such a passionate group of people and I can honestly say that my perception of JCI has changed (it has got even better!).
If you would like to experience what JCI is all about then you MUST go to a JCI conference. This year the JCI UK National Convention will be held in November in Leeds. I hope to see you there!! If you can't make Leeds, then why not join me & lots of fellow JCI UK members next June in Malta for the 2014 European Conference!
JCI Southampton Holds Training Event For Young Unemployed
by Drew Charman on June 4, 2013 13:19
On a monthly basis the JCI Southampton team organise and run a variety of training events for the city's young professionals. On the 15th May at the Costa Academy in Southampton High Street, members and non-members were invited to attend our latest training event entitled "Getting Your Perfect Job & Interview Techniques".
This training event was run by local award-winning recruitment firm Future Employment. Alicia Lidell and Frank Canonico, both experienced recruitment professionals, kindly took the time to impart their knowledge and experience to JCI Southampton members throughout the 90-minute event. Frank and Alicia focused on key areas throughout the evening including writing and developing your CV, the job application process and interview techniques.
CVs and the Application Process
Alicia described and demonstrated a CV template that outlined the key information employers look for and a simple structure for our guests to follow and apply to there own Curriculum Vitaes. She went into depth about the information you need to include, the best way to display it and the common faux pas candidates fall into when creating their CVs. After this initial demonstration she moved onto the topic that was most commented on and sought after - how do I get my CV in front of employers? This is the task that most find the hardest in such challenging times and here are Alicia's top tips to get your CV out there:
- Use jobs boards and online recruitment portals such as fish4jobs.com and Monstor.com
- Get your CV into recruitment agencies
- Network with your friends and peers to identify potential job opportunities
- Be persistent and resilient
- Think outside the box, Billboards, Video CVs - anything at all that will help you stand out.
Frank led this section and immediately started to ask everyone in the group about their experiences and what they thought were the most important things to do at interviews. The obvious things such as appearance, turning up on time, firm handshake and being polite and respectful all came up immediately. However, the main thing that really stood out was that the guests really wanted to ask Frank how they could best communicate to an employer their skills and attributes. Interviews are nerve-racking and daunting, and many struggle to come across with confidence and fluency. Frank recommended a few simple ways to help bridge this common problem:
1. Take a notepad into interview with you. Firstly, you can have questions written down for the employer - this will allow you to show you're prepared and are interested to find out more about the role. Secondly, it will allow you to take down notes and refer to examples you have already prepared on likely questions.
2. If they offer you a drink, use it to your advantage! If an interviewer throws you a hard question, or you need to think about it, by taking a drink you can pause and take a few seconds longer to come back with that perfect answer.
The one thing that really struck me about the whole training event was how interactive and inclusive Alicia and Frank made it. At all times they asked the guests to contribute with their individual experiences, questions and thought processes to ensure all the guests got as much out of the event as possible. This made for a really relaxed and informal atmosphere for a subject that can be quite rigid and boring.
The event was extremely well attended and the majority of our guests were young unemployed candidates looking for help and advice to get them into work. Guests enjoyed Domino's pizza and free refreshments throughout the event to ensure no-one went hungry.
I must say I was very impressed to witness the positive impact that JCI Southampton is having on young people in the city through the training events we run. Overall, the event was a great success - it was great fun, very informative and helped achieve JCI Southampton's goals of supporting the city's young people and having a positive impact on the wider community.
Our next training event is on the 12th June, at the Costa Academy in Southampton. Former JCI Portsmouth President Jasmine Lambert will be discussing "How To Protect Your Wealth". Back by popular demand the event is guaranteed to be great fun, very informative and will open your eyes to the world of investments and financial planning!
Josh Williams, Training & Events Director
Inspiring Action: Give & Gain Day in Southampton
by Drew Charman on May 24, 2013 09:00
On Friday 17th May James Lambert, our 2013 Community Director, took part in the national Give & Gain Day with some of his colleagues from leading accountancy firm Grant Thornton LLP. The project involved improving one of the playgrounds at St Mark's Primary School in Shirley, Southampton to make it an area that could be used as an outdoor classroom space.
James wanted to share his experience of completing voluntary work in the local community......
"Give & Gain Day involves over 12,000 business volunteers, 300 companies, giving over 96,000 hours volunteering (worth over £1.5 million), all of which helps hundreds of thousands of people across UK communities. All on one day!
My employer, Grant Thornton, is a proud supporter of the national Give & Gain Day organised by Business in the Community. This year, the selected project was to go into St Mark's Primary School in Shirley to renovate a playground with another local company, Arqiva. I was looking at ways to make a difference in my local area and was keen to get involved.
Busy painting the bus for the passengers to board
Whilst the meeting inspired us we were also daunted by the scale of the task ahead, but quickly rose to the challenge of designing the different areas which involved close liaison between Grant Thornton, Arqiva and the school to ensure that our ideas would work. The final design was to create an opportunity to role-play on a journey from the school to the Isle of Wight - Grant Thornton's part included waiting at the bus-stop, catching the bus to the ferry terminal and buying a ticket to board the ferry to the Isle of Wight. Students could then use the area to measure the height of the people, work out the size of suitcases and use a ferry timetable to plan a journey.
The completed map to show the journey from Southampton to the Isle of Wight
We needed to raise cash to buy paint to decorate an external wall and a shed to be our ticket office. Fortunately, through fundraising in the office (cake sales, a raffle and a 'guess the number of sweets in a jar' competition) & also through the generosity of Grant Thornton, Wickes and CLC Paints, we had enough money to buy all of the necessary items.
In the week leading up to the big day we were worried about the weather, but fortunately it stayed dry all day. We managed to paint all of our area, put together the new ticket office and even had time to eat the odd biscuit or 3!
We definitely wouldn’t have achieved what we did without working as a team under the leadership of Haley Kitchen who did a great job in getting us all pulling in the same direction.
The highlight for me was definitely seeing the delighted faces of the Head Teacher and the children. Definitely a worthwhile experience and I look forward to next year's project and would highly recommend you take part next year."
The passengers are ready to board the bus at Southampton
If you would like to help the JCI Southampton team complete other examples of voluntary work in your local community, or have an idea for a project, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC Radio Solent Community Chest
by Michael Steel on May 10, 2013 20:34
Today I'm extremely proud to announce that JCI Southampton was awarded £350.00 from the BBC Radio Solent Community Chest! The Community Chest is a weekly announcement by BBC Radio Solent where they award three local non-profit organisations a share of £1,000. On Thursday 9th May, myself and our Deputy President, Ryan Slaughter, appeared on the Katie Martin show to speak about how the money would be used within JCI Southampton to benefit young people in the local area, aiding in their personal & professional development.
JCI Southampton prides itself on being the most innovative chamber in the UK - and this money will be used to promote our chamber and ensure as many young people in the city get to hear about us... Watch this space!
Community Action in 2013
by Drew Charman on April 24, 2013 15:17
James Lambert, 2013 Community Director for JCI Southampton, shares his goals for the rest of the year:
"Since taking over as 2013 Communtiy Director my first priority has been to raise awareness of World Malaria Day which happens annually on 25th April. JCI is a proud sponsor of "Nothing But Nets" (visit www.jcinothingbutnets.com for more info) which is a global charity focused on providing mosquito nets to areas most affected by malaria.
One mosquito net can save up to 4 lives and JCI UK is aiming to save 1800 lives by buying 450 nets in 2013. One net costs $10 which works out about £6.50 (less than 2 pints of beer!). In Southampton we are keen to play a part in raising awareness of how parts of the world are affected by malaria and also to make a significant difference to a community by raising funds to buy 50 nets.
Any donation, no matter how big or small, will have a dramatic impact on the life expectancy in some of the poorest parts of the world. To donate please go to www.crowdrise.com/jciunitedkingdom/fundraiser/JCISouthampton
In addition to time spent in relation to World Malaria Day I have also started planning other fundraising events to raise money and awareness for JCI Southampton's 2013 charity partner which is the Southampton Hospital Charity - our particular fundraising focus is to help the Cystic Fibrosis Ward of Southampton General Hospital. Please check our Events page or our Facebook page regularly for details of forthcoming events."