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3rd Aug, 2016

New Intern on the Block: Off the Block
by on August 3, 2016 13:54


And this is it. 4 weeks later and it's all over. 4 weeks of social media, CMS and list making, and now its back to being a student. Here we are.

It's not been what I expected. But then again, what right-minded 21 year old intern would expect to be welcomed so warmly and with so much trust. I certainly didn't anticipate the crash course in marketing that I've been given (though I'm not sure the Boston Matrix and the 7Ps are going to stay in my head). And most of all, I didn't expect to be leaving with this sense of accomplishment. I didn't think I'd be leaving and being able to look back on the website or the facebook or the eventbrite and say "I did that. I wrote that". I've learnt a lot. I've done a lot. I've met a lot of really great people. And I've had the best time.

Since I last wrote, I've been focusing on the new membership benefits package, the bid for national convention, and sourcing donations for the Gala Dinner. I've been sending a lot of emails. A lot. Like, so many. And I have been overwhelmed by the support that JCI gets from the local business community. A lot of the great work we do, be it training, networking or community, we couldn't really do without their help. Also Google. Google has been a godsend.

The strange thing is, in true "life-changing moment" style, I'm not really leaving. Sure, I'm not going to be a member of JCI Southampton, and I'm not going to be in the Kaplan office looking for local independent restaurants and sourcing JCI flags, but as I said last time I'm still a member. Come September I'll be with JCI London, and later this month I'll be going to LEAP for the first time. Come October I'll be back for the annual Gala Dinner (because after writing about it for 4 weeks solid I couldn't exactly miss it). If you're headed to any of these, look out for the girl with a massive grin on her face. That will be me. Please say hi.

So, to anyone who I've met while on socials: it was great to meet you, sorry for being a massive nerd. To the guys at Kaplan: thanks for putting up with me, you guys make the best tea. To Celestine: thanks for taking the chance on me, I hope I've made you proud. To my parents: yes I'm sorry I'm coming home now.

It's been a dream JCI Southampton. I'll see you soon.

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26th Jul, 2016

The half way point: 2 weeks in. How have they gone so quickly? Two cups of tea down, half way through my to-do list. I've had a busy two weeks. Not only have I been working in the office on all things marketing related, but I have also been out and about on socials and to meetings, meeting professionals, fellow Jaycees and Senators alike.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

Last Tuesday, I was given the privilege of attending the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Southampton Business Board (long name, I know). As part of JCI's agreement with the International Chamber of Commerce, every local branch JCI is entitled work alongside their local Chamber of Commerce. For us, that means getting a seat where other business owners would have had to be members. It's a big honour, and despite not entirely knowing what was going on (it was 8am, forgive me for not being entirely awake) it was an interesting learning experience none-the-less.


JCI Winchester

That Thursday, Celestine, Drew and I went on a little road trip over to Winchester, where work is underway to set up a new Chamber. It was a fun, informal meeting where members of JCI Southampton talked to people who might be interested in setting up their own Chamber and generally networked. We drank, we laughed, it was a nice night all around. Thanks so much to Luke and James for organising such a productive evening and we look forward to hearing more about JCI Winchester soon.

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The British Senate

On the Friday, I had perhaps my favourite social to date. The British Senate were on their weekend trip to the city and we joined them for dinner at the Dancing Man Brewery. One thing I'll say: Senators are wild. These people are some of the most interesting, fun, and genuinely kind people I have ever met. I was given a guided tour of Southampton as we walked them from the hotel to the pub, was invited to a gin tasting session the next day, met the most well behaved Springer Spaniel to ever have existed, heard so so SO many stories of "the old days" (funnily enough, in most of these stories I hadn't even been born yet), and generally chatted to a fantastic group of people. Also I got pie and gravy which, as a Northerner, is very difficult to come by in Southampton unless you know where to go. A wonderful night all around, and I can't wait to meet up with them again soon.

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Two weeks ago, I don't think I could have imagined where I'd be now. I probably wouldn't have thought it was possible to become so passionate about something in such a short space of time. I said I'd hold off on buying my membership until I moved to London in September. I was wrong. I set up payment this morning, I've been telling everyone I know to sign up, and I've set my sights on National Convention 2016. I still have two weeks left. I wonder what will happen next?

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19th Jul, 2016

by on July 19, 2016 09:44



Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be introducing you to our council members! This time, we're speaking to our Local President, Celestine Onomo

Council team » 12087089_908124182589794_3302963158041519210_o.jpgWhich chamber are you a member of? Southampton

How long have you been a JCI member? 19 months

What made you join? I heard about JCI when I was at University and was encouraged by lecturer and the employability to join to broaden my network. I also wanted to gain new skills and meet new people.

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why? Without any hesitation, JCI European Conference. My answer would probably have been different a few months back but now that I had a taste I can’t get enough. The European convention was the place to be with people coming from all around Europe and the world, lot of knowledge exchange and ways to push yourself, meeting old friends and making some more and amazing parties.

Had JCI presentted any unusual/interesting opportunities? Too many! The most recent one was my invitation to the American Embassy to celebrate 240th US Independence. The opportunity was given to JCI members to join a program for Young Leaders in the UK.

What is your job/career/profession/business? I’m an E-commerce & CRM Executive Northern Europe & MEA

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business? Yes, by becoming last year Marketing Director for JCI I was able to learn new things that I put in practice at work such as HTLM..I do love HTML now..

Who is a leader you admire? My brother!A famous one..Nelson Mandela!

What is your proudest achievement? Being the youngest permanent member of the whole EMEA Marketing Team

If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see? Cheese..French cliché

What is a good weekend to you? 1 day out, 1 day In

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done! Dangerous: I stood up in front of a crowd of German people during France – Germany a few weeks back singing the French Germany. Inspiring: I’m doing mentorship with students to help them in the future careers. Crazy: Everyone knows that I don’t do crazy things or perhaps I will just keep quiet on that one. Unusual: I travel with two luggages: One for my shoes, one for my clothes. Apparently, it’s not common so I guess it fits the unusual box.

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18th Jul, 2016

by on July 18, 2016 08:00



Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be introducing you to our council members! This time, we're speaking to our International Director, Sophie Delaporte.

Blog » President's Updates » Sophie in Krotrijk.jpgWhich chamber are you a member of? Southampton

How long have you been a JCI member? I’ve been a member since March 2015

What made you join? Friends, the opportunity to meet new people and take part in activities I don’t do at work

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why? I attended in September 2015 the JCI Malta Small Talk which aimed to invest in intercultural dialogue. It was a life changing experience. We met JCI members from Malta, Italy, Estonia, Jordon and Morocco. We spent a week in Malta to discuss the opportunities and challenges of intercultural societies, how to deal with prejudice and discrimination. We met politicians and NGOs to discuss the migration crisis and we also met migrants. This experience really changed my vision of the world and our society. I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot from it. e

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities? The JCI Malta Small Talk project has been my best experience so far but I have had a lot of fantastic opportunities since I joined JCI. We have twinned with JCI Kortrijk, I have attended National Convention in Barnsley and took part in English Debating, I was part of the JCI UK French Debating team at European Convention in Tampere this year, I have made friends with people from all over the world, I graduated from LEAP, Public Speaking and National Training Academies. So far JCI has provided with amazing professional and personal development opportunities.

What is your job/career/profession/business? I am the Marketing and Communications Manager at Union Southampton (the University of Southampton Students’ Union)

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business? YES!

Which leader do you admire? My dad. He’s got a great career, he is very experienced and knowledgeable in management and in business at national and international level and I know I can count of him for advice and support. But if I had to pick someone more famous, I’d say Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook.

What is your proudest achievement? I don’t really know… Moving to the UK maybe?

If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see? A bottle of Martini

What is a good weekend to you? Going for a run, spend time outside (in the rare occasions when it gets sunny and warm), going out with friends and going shopping. I like the JCI training weekends too, they are tiring but totally worth it. But because the last couple of months have been so hectic, I’d probably say a weekend when I can sleep at least 10 hours (each night!).

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done! Punting at JCI South SummerFest in Cambridge last year. I thought we’d never make it back in one piece.

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13th Jul, 2016

by on July 13, 2016 09:33



Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be introducing you to our council members! This time, we're speaking to our Fundraising Director Natalie Hutchins.

Council team » Nathalie.PNG

Which chamber are you a member of? Southampton

How long have you been a JCI member? 1 year

What made you join? I wanted the opportunity to meet new people and network with other young professionals in Southampton

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why? I really enjoyed the wine tasting we did in March. We sampled some fantastic wines with some delicious food! It was perfect!

Had JCI presentted any unusual/interesting opportunities? Yes, it has opened up doors for me professionally, and it has enabled me to develop more relationships with key people in Southampton which is a huge part of my every day job. It has also enabled me to organise some fantastic and different events to entice members and non-members to come along and find out more about JCI and support our nominated charity.

What is your job/career/profession/business? I am a fundraiser for No Limits; a youth, information, advice and counselling charity based in Southampton and supporting around 5,500 young people a year!

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business? It has had a massive impact on my job. I have developed relationships with so many new people across Southampton which has ultimately benefited our charity. In addition to this, JCI themselves have been working hard to fundraise for us all year through various events and even taking on running challenges such as the APB 10k and half marathon!

Who is a leader you admire? My Father. I worked for him for a couple of years when I was just starting out and his ability to juggle the stress of running a business and supporting all of his employees fairly blew me away. He was the kind of leader who was firm but fair, honest and cared about his employees' welfare- and sometimes if we were lucky he brought us muffins!

What is your proudest achievement? I'm pretty sure this will happen later this year when my baby is due!

If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see? Lots of fruit, greek yogurt, salad, milk, butter, and a ridiculous number of opened jars that have only been used once! If my husband hasn't eaten them all there might be some kit kats in there too!

What is a good weekend to you? Saturday morning I love doing my gym classes- Body Pump followed by Body Attack. Then I love to go to the market in Lymington and look at all the lovely food and stuff they have on offer! Food is a massive part of my weekend: I love cooking and eating out so either having family over and cooking for them or going out for a nice meal would be perfect! Sunday are for lazing so chilling out watching a film if it's raining but if the weather is nice then walking into our local town, having a coffee and sitting in the sunshine.

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done! I worked on cruise ships for 4 years and I did some pretty unusual stuff then, including visiting the most northern and the most southern post offices in the world in the space of six months (Svalbard and Ushuaia).

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13th Jul, 2016

New Intern on the Block
by on July 13, 2016 07:32


New Intern on the Block

11th of July, 8.30am. Cut to me standing outside Broadcasting House Southampton and looking incredibly lost. Celestine is getting out of a car, ready to show me in to the office I'll be working in for the next month. I'm Ruthie, and for the next 4 weeks I'll be working as a marketing intern for JCI Southampton.

What does this mean? Well, unlike my mother's suggestion of "filing, photocopying and stapling" (thanks Mum), it means that for the next couple of weeks most online content (be it twitter, blogposts or events) will probably be at least posted by me. Also lots of cups of tea. The office has a lot of teachers. Supply and demand really. If I'm honest, I wasn't really expecting this much when I applied. I too imagined a lot of grunt work and sitting in the back of meetings and generally not doing very much of consequence. Cue the shock when Celestine tells me that I will be running most of these channels on my own back, as well as getting to attend lots of different meetings and socials. I might be sat in the back, but I'm still excited to get to watch what happens at these kind of events. These kind of opportunities are incredible for a recent Philosophy and Politics graduate like me and I can't wait to see what I'll learn while I'm over here.

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I don't know what I was really expecting out of JCI as an organisation but whatever it was, I was wrong. After only really being part of this community for a couple of days I'm already incredibly passionate about the ideals and opportunities it wants to support. Young people are, as much as it is cliché to say it, our future and to be able to provide us with these chances for us to train and travel the world and meet people just like us is all part of setting us up for bigger and better things than our parents. Again, at risk of becoming a walking parody of every self-help book known to man, "Be the change you wish to see in the world". JCI really is one of the best ways to help you do this. I think it's safe to say that I will be becoming a full member as soon as I can!

It's going to be an exciting month working here and I can't wait for all the challenges and opportunities I'll be facing over the next four weeks. If there's one thing for sure, it's that I imagine JCI is going to become a big part of my life from now on!

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12th Jul, 2016

by on July 12, 2016 10:57



Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be introducing you to our council members! This time, we're speaking to our Finance Director Ritchie Mazavinga.

Blog » RItchie meet the members.jpgWhich chamber are you a member of? Southampton

How long have you been a JCI member? 1 year

What made you join? Friends

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why? It has to be the Malta Multicutural Dialogue and Diversity Conference

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities? That particular trip to Malta and the massive educational platform that it entails

What is your job/career/profession/business? Property

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business? YES!

Which leader do you admire? It's a three way tie between Mandela, Obama and Richard Branson.

What is your proudest achievement? I'd have to say it was starting up my own company

If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see? Meat. Just meat. 

What is a good weekend to you? Arsenal and Southampton winning their matches after an amazing business week!

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done! Two things come to mind: being in a lion enclosure with young lions and being in very close proximity to elephants

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28th Feb, 2016

JCI Southampton Open Night & Speed Networking Event by Carl
by Celestine Onomo on February 28, 2016 15:52


Blog » IMG_5343.jpg             Blog » IMG_5344.jpg

Working for Intech Telecom, a local telecommunications company I am no stranger to networking.

For this reason I chose to attend the JCI Southampton open night networking event at Boulangerie Victor Hugo coffee shop in January located on the High Street in Southampton, with a view to build up my business contacts and to socialise with people on the same wave length.

Must say the event was well organised and I was warmly welcomed into a great atmosphere full of likeminded people. Coffee was good too!

They say first impressions count and the organisers for JCI Southampton achieved this exceptionally. 

This spurred me on to sign up, seemed a no brainer and have already built up a few contacts. Since then have attended a speed networking event, again met some interesting people, particularly the Operations Director for Costa Coffee. Have I mentioned I like / love coffee J

Big thank you to Célestine Onomo and Natalie Hutchins for organising the events and for making me feel welcomed. Very proud to now be a JCI Southampton member, I have the badge to prove it! Looking forward to the wine tasting event on 17th March and the many more networking events to come.




Carl Thompson - Operations Director, Intech Telecom

Blog » INTECH Master.jpg

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21st Sep, 2012


Why I Joined JCI - Drew Charman


It's Day 5 of JCI Membership Impact Week and I was asked by the JCI UK team to share my thoughts on why I joined the organisation & also provide some insight into the daily activities of a local chamber president.


Tell us about a typical day in the life of a local chamber president
As a Local President it's my job to develop & oversee the strategic and day-to-day management of my Local Chamber. I'm not sure there is such a thing as a typical day for a Local President as most JCI activities are done in an out-of-hours capacity meaning that it can be considered a second job which you complete alongside your normal work - usually when you get home.

My day can include anything from running dinner training events, networking with members & other young business people, completing charity fundraising & hands-on community work or chairing JCI Southampton Council meetings helping my team to come up with a timetable of great events & initiatives that benefit the local membership in order to provide them with a broad portfolio of activities that cover the 5 element of JCI life: Community, Training, Business, National/International &, of course, Social.

Another function of being a Local President is being the public face of the Chamber. This can include working with local business leaders, appearing on local media or attending key National and International events.

What has been your proudest moment as president to date?
I think there are two moments that stand out during my time as Local President.

The first was winning the Best President (25-50 members) Award at last year's JCI UK National Convention. It was great to be recognised by my JCI peers for not just my efforts as Local President but also those of the chamber as a whole - afterall, the President is only ever as good as the team he/she leads. I viewed this award as recognition of the collective efforts & hard work of the great team of people I worked with in 2011 & the broad programme of events that our membership enjoyed throughout the year.

The second was the launch of the Costa Academy in July this year. The Academy is a £29,000 joint project between JCI Southampton & Costa Coffee - the building of a dedicated training centre creating a host of apprenticeships & training opportunities within Costa for young people who may have exited secondary education without the required qualifications needed to gain employment. Not only does the Academy help employers to develop young people within the city, but the new venue also provides a meeting & training room for other local community organisations & clubs to utilise. All apprentices coming through the academy have the opportunity to join JCI through a funding scheme - allowing them to access the wide network of young professional members and business partner organisations both in Southampton and across the UK. This was a major initiative for JCI Southampton & the first of its type across JCI UK - something myself & my team hope other chambers will start replicating across the country with other partner organisations.

Has JCI presented any unusual or unexpected opportunities?
Aside from the opportunity to travel to foreign climes & network with up to 5,000 JCI members from across the world at international conferences, my time at JCI has also presented a few opportunities that might not pop up in day-to-day life. I often get asked by local media to take part in broadcasts to discuss how JCI & other similar organisations can benefit young professionals in the development of their careers. This has provided a great opportunity for me to spread the word about the fantastic work we do within JCI & the brilliant people that make it all happen.

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that has benefited your career?
I recently made it onto my company's brand new Management Talent Development programme which has been designed to develop individuals that are seen as high performers with great potential to be best placed to become the company's future leaders. The selection process was tough & very competitive with many of those employees eligible to apply going for just a few available spaces. After making it through the initial application round I had to complete a presentation to 3 members of the senior management team & then face a rigorous panel interview.

There's no doubt that my time at JCI, including my two years as Local President, helped me to secure a place on the programme. I included JCI experiences in my presentation & used examples in answers to one or two of the interview questions. The structured feedback I received from the Senior Management team indicated that they recognised the impact JCI had had on shaping the development of my career and my aspirations & how being a JCI member had actively helped prepare me for my presentation & interview.

How would you describe JCI to someone who has never heard of it before?
I would describe JCI as a fantastic worldwide organisation for the networking & personal development of young professionals & entrepreneurs with a key focus on community action. Joining the organisation & becoming an active member is a great way to expand your professional network, gain access to both personal & professional development opportunities, contribute to your local community through charitable fundraising & hands-on work, and make great lifelong friends whilst doing so. It's one of the best things I've ever done & my life quite simply wouldn't be the same without it!


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