One of our new members, Jess, shares her experiences of going on a twinning weekend to Jci Kortrijk in Belgium for their 50th Anniversary celebration:
As a very new member of JCI Southampton, I jumped at the opportunity to go along to Belgium with Andrew and meet other JCI members outside of the U.K. I didn’t know what to expect or how the event would go but I was greeted with a warm welcome by everyone I had met in Kortrijk. We stayed with Jovis, a member of JCI Kortrijk, who kindly showed us around the local town and I was also introduced to the past president Stefan. I enjoyed this chance to talk to the previous president as he told us a lot about the way that JCI Kortrijk operates, it was nice to compare with Southampton and to find that it was very similar. We also discussed the ways in which both groups could expand and improve, being a student on the cusp of entering the working world, I wondered whether reaching out to the students in the local area could benefit numbers and JCI’s reach. I know this is something that Southampton is thinking about also.
The evening event started with arrival drinks and Andrew did a good job at greeting and introducing me to people that he recognised from a previous year and everyone was friendly and welcoming which resulted in a comfortable atmosphere. The food was excellent and the tables were big enough so that we were sharing with people we didn’t get the chance to speak to on arrival. I enjoyed the evening entertainment and was so pleasantly surprised by the kind hospitality we received from everyone we were meeting. I like to think that I have gained confidence in my socialising and networking skills whilst I was out there because knowing only three people forced me to reach out and meet others. Also, getting the opportunity to go to Belgium for the weekend was new and exciting as I had never been before and loved the fact that through my membership I was given the chance to do so.
Overall, I had a great weekend filled with good people and a great social opportunity! I’d like to thank Jovis for being an excellent and kind host and Andrew, Ed, and Gemma for making the weekend even more enjoyable.
This post was written by Zoe Toseland