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4th Sep, 2016

At the end of July, I was fortunate enough to attend the JCI European Academy (EA) which is a unique leadership training programme hosted by JCI Goteborg for Jaycees aspiring to leadership positions in their chamber or beyond.

Apart from knowing that I wanted to develop my leadership skills and network, I didn’t know what to expect from the Academy. I’m a relative new Jaycee – I joined in December last year and due to circumstance I ended up becoming London International Director in May (which goes to show that you don’t have to be a long-term member to get involved!). EA was also my first international JCI event. So before I set off for Sweden, I spoke to a couple of London Jaycees who had attended in previous years. They both told me two things: (1) “It’s a once it a lifetime experience, you’ll have a fantastic time” and (2) “make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you head off!”. I couldn’t sum it up better!

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The Academy is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. The training and trainers are great, and I left pumped with enthusiasm, inspiration and ideas not only for my JCI work but for my career and personal life as well. I also made friends for life rather than just an expanded network – I mean the type of friends that even after long periods without contact the fondness remains. The sense of community, as cheesy as it sounds, is inspirational and is a great reminder of the impact JCI has in creating positive change.

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However, what I got out of EA most is greater self-awareness and confidence. I have a better understanding of my strengths, weaknesses and preferences, and how to use them to create positive change at JCI, at work and at home. I can also better recognise these qualities in others. This in turn has made me a more decisive and assured person. I feel ready to tackle new challenges outside of my comfort zone which I was ‘umming and ahhing’ about before.

I would recommend EA to anyone looking not only for great training but personal challenge as well. It is an intense programme, an emotional rollercoaster at times, and an open mind is a must. But like all good things, you get out what you put in. So throw yourself in wholeheartedly, you will not regret it!

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Written by Katie Dash, JCI London International Director 2016



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30th Aug, 2016

What an experience - JCI European Academy 2016
by Rafael Tselikas on August 30, 2016 23:27


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As a Jaycee, you may be familiar with a lot of interesting international and training events. This year I have been fortunate to join a few distinctive events, and European Academy is a highlight of the year for me. The Academy is for Jaycees who’re planning to be involved in the leadership team of their local chapters. And I have to say “The Academy is amazing!”

Imaging yourself going to a far way land (in the middle of nowhere). You don't know what would happen. You’re surrounded by a lot of strangers from different nationalities. However, everything changes after 4 days. You make friends with Jaycees from all around Europe. You go through a lot together with your friends, including happy and challenging times. You all grow as better individuals!

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As Anais Nin said, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born”. My world has been extended since the Academy! I’ve learnt so much from it. I learnt about myself, about others and how to work with them as a team. I start to look at things from different perspectives. Even now, when I’m back to my normal life, I still can recall great lessons from the Academy.

For me, the Academy played as an important bridge connecting us together. I know more about other chapters and their great works which contributes to building a better society. It makes me believing more in our organization. We’re actually making a difference. You can watch the below showing an example about the positive impact JCI creates.

Gandhi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. I believe that we’re born to make something in this world. As an individual, it may be like a drop into the ocean. However, with JCI we can make it happen. If you ever wonder why we’re doing what we’ve been doing, the below video should remind you about it J. By making a difference with JCI, we receive happiness, we feel the love, and friendship which money can’t buy! Be a proud Jaycee everyone!

Link to pictures

Written by Trang Tran, JCI London Strategic Partnerships Director 2016

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21st Jul, 2014

Take the lead, have fun and achieve!
by Soraya Bowen on July 21, 2014 11:17


By Adeola Akintimehin

I'm on my way home after one of my most interesting evenings I have had in JCI, I'm not sure how Soraya and Rafael managed to fit everything into the session but it was a fantastic event.

In traditional JCI London style the event was both educational and interactive The event began with an introduction to JCI, its history, its core beliefs and some interesting facts. I was amazed to find out JCI has over 200,00 members in over 100 countries.


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Rafael Tselikas JCI London Training Director

Next up Soraya the current JCI London Deputy President told us her story. She has had the opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, travel to different countries and meet Tim Campbell(MBE) the first winner of the TV show The Apprentice.


Then came the interactive part, a series of leadership quotes were placed all around the room and we were asked to stand next to one we felt most defined our idea of good leadership, all the quotes were impressive but we you could only choose one and then share with the group our thoughts and experiences on leadership.

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Andy sharing his leadership thoughts

Finally we went thru all the various positions on the partnership which all members will be encouraged to put themselves forward for when the board elections come up later this year. You will be interested to know that you don't necessarily need to have the experience for a particular partnership role just a passion for whatever it is you want to do.
Don't despair if you couldn't make it to this event as this is the first of a series of events covering the leadership roles in JCI London. Keep your eyes open for more events coming up soon, where you can learn all about how JCI London can help you develop your leadership skills

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26th Jul, 2012

Public Speaking Club
by Mehnaz Siddiqui on July 26, 2012 14:03


"There have always been great public speakers and great public speeches in our societies – from the great Greek and Latin philosophers to the modern political activists and visionaries. And despite the fact that ideas and styles may have changed in time, there has always been one common ground – the audience and the need to address the audience in an inspiring, convincing way that can touch them and make them share our ideas in order to make a change for the better around us.

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And how can we actually do that? On Wednesday evening, one of the greatest public speakers in the UK Simon Bucknall shared his ideas in a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. All presentations, no matter the topic, are in fact conversations between you, the speaker, and your audience, Simon told us. And the more you shift towards your audience looked upon as an interlocutor, the better.

And what exactly does your audience need? Well, they need good rapport, a roadmap to see where you take them and most importantly they need to see a purpose, a goal. Once the public speaker manages to build these three elements, the road to success is almost guaranteed.

However, what I do believe is missing from this triangle is its very centre, which is the honest belief and passion for what you are putting across – and on Wednesday 18th July at the London Chamber of Commerce, I could see passionate speakers talking from their hearts about the things that touched their lives in such meaningful ways

Thank you so much for sharing! Thank you so much for the opportunity, JCI London Training Team!

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By Roxana Pascariu

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24th May, 2012

'Financial Fitness' with Vivi Friedgut of Blackbullion
by Simon James Bucknall on May 24, 2012 10:49


JCI London members were treated to some expert advice on personal finance, recently, by guest speaker Vivi Friedgut of Blackbullion. Previously in Private Banking, vivi has expertise managing the wealth of some of the world's wealthiest people. She has now turned her hand to promoting greater financial literacy among young people in the UK. In the current economic climate, what hotter topic could there be than managing personal finance?

Click below to view a brief video interview with Vivi, conducted by JCI London President, Simon Bucknall.

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4th May, 2012

Public Speaking Club
by Mehnaz Siddiqui on May 4, 2012 09:15


A couple of years ago, I heard that the thought of speaking in public are amongst the top fears for humans, just right after death... that is pretty telling and this is one of the reasons why I decided to do something to improve that skill.

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Many of us probably have countless experiences of preparing an executive report and having to get up in front of our colleagues or friends, present our ideas and findings, often with PowerPoint slides, wishing to be somewhere else... and simply hoping to get to the end of the presentation without losing anyone, no one sleeping or snoring, asking the wrong question or simply stating 'they heard it all before and the presentation was useless'... Sound familiar?

Now, who also recalls the scene with Colin Firth in the King's Speech, when his mentor leaves him alone in front of the radio microphone to deliver his crucial message to the nation and the King is utterly incapable of muttering a single word for a few seconds, yet the whole nation was waiting for the King to speak and guide them through these difficult times? I am sure many of us felt for this monarch and were somewhat relieved we were not in his position, although one can recall being totally petrified at the beginning of his/her speech during the latest company meeting.

Of course, very few of us have the good fortune of having a personal coach or mentor like the King. However, the good news is the solution is one click away: many of us have access to free or very affordable JCI events like the public speaking event on Wednesday 26th April that could help us practice and improve without the fear of appearing ridiculous in front of our peers and quite frankly too shy to even try. They say the first step is the hardest and it is also true for public speaking. Signing up and attending your first event takes a bit of an effort but I promise everything after that is worth your initial worry and personally rewarding.

There is a key element of the Public Speaking Club: practicing in a safe environment. By safe, I mean the physical environment (yes the London Chamber of Commerce is a good venue for anyone new in the city and to the JCI organisation) and also the audience: knowing that almost everyone was there for the same purpose, albeit not at the same starting point, is quite reassuring. You would think two hours for a first meeting is quite a lot but time flies quickly and the session was very interactive. You get to meet and learn from people with different backgrounds and cultures. Best of all, we had the benefit of meeting a professional speaker, JCI London President Simon Bucknall.

Simon provided us with useful tips and advice. So for your next meeting (yes I am sure more of us will take the opportunity to join the meeting next time), remember to focus on the audience, not you, it is all about them. If you are attending as an observer, you may be asked to give some feedback so keep these acronyms in mind: "C.R.C." , Commend, Recommend and Commend again.

As Mihai said while mentioning 'the richest man in Babylon':  don't wait, don't put it off and start today, even with a small step. If you are serious about improving this essential communication skill, come to the next meeting on 30th May and check out the Toastmasters International website to practice at a club in the meantime.

Go on, click on the link and start your journey to a better communication!'

Written by Sandra Goetz



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24th Apr, 2012

Personal Branding from the Inside Out Workshop
by Mehnaz Siddiqui on April 24, 2012 11:04


Personal Branding from the Inside Out Workshop

Written by Trang Tran, JCI London member 

JCI events always provide me with a lot of essential knowledge and skills for my work. In the latest event, it was really useful for me and other participants to learn about Personal Branding. The event was co-presented by two well-known speakers - Malcolm Levene and Jorgen Sundberg. Hence, it did draw a lot of attention from both JCI members and external ones.

The seminar room was full of people when I arrived. It was started by the introduction of Malcolm and Jorgen about their experience. I was really impressed when listening to their broad and wide experience. Malcolm - a previous Personal Branding coach to Tony Blair and adviser to the Head of Production at the White House - has been a Personal Branding coach for 20 years. At the same time, Jorgen - a social media and branding specialist - helps position people for career and business success via Outer Personal Branding. With such a deep experience, they gave us a very profound picture of personal branding and practical suggestions on how to build our own brands.

The event was integrated with many interactive activities which enabled us to develop and position ourselves on our own brands. In the first session, we started by exploring structures and definition of Personal Branding Statement which represent ourselves in the public. Then Malcolm went through all inner and outer brands to make us understand the important components of our reputation. Followed up in the second session, Jorgen gave advice on how to use social media to develop and position the brand, specifically on Twitter and Linkedin. Some measurement tools of personal brands were also recommended. The talk was very well-structured, allowing us to easily remember all the necessary tactics and put them into practise right away. Although it was only for 2 hours I did learn a lot about my personal brand, and I believe most of us there did come up with our own personal branding statements in the end.  Finally, the most important thing I learnt from Malcolm and Jorgen is: "Be Yourself - everyone else is already taken"

Some participants also shared their thoughts about the Personal Branding event:

Rafael (Development Manager, MKG Hospitality): "It was a very interesting presentation with a lot of food for thoughts. It made me think that maybe it is useful for an individual to do as some companies do to build a brand. I think what they said about the fact that if we don't build a brand for ourselves the world will build it for us is true. It encouraged me to go and read some books about EQ. It encouraged me as well to get more involved in social media like for example Google + and Tweeter".

Alexandra (freelancer): "Great presentation, very informative and thorough, left me with the idea that if you want to succeed- become a brand manager of yourself."

For those who attended the event, you can download their presentation here:

If you have missed the event, no worries! Malcolm and Jorgen have their upcoming workshop listed at They also have a gift for JCI members. If you tap in the discount code 'jcilondon', you would get a 20% discount of the full price. You can't get much better than that!

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6th Mar, 2012

JCI UK Marketing Academy-part 2
by Soraya Bowen on March 6, 2012 19:35


Kathryn's story continue.......

Sunday morning at 9am isn’t a slot I would envy the speaker. I’d expected a slow, gentle start to the second day, to ease us in, but that’s not what we got. Local businesswoman, social media coach and motivational speaker Kym Hall, came and fired us up for the day in addition to delivering a fantastic training on harnessing the power of social media, focusing particularly on Twitter.  

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Social media session with local business women Social Media Kym

I’d always avoided it myself, uncertain about the platform’s etiquette or whether I would even have anything interesting to say. Kym talk about her tips and experiences was a real highlight of the weekend, leaving us all feeling energised, and me in particular inspired to start putting her advice into action. Although I’m still just a baby chick, my Twitter confidence is growing daily and I hope soon to spread my wings even further! Current JCI National President Solveig Malvik also very kindly came to train us on how to manage and edit the JCI website: a vital tool for any would-be local (or national) JCI Marketing Directors. The final session was on measuring the impact of your communications and marketing activities – after all, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The most important lesson I took away was to try things out, and if something’s not working, stop doing it. The more I thought about it on the way home, I realised this was good advice for life, not just for marketing!

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5th Mar, 2012

JCI UK Marketing Academy - part 1
by Soraya Bowen on March 5, 2012 13:06


Read Kathryn Kneller account on attending her first national training event:

Bright and early on the first sunny Saturday of spring, 19 JCI members from up and down the country met in Sheffield for the JCI Marketing Academy course. Some were already professional communicators; others had marketing roles within JCI; still others were entrepreneurs keen to improve their skills: all were keen to learn how to market our products, services and brands more successfully. The weekend agenda was jam-packed, and I’ll admit to having my doubts about whether such an ambitious schedule could do more than scratch the surface.

But the mix of classroom-based teaching, round-table discussions, and practical exercises over the weekend, led by JCI Marketing and Communications Directors Kate Senter and Claire Evans was incredibly effective. The first session, on generating effective PR, was full of useful tips and takeaways on subjects from writing style, to good photography, to cultivating relationships with journalists and editors. We learned how to write a press release which gets read, makes it onto the pages of the publications your target market is actually reading; and, crucially, which generates the kind of buzz you want.

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16th Nov, 2011

And the winner is...
by Sarah Beckwith on November 16, 2011 23:27


Improving confidence in presentation skills is one of the core opportunities on offer through JCI. And what better way to improve than to take part in the JCI London Public Speaking competition?

Blog » Training » Vamsi.jpgTonight we heard three JCI London members deliver 7 minute speeches on the topics of:

* How can JCI UK members prevent a reoccurrence of the riots we saw earlier this year?
* If I could meet one person from history it would be......
* Will the 2012 London Olympics be a positive thing for the whole of the UK?

Well done to Vamsi Majety, Sophie Gill and Alexandra Illsley, who each delivered a different, interesting and fun speech.

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Big thanks go to Training Director Saket Modi for organising the event, fellow judges Joe Dilger and Marco van den Heuvel and MC Simon Bucknall, who had also held a private masterclass for the participants last week.

And the winner is...Alexandra Illsley. Alex will now go on to compete in the JCI UK National Public Speaking Competition at the National Convention in Sheffield next weekend (there's still time to book if you want to come along for what promises to be a great weekend).

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