When I started my journey to Braunschweig two weeks ago I was not sure what to expect. I had heard many stories and great experiences from others at JCI but nothing really prepares you for the real thing until you actually take part.
Right from the start I met fabulous people. At the airport I met most of the delegation from Cambridge. It was an early start for all of us but we were all buzzing with energy! From the beginning I was impressed with the immaculate organisation of the conference. Everything was catered for – transport, food, drinks etc. Even if you felt you were lost (especially at the beginning) there was always someone from the Conference Organising Committee (COC) staff on hand to help you.
While going through the agenda before the EC I had decided to attend as many training courses possible, sprinkled with a few company visits to keep me busy; and the parties every night J .However, I would recommend any first timer to take part in the “First Timer” event at the start of any conference. It is a great starting point to understand how the conferences are structured and work and also guide you through the important parts of the agenda. It was also a platform to meet other people who are in the same boat and get introduced to Senators who have done it all and are there to help you get the best experience.
The training seminars available were varied and interesting (however dependent on trainer). Being able to learn and share experiences and best practices across Europe was very useful. You get many “aha” moments where you realize that there are other aspects you had not considered and enable you to think more broadly.
And finally the parties and UK delegation – the parties were fabulous. The locations were quirky, free-flow drinks and socializing with great people. A perfect end to each day! However, the highlight at each party was the UK delegation. We showed up in strength, stood out from the crowd and were the loudest and most cheeredJ Further, not to forget the galas and award ceremonies were very special – with one of our own winning the “Most outstanding new member” award.
Looking back it was a fantastic experience and I am really happy I took the opportunity to attend. You can only understand the international aspect and appeal once you attend an event like this. What stand out for me is the perfect organisation, the sponsorships and branding of JCI (something we should target in the UK) and the extraordinary people!
Categorised in: International
This post was written by makedo