My first JCI Ireland National Convention

14 Oct 2021 President Ireland By President Ireland

The date oct. 15 - Oct. 17 marked my first experience of JCI’s national convention. My attention was first swayed towards the buildings and structure of the location, Cobh which is rich in its history and culture. I would say that was when I had the feeling that it would be a good weekend.

First day, a friday involved registration and a trip to cork city for the FBA awards. I had witnessed the due reward and accomplishments of different teams of people breaking barriers in their careers path and had the opportunity to network around with them. I also got to meet and take a photo with the mayor of Cork, Gillian Coughlan. The night ended off with a few more connections with other attendants of the national convention.

The next day carried the bulk of the convention and my day started off with attendance for the Tri-Nations Debating Championship. This was a fun event with each team working together to win over the judges scorecards. My favorite topic was the in-person vs online education debate because it dived into the problem most students have faced and also the debate involved some funny elements :).

Next up on the event list was JCI Tinder. Naturally I would have expected it to be a speed dating event but it turned out to be different. It was a form of speed networking where I had a one on one chat with different individuals and I had the privilege of learning remarkable things about the other participant. The event wasn’t what I had initially thought it would be but I enjoyed every minute of it, making good connections with other friends.

The next event was the spike island tour, where I really got to know a bit more about Cobh. One intriguing fact about Cobh is that it was the last stop for the Titanic ship. The tour involved going through a prison/army base that played a part in Ireland’s history. It showed the brutal experience prisoners had gone through and also some comedic events like when mothers of the prison rioters had to step in and calm a tense situation. The artifacts and sceneries were also top-tier, giving clear pictures of what actually transpired on the island, my favorite were the prisoner's paintings, which looked like something out of an art gallery.

The next stop after this was the Business Fireside Chat. This was really intriguing and focused on the discussion of remote work and how that affects the overall structure of the work-life balance system. It’s evident that the recent pandemic has changed how we work and live and this chat looked into what the best way forward would be so as to cater to the employers and employees needs.

The cream of the crop was the gala dinner. Participants of the convection came rocking the color green and all were looking stunning/dashing in their outfits. I would say it was at that point I knew I grossly underdressed, although that didn't matter because it didn't change how friendly people were. It was a great night involving awards, food and drinks. It was a beautiful night that kept me at attention for the reminder of the night.

The last day came along and it involved playing a rather interesting game and walking around the city of Cobh. My best moment of this was at the cathedral that stood tall and strong. Overall I would crown this convention as a memorable event, giving me the opportunity to meet up and connect with friends while also giving me a warm feeling that everyone should experience. I eagerly await the next convention :).