Opportunity to Learn More About JCI

31 Dec 2022 President Ireland By President Ireland

My name is Pierre, and I joined the JCI Dublin branch in March of this year. I got involved first with JCI because I wanted to get back into debating and attended the European Debate Academy in Edinburgh in February and that was a great experience.
The National Convention last October was literally down the road from where I live in south Dublin, and it was a great opportunity for me to find out more about what JCI is, what it means to be a member of this international organisation and network with other members

The Friday was a nice opening event to meet the attendees of the Convention, and especially as I was a new member, it was a great opportunity to also meet other Dublin members. It was also great to catch up again with the JCI Scotland members and they got the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Irish culture by going to a local pub for the craic and ceol!
Saturday was a packed out day and starting for me with the Imposter Syndrome workshop. Imposter Syndrome is not something I’ve directly experienced but I could relate in some parts to how it can make you feel. The speaker was fantastic and helped explain the concepts in practical and accessible terms. It’s important that JCI holds these discussions as an organisation that seeks to lead and empower.
The keynote address by the JCI Europe VP Chris Beariswyl was the JCI 101 workshop for me to understand better want what is JCI and how you can get involved and make the most from your membership. The lesson I learnt from Chris is that it’s important to be open minded as you don’t know what path your membership may take you and the leadership roles that present itself in JCI.
The afternoon was a return to one of the reasons I got first into JCI - debating. This was a tri-nation debating championship between Ireland, Scotland and the UK. The debate is supposed to be light-hearted but nonetheless each nation wants to win the coveted trophy and have the bragging rights over each other. Ireland got a bye to the final and as part of the Irish contingent we end ed up facing Scotland. I may have been a bit rusty as I hadn’t debated for a while but gave it my best shot. Unfortunately, the result at the Award wasn’t in our favour and Scotland would take the bragging rights. 

I’m the type of person who would happily lend a hand at an event and not just turn up to have everything done for you and sail through the weekend. However, I didn’t think I would land myself with the role of co-MC of the Award that night along with Eileen, a JCI Cork member. Thankfully they had experience as I was quickly learning on the spot of what’s involved in a JCI Award ceremony. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and may open up a new opportunity for me if the Oscars ever come calling!
My overall impression of the Convention is that it was well organised, varied and packed with different things to do other than just sitting in workshops. I would encourage any member to take the opportunity to attend a Convention to get the full flavour of JCI and take the advantage of connecting with members from not just in Ireland, but across the world.