In recent years, the rate of globalisation has rapidly progressed. For many, this means international travel is inevitable, whether for work, family, or leisure. When traveling to a new culture knowing a local person presentsmany benefits. It gives you someone to ask for a business contact, show you around, or simply to chat with over coffee. For JCI, developing an international network and opportunities is one of its four pillars.
Initially I was skeptical to accept the international span that JCI claimed. Truthfully speaking, I wondered how an organization of YOUNG professionals could accomplish so much in so many countries. After attending various JCI functions and personally meeting members from other countries, I can now say that JCI’s international reach is phenomenal.
If it is hard for you to accept this idea – as it was for me -let me share with you some of my firsthand experiences. After that I’ll explain some of the reasons why it’s matters. To put into perspective of how fast my viewpoint changed, everything I’m sharing happened within 6 weeks.
Below are the branches I personally interacted with
Belfast: Not long after working with JCI Dublin, a group of Dublin members attended JCI Belfast’s Social Weekend. The evening we were there, JCI Belfast was hosting a charity event.
London: During my travels in London I was met with open arms by Rafael, JCI London’s International Officer. We had discussions about the local chapter and their progress on the “Nothing But Nets” campaign.
Leuven: Ellen of JCI Leuven spent a few days in Dublin for an academic conference, not related to JCI. She reached out to JCI Dublin and we were able to share with her the Irish cuisine and the breath taking views of Howth.
Why it matters
So you may ask why does having an international network matter? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few reasons.
Getting to really know the area
My purpose for visiting London was to be a tourist and explore the city. Realistically I understood the places I visited were more of the commercial areas and would leave me void of experiencing the local London culture. Fortunately, by meeting with Rafael I received the local perspective I was after. The same goes for members visiting Dublin.
See how another branch operates
When branches interact with each other through a formal twinning or informal social gather it provides the platform to share ideas and new perspectives. Upon our return to our respective homes we’re able to contribute fresh ideas to aide our local branch in developing strategic action plans.
Chance to retreat during hectic days
For all the recent JCI travelers, JCI was not our primary reason for traveling. We visited these cities for work, academic research, and exploratory purposes. Fatigue begins to set in after repeatedly doing the same thing day after day. Meeting with JCI members offers an oasis, allowing us to reenergize from the long days and to meet new lifelong friends.
After my initial hesitation in accepting JCI’s claim to be such a grand international organisation I admit my skepticism vanished. My decision is no longer based on what I’ve heard about the numerous conferences, social weekends, and twinnings; now I personally experienced the magnitude of how international JCI is myself. Without JCI the recent JCI travelers might not have had a memorable trip. For me, I would have been restricted into asking the hotel receptionist about places to go. However I had a friend to take me around.
To learn more about JCI Dublin click this link www.jcidublin.org. If you have an experience about meeting a JCI member from another branch, please share it below.
Watch this space. Next year we will be organizing FBA again. As leadership organization we encourage businesses to perform to their best ability and go that extra mile. We promote the excellence in performance and we have a great vision about Dublin’s business environment.