August Member of the Month is one of our most dynamic members in Edinburgh. Steven is always on hand to welcome new members, encourage people to get involved in projects and events and represent JCI Edinburgh at international events. He has held a number of different positions on the local board, as well as being involved in organising the European Multi-Twinning conference hosted in Edinburgh next year.
How long have you been a member of JCI for?
I joined in May 2014, so around 2 and a half years.
What made you decide to join?
I was self employed at the time, and looking for a networking group to join in Edinburgh. When JCI Edinburgh came up in my internet search, I recognized the logo. My friend Fiona Morgan, who I have known for several years, had posted a lot photos on her Facebook page of award ceremonies. I contacted her and asked about it. It sounded perfect for me. Not just the networking side of things, but also for the training courses.
What are some of the highlights of your experience in JCI?
There have been so many, I don’t know where to begin!
I have just been to the JCI Ireland conference in Galway, and I am still buzzing from it. I met so many wonderful new friends there, as well as getting some superb ideas on what we can do in JCI Edinburgh in the years to come. EMT in Alphen ann den Rijn is another highlight. I was blown away by the hospitality we received, the friendliness of everyone who was there, and the events that were put on by the amazing EMT team there. From these two events, along with the Scottish National Conference, I have met some incredible people
And that ties in to the biggest highlight from my JCI experience. I was looking for business networking, and loved the idea of the training and personal development on offer. What I have taken away the most, are some genuine friendships that will last long after I have hit 40.
To anyone who is thinking to join, what would you say to them?
Do it, but not from the sidelines. Get involved, go to events, support the trainers and organisers. You will get so much more out of it by getting involved. Step out your comfort zone, and do so knowing that you are doing in a safe space. That is one of the many wonderful things that JCI provides. You can make mistake, but no one will judge. Rather, they will pick you, show you how to improve, and make you better. Everyone is on your team!
You recently ran the ‘Walk In Their Shoes’ project supporting Edinburgh Women’s Aid. What was the most important thing you learnt from this experience?
That I can walk in heels for a mile and not break my ankle!
In all honesty, I learnt that it isn’t just asking for donation, it was about getting involved and knowing why we were doing it. Edinburgh Woman’s Aid do an amazing, and very difficult, job. The support they provide is an invaluable one to too many women out there. I think they are just fantastic. I was so pleased by the response we got from the public when stomped our way down Leith Walk. I would like to thank everyone for their support and donations, and to all the guys who came along and joined in.
And lastly, in one word, describe what JCI means to you?