Our last featured member for the year is JCI Scotland 2017 National President Amanda Taylor. A former banker, Amanda took part in the prestigious Saltire Fellowship at Babson College, Boston, and now runs her own consultancy business Taylor Nisbit. As National President for JCI Scotland, Amanda and her board of directors will be leading the strategic direction of the organisation and supporting chambers at a local level.

Amanda Taylor

How long have you been a member of JCI for?

Almost 5 years

What appealed to you about joining JCI?

I was told that they were great at developing public speaking skills and at the time, mine were rubbish! I’d just gone for a promotion at work and had to do a presentation as part of the interview. I did not do well. However, the interviewer did mention JCI as a place to improve so I investigated from there. Little did I know how I involved I would end up getting!

How has being a member of JCI helped your personal development in your professional life?

JCI has been responsible for a lot of things over the last 5 years. It’s helped me to learn new skills like presenting, thinking on my feet through debating, project management and running events. But JCI has been so much more to my development than just my professional career. Yes, it helped me get ahead when I was in banking as it made me stand out and gave me experience that I wouldn’t have gained in my work environment……….. but it’s also helped me grow my own confidence and meet some fantastic people that have helped me when I left that career and later started my own business. For me that’s what being in JCI means, continuing to develop, and having the people around you to help support you.

From running projects and training, to representing JCI Edinburgh at international events, you’ve certainly achieved a lot. What have been some highlights of your time in JCI?

Hmmm, now you’re asking! That’s a tough question as I’ve had some exceptional times in JCI and I’ve been so fortunate to have travelled around the world on many JCI trips, meeting some of the most amazing people along the way.

I think the one that’s always stuck out for me was my first JCI trip outside Scotland to Belfast. There are many reasons why that’s a highlight (some probably not for this article), but the main reason is that, that trip was when I first realised the bigger potential of JCI. That is wasn’t just about meeting some nice folk and learning some new skills – it’s more of a community! The trip was the start of a pretty cool journey for me and one I won’t forget.

You have just been voted in as JCI Scotland’s National President for 2017, and have a lot of plans for the year ahead. Can you share some of them with us?

Of course! I want to get as many people involved in the plans across Scotland and further afield as possible so I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to get in touch and learn more about what’s happening in Edinburgh and the national organisation.

Next year will see the introduction of a couple of new national projects that will focus on developing individuals whilst making a sustainable impact. In addition, we’re looking to make a lot more noise about some of the great projects and work we’ve done already. I’ve got a great team in place for 2017 which will be working with local chapters to increase the profile of the organisation and deliver the newly created projects. Watch this space folks!

And lastly, in one word, describe what JCI means to you?

Am I really only allowed one word!?! It’s got to be…… opportunity!