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JCI Horsens International: A network for young professionals

Ban ki Moon, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2016) and the President of JCI Paschal Dike in UN headquarters (New York, summer 2016). Foto: Olga Piskun

JCI Horsens International: A network for young professionals

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horsens - Almost three years ago the third international chapter of JCI in Denmark - JCI Horsens International, the organisation with big ambitions and the wishes to make our lives better, was founded. What is JCI? And what do they do?

The organisation with 100-year-old history

JCI is a non-profit, international non-governmental and non-religious organization of people in the age between 18 and 40, that is present in more than 100 countries around the world. JCI members take responsibility and make a positive difference for themselves and the society.

This organisation has a consultative status with the Council of Europe, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and UNESCO. And JCI is the only NGO permitted to use the UN globe in its logo.

Junior Chamber International (JCI) was founded in 1915 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. In 1944 a formal agreement between eight countries was made and JCI became what it is today. It was introduced in Denmark in 1957, and very soon the chapter in Horsens was founded. Denmark's first International chapter was founded in 2003. Today, JCI Denmark has over 50 local chapters with three International chapters in Copenhagen, Herning and Horsens.

JCI provides leadership training to individuals around the world. The impact of this training is demonstrated by the large number of JCI members who have held high positions. Previous members of JCI include: American Presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy; former Danish Prime Ministers Poul Schlüter and Anders Fogh Rasmussen (who was also the 12th Secretary General of NATO); Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Prince Albert of Monaco, The President of France, Former Prime Minister of France, The mayor of Paris Jacques Chirac and many others.

Great expectations: a great impact and a large network

A natural question would be what one can expect from JCI. Let's see what they offer.

JCI runs projects and events that combine four main areas: business, training, community and international. So members can develop their skills in a number of ways, for example by helping to organise a local charity event.

A JCI member can go to many international events around the world as well. The main events for JCI Europe include the European Conference and the World Conference. JCI are also invited to the United Nations (UN) in New York every year. And in autumn JCI members visit the European Parliament in Brussels.

Another interesting thing JCI offers - a broad training programme with focus on soft skills such as presenting, debating, public speaking (last year Sabrina Vitting-Seerup, JCI Amager (Denmark) won The Worldwide public speaking competition) and negotiation skills. Members of JCI also develop their leadership skills by taking on a board or a project management role.

- JCI is for me the best education I have ever received. I consider becoming a member of JCI one of the best decisions I have made. It is great how in this safe environment (we call JCI), members challenge themselves to get outside of their comfort zone and thus build new skills. What is more, these members feel confident in doing so because they get to be mentored by fellow JCIs who encourage each other's development. JCI is where I thrive and what I believe puts me in the position to make those positive changes in the community I live in, tells Kristina Georgieva, Local President of JCI Horsens International in 2016.

It is interesting to know that each Local President in JCI only leads for one year. It's the most important leadership role in JCI, and it involves overviewing the chamber's activities and events. It's a great leadership opportunity and the memory of the experience will stay with you forever.

Many JCI members have discovered their passion and found new opportunities through their involvement in JCI. This often leads to a new career. JCI provides a great opportunity for creating your own network.

Today, each JCI chapter in Denmark takes active responsibility for a local or even larger initiative, while enabling personal development for each of its members. Many years ago JCI initiated a huge project, famous today as Randers Regnskov (indoor zoo in Randers). JCI also launched another big project - NemTilmeld (online tilmelding system). JCI's Copenhagen chapter has been working on a United Nations project that aims to eradicate malaria in Africa. JCI Horsens International gives a chance to internationals to receive news in English by running the project "Horsens in English".

Invest in your future: be a better leader with JCI Horsens International

JCI Horsens International (JCIHI) is a chapter in Region Østjylland of JCI Denmark. It was established as the third international chapter (English speaking) in 2014. It is a relatively new chapter with big ambitions. This year they will celebrate their 3rd birthday and they can already praise with a number of successful projects.

In 2015 one of their project was the conference "The Key to successful integration". By introducing stories of internationals succeeding in Denmark they wanted to motivate and support other internationals on their journey in Denmark. The conference was also a part of a big charity project with Club "Ukraine" (Vejle), which aims to help sick children in Eastern Europe.

- Last year JCI Horsens International together with Horsens Folkeblad and Horsens Municipality started a big project called "Horsens in English". It is an online project aiming to give newcomers access to information about the city, to catch expats up on current events and things happening around them. We would like to make a community dialogue, to share stories between local people and internationals, and make you feel at home. Everyone is more than welcome to join and help us with that, says Kristina Georgieva.

The chapters meet once a month and each meeting includes training or seminar, a company visit or a visit to other chapters, social networking over dinner or more. The chapters are also able to initiate any project they like.

The best way to find out more about JCI is to come along to one of their events. Almost all events in JCI are open for guests, where you can come, meet JCI members, network and eventually join JCI. Becoming a member is also easy. All you have to do is write to the chapter you wish to be a part of, and decide together with the members if this is something you wish to be a part of. Membership includes monthly meetings and most of the events on national level. One can also choose from a range of activities on international level (conferences, trainings, or a worldwide public speaking competition).

-Now, when I look back to 2016, I see how different everything was. Moreover, I realise how much a person can change in a year. Today I am more confident, positive and a more determined person. I am proud to be a member of JCI Horsens International, which has helped me become the better person I now believe I am, sums up Kristina Georgieva.

So, if you are looking for a network, want to hone your personal and professional skills, take a look at JCI. More information can be found on their Facebook page.

You can also send an email to the new Local President JCI Horsens International Nataliya Ovcharenko at: nataliia0891@gmail.com .