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8th Sep, 2017

Are you a student in their final year of university? – Here’s why JCI Manchester should be a serious consideration in helping you take your next steps to career development…

Every student in their final year has one of 2 things on their mind. Taking a year out for personal development or getting on the job ladder to put to use that degree you’ve just earned yourself.

Most students looking for jobs will go down the classic route of filling in application form after application form, possibly for graduate schemes or maybe even to try their hand going for an entry level positions in companies they want to work in. This usually involves follow-up assessment days, and interviews which can be a very tiring process, particularly when experiencing repeated failure. Not to mention to how time consuming the process of finding these opportunities in the first place.

The luckiest students simply use their contacts. You often hear the phrase “It’s who you know, not what you know…” – which is very frustrating as a student because in many respects its very true. If you're lucky enough to have a relative or family friend who works at the company of your dreams that's great for you, but most students don't. You have to make contacts yourselves – and this is where ‘networking’ comes in.

A recent article in The Guardian stated that “60% of jobs occur in a "hidden job market" where roles aren't always advertised…networking gives you a good start before you leave university so you have people you can contact within companies when you leave. Not only does this show a potential employer that you can take initiative and create your own opportunities (a big tick) but also allows you to hear first hand about potential opportunities, possibly have someone as a helping hand to fill in your application, and provide you with a foot in the door to move your application form more towards the top of the pile when the recruiter is making their decision on who to put forward for stage 2.

So why should a student consider JCI? Well other than offering a variety of opportunities to network with fellow students and young professionals between the ages of 18-40 we also offer numerous opportunities for personal development that help improve your soft business skills. Whether it’s public speaking, educational seminars on everything from marketing to leadership, or even taking a position on a local board to give you experience of project management we are certain there will be something of benefit to you within what JCI has to offer. We offer a very generous discount for student membership to make it more affordable.

SO have a look and see if the city you’re studying in has a local chamber and consider attending one of their events. It could well be the thing that helps you land that dream job!

For more information on how JCI can help you, head over to our website and have a look through.



JCI Manchester 

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6th Sep, 2017

JCI Manchester as an organisation has always been about personal development and career progression. Not to be overlooked however is another of it’s core activities which is creating positive change. It is for this reason that we are partnering with Uprising and the ONE MILLION MENTORS programme to give our network the opportunity to take part in this programme. So why do JCI Manchester believe that mentoring will make you a better manager.

There are many things that contribute to you being a better manager, namely: Understanding team dynamics and encouraging good relationships, Selecting and developing the right people, delegating effectively, motivating people, managing discipline and dealing with conflict, communicating well, planning, making decisions and problem solving.

It is our belief that mentoring gives you the perfect opportunity to practice at least some of these skills ready for when you take on a more managerial role at some point in the future or to enhance your skills in a management position that you may currently be in.

“Management is about enthusing and motivating people…extremely similar to managing individuals in the work place…”

At its very heart, management is about enthusing and motivating people to complete certain tasks either by themselves or as part of a team. It is about recognising a person’s strengths and giving them opportunity to utilise those effectively, and addressing their weaknesses by giving them opportunities to strengthen them. This is no different to mentoring. When mentoring you have almost a complete stranger in front of you who you have to get to know and form a trusting relationship with. From here you give them best advise that helps them further develop from the point they are now. This is extremely similar to managing individuals in the work place.

“…this all comes from getting to know individuals…mentoring provides the perfect scenario to practice these skills”

If you can effectively motivate people, your job as a manager will be made a lot easier. This all comes from getting to know individuals and what makes them tick. Mentoring provides the perfect scenario to practice these skills.

“…Mentoring is another way to help develop these all important people to people skills that will make you a better manager…”

The golden thread through all this comes from how effectively you can communicate. Communication is a skill and best developed through practice in different environments. You will come across a number of different personalities in your life – the more personalities of differing kinds you come across the better equipped you are to deal with these personalities in the workplace an doing so you develop your own unique style of communicating when in the management environment. You will learn what approaches work with different people and more to the point, what doesn’t work so you don’t end up using it again Mentoring is yet another way to help develop these all important people to people skills that will make you a better manager.   

“…Mentoring teaches you not to focus solely on yourself…”

As well as this, mentoring teaches you to not focus solely on yourself! Which is another skill that can be very useful to the manager. We’ve all been in that situation where someone is just using us to get up the next step in the ladder. It’s not a nice feeling and it doesn’t motivate us to work for that person in the slightest. Mentoring can teach you to put others first and in doing so you can have a real positive impact on a young person’s life possibly changing it for the better! There’s not many feelings like that.

So please do consider joining us as part of our joint programme with Uprising by coming along to our breakfast event on the 20th September 8-10am at BPP University on Oxford Road. CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON


JCI Manchester Team…

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6th Sep, 2017

One of the core activities of JCI Manchester is business networking and we organise this through our social events. In this blog we will outline why we promote having a strong business network and what it can do for the young professional.

Reason 1 – TO MEET PEOPLE! Everyone wants to meet someone. As a general rule, there are never more than six people between you and the person you want to talk to. Networking is a great way to access otherwise inaccessible people and the quickest way to build trust with the person that can introduce you. Cold calling, writing emails, sending messages are all viable ways of making contact but we believe these should be follow up activities after making your initial introduction face to face. Earlier in the year Will Kintish gaveus a one hour masterclass on this topic and he said exactly the same thing! If you haven’t been on his half day course we can thoroughly recommend it!  

Reason 2: CAREER PROGRESSION! Networking is the number one way to get a job. 60-80% of jobs are found through some form of networking. Imagine making a personal connection to a hiring manager, this is hands down the best way to find out about an upcoming opportunity and the best way to get your application to the top of the pile.  

Reason 3: DEVELOP YOUR CURRENT ROLE! Networking broadens your professional horizons. It helps you keep your finger on the pulse and in touch with your industry which prevents the dreaded career stagnation. Who you meet at a networking event could well be the person that in 5 years time helps you land a £1million client for your company thus sky-rocketing you to partnership/management/directorship within your firm/organisation. We like to think the people you meet at JCI networking events are the managers, directors and partners of the future. So get meeting them now and start forming those all important relationships early!

And Just by way of a few tips from us:

-          A good network is really just a circle of friends. It’s a two-way street of mutualistic relationships

-          Make sure people leave knowing who you are, what service/skills you provide, and how to get a hold of you – for the right reasons though!

-          You help others, others will help you. Everyone likes people who are helpful – so good things will likely come toward those people. 

If you fancy putting these skills to practice. Then join us on the 14th September at our End of Summer Social at The Laundrette where we will be providing yet more opportunities to network with fellow young professionals. For our members it’s free and if you are coming along as a guest it’s £5. We very much hope to see you there! CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON


The JCI Manchester Team  

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6th Sep, 2017

How many people when asked to do a public presentation feel an immense sense of fear? Answer – most people. Having to face a room full of faces staring directly at you and hanging on your every word is indeed a daunting task and on that you only get better at with practice. This is why JCI Manchester have set up public speaking club. To practice these skills in a friendly environment, so that when asked at work to do the same, you won’t be as ill prepared and will have the necessary skills to perform at your best. In fact, being able to deliver in this area is something that will 100% set you apart from your peers and here’s why –

It will gain you recognition…

By speaking in your niche market or on any particular topic you love, you will be gaining tremendous recognition and immediately have an audience to provide quality content. It immediately positions you as an expert. and thought leader on any particular topic meaning clients are far more likely to come to you.

It is a great way to Network

There is enormous value in the type of people you meet when you are a speaker. At the various conferences you speak, the associations you join as a speaker and the clients you bring on. The value of networking as a speaker is incredible. Even attending or speaking at local meetups and workshops carries incredible opportunities right in your own backyard. Word of mouth is still the number one way to pass along great leads, contacts and of course testimonials and the speaker circuit will provide that and more.  

At JCI Manchester we are very lucky to offer some of the best training in this field. Our speaking trainer Ilona Allcock who by day is an Employer Liaison Consultant at the University of Salford

Ilona has been an active JCI member since 2011 and was President of JCI Sheffield in 2014. Highlights of her JCI career include making the European finals of both debating (2014) and public speaking (2016), launching the JCI UK Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awards and winning European awards for two local projects, one of which was also shortlisted globally.

In her day job, Ilona works at the University of Salford to create employment opportunities and career insights for students and graduates. Having held a diverse range of roles in the past – everything from Commercial Litigation Solicitor in the world’s largest law firm to running a bespoke software development company with her husband – Ilona has a gained a real insight into what makes different businesses work.

Since losing a friend to suicide in August 2015, Ilona has become a passionate advocate for mental health issues. Last year she ran two trail marathons for Mind, and climbed the national three peaks for Anxiety UK. She is hugely proud of the work JCI Manchester has done to put a spotlight on mental health and looks forward to continuing to support this initiative.

So don’t let fear hold you back anymore from enhancing this essential business skill. Come join us at our next training event on the 12th September at Grant Thornton at 6pm and we’ll show just how good a public speaker you can be! Hope to see you there. CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON


JCI Manchester Team

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4th Sep, 2017


This year the Manchester Young Talent Award charity raffle has been taken up a gear giving you the chance to win a top prize of a stay in a Luxury Apartment in Marbella worth £1000!

Each year JCI Manchester invite attendees at the Manchester Young Talent Awards to take part in a charity raffle to help raise money for the chosen charity of the year which this year is Mancunian Way. The apartment is set in Marbella 4.7 miles from Paseo Maritimo, a popular tourist spot. The apartment has the usual Free WiFi and private parking is available on site. The accommodation is air conditioned and is fitted with a flat-screen TV. All apartments have a kitchen equipped with a dishwasher, oven, microwave and coffee machine. There is a private bathroom with a bath in each unit. Bed linen is provided. Samara Resort Marbella also includes a hot tub and sauna. Funny Beach is 4.3 miles from Samara Resort Marbella, while Plaza de toros Marbella is 5 miles away. This property is rated for the best value in Marbella! 

So if you want to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize you'd better make sure you join us on the 23rd November for our fantastic awards ceremony at the Principal, Oxford Road, Manchester City Centre. One way to make sure you're there is to get yourself nominated for an award! Dealine day is 22nd September! See catgeories for nomination here >>> NOMINATE

Thanks, JCI Manchester Team! 

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4th Sep, 2017


JCI Manchester are always looking at starting conversations around topics we feel our members will find beneficial. That’s why we partnered with sponsors Careaux to present our latest breakfast panel event - Positive Body Image in Young Professionals.

A huge thanks to our chair Ilona Alcock, who also runs our Public Speaking Club, she engaged with our speakers and helped draw out some interesting insights into what and if body image is something that matters, and more importantly if it’s something that employers should be looking at in the age of creating cultures within the workplace. 


Topics that we touched on included how personal image and professional images can clash in some sectors but in others your individuality is applauded, the impact social media has on body image and what people think successful people should look like. The conversation also covered a variety of issues around gender, race, sex, physical illness and mental health.

A question that stuck out during the Q&A session at the end of the event was that someone who works in an accountant firm wondered if it’s relevant to them as how they look doesn’t impact their job. Our panellist implored that actually it does, whether intentionally or not, as the unconscious bias affects how you act around people who look a different way or not in the way you expected.


It’s through having conversations around body image that we can breakdown the social constructs that are hardwired into us through various different channels and help people feel free to be ok with themselves. JCI President Simon who was on the panel said “It’s important for people to focus on creating a personal ability to grow mental strength to deal body image. Ignoring the assumptions of what other people might think of them. We need to help each other think positively about themselves, and be understanding of others and create a community to support that”.

Essentially if you encourage your staff to feel comfortable in an environment where they know they can safely share their body issues without judgement, their self-esteem will improve and so will their successes.

Thank you to all of our panellist CharlieMusa, Liberty and Simon.

If you would like to find out more about communities that are already working to support making Manchester a more body positive place to live, check out Free To Be Ok With Me.

JCI Manchester are planning on creating a series of events to look at all aspects of body image in young professional and helping drive this conversation forward.


About Our Sponsors 

Careaux is an online luxury womenswear brand, co-founded by sisters Rachel and Laura Beattie. Due to launch end of September with a dress the first of its kind, all handmade in Manchester, which adapts to your unique style and shape to celebrate your uniqueness. One of our aims is to challenge putting women into one size bracket and to acknowledge our differences.

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