News Releases

“Embrace the Unattractive Tasks” Students Receive Alumni Advice at UWI/RBL World of Work Discussion

For Release Upon Receipt - February 26, 2024

St. Augustine

Panellists [L-R] Mr. Anand Mahabir Environmental Lead Associate, Ms. Shalleika Hazell Reliability Engineer, Director, Division of Student Services and Development (DSSD) Dr Deirdre Charles, Ms. La Toya George, Manager- Republic Bank Limited Head Office, Group Human Resources, Ms. Ruqayyah Scott Analyst - Strategy and Transactions, Mr. Joshua Hamlet Advocate and Attorney at Law and Ms. Nathalia Rupert Community Dietitian at the WOW 2024 Rising Professionals Panel Discussion: Alumni Voices

St. Augustine, February 26, 2024 –   "Employers seek candidates who possess not only technical knowledge but also transferable skills and competencies," emphasized Dr. Deirdre Charles, Director of Student Services and Development, during a recent panel discussion at The University of West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine Campus Learning Resource Centre. The event, held on Thursday 25th January, 2024, marked the commencement of the WOW 2024 Rising Professionals series, themed "Alumni Voices: Using Transferable Skills to Navigate the Workplace." The WOW series has been a staple at The UWI for decades with primary sponsor Republic Bank Ltd (RBL) pledging its ongoing support for academic and professional excellence.

The UWI Republic Bank Ltd. World of Work (WOW) Programme is tailored for Final Year students of the St. Augustine Campus, serving as a crucial bridge between academia and the professional realm. Through a series of targeted workshops, participants are guided to refine their professional profiles, with opportunities to fine-tune their resumes, receive expert counsel on interview strategies—including attire guidance and managing interview anxiety—and engage in mock interviews conducted by panels of seasoned interviewers, thus equipping them with invaluable skills essential for success in the workplace.

Ms. La Toya George, Manager- Head Office, Group Human Resources delivering greetings and well wishes from sponsor Republic Bank Limited at the WOW 2024 Rising Professionals Panel Discussion: Alumni Voices.

The panel discussion brought together esteemed panelists and students alike to explore the importance of transferable skills in today's job market. Representing RBL, Miss La Toya George, Manager - Head Office, Group Human Resources commended The UWI World of Work initiative for its comprehensive approach. "We believe that The UWI World of Work is one of the best initiatives of its kind in our country," she stated. "As students on the verge of graduation, you must position yourselves strategically to seize opportunities."

Sharing personal anecdotes and insights on navigating the professional world, was Mr. Joshua Hamlet, an Attorney at Law and Advocate who urged attendees to embrace the less glamorous aspects of work. "Learn to love the unsexy," he advised. "There are some tasks that are very attractive, putting you in front of the camera, but there are also persons needed in unsexy activities, like picking up rubbish when everything is over or collecting records. These tasks are just as important because in the workplace, not everything is attractive."

Panellists [L-R] Mr. Anand Mahabir Environmental Lead Associate, Ms. Shalleika Hazell Reliability Engineer, Ms. Nathalia Rupert Community Dietitian, Mr. Joshua Hamlet Advocate and Attorney at Law and Ms. Ruqayyah Scott Analyst - Strategy and Transactions at the WOW 2024 Rising Professionals Panel Discussion: Alumni Voices

Mr. Anand Mahabir, Lead Associate of the Environmental Services Division, underscored the importance of time management and adaptability in professional settings. He remarked, "Flexibility and a readiness to learn are crucial when faced with unforeseen challenges." Shalleika Hazell, a Reliability Engineer at Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited, shared her personal journey of leveraging transferable skills acquired through the World of Work program. "Networking and effective communication have been instrumental in my career progression," she emphasized.

Ms. Nathalia Rupert, a graduate in Human Nutrition, highlighted the practicality of skills acquired through university education. "Resilience and time management are indispensable in manoeuvring through the demands of academia and the workplace," she noted. Mrs. Joanna Joseph-Manrique, Executive Board Member of the Alumni Association Trinidad and Tobago Chapter, encouraged students to view the event as a learning opportunity. "Skills such as teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving are invaluable assets in the world of work and personal development," she affirmed.

UWI St Augustine student poses a question to the panel during the question-and-answer session of the WOW 2024 Rising Professionals Panel Discussion: Alumni Voices

Ms. Ruqayyah Scott, the panel's moderator, shared her own success story, highlighting the practical benefits of transferable skills in securing employment. "Effective communication, reliability, and a willingness to learn are increasingly sought after by employers," she remarked. She also encouraged students to make the most of the UWI/RBL World of Work programme, “Where I currently work, I got that job through (UWI/RBL) World of Work, so the programme does work and it's only going to work for you if you show up and you do your part.”

The full recording of the discussions can be viewed via The UWI St. Augustine YouTube Channel at:

About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development, residing at the center of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for over 75 years.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with nearly 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Global Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The UWI offers over 1000 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and the wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the best in the world by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). Since The UWI’s 2018 debut in THE’s rankings, it has performed well in multiple schemes—among them including World University Rankings, Golden Age University Rankings (between 50 and 80 years old), Latin America Rankings, and the Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Well-being; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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