Students hailing from secondary schools across the island are being encouraged to take their professionalism more seriously as they prepare for the world of work.
During a one-day Summer Work Experience programme hosted by the Barbados Association of Guidance Counsellors (BAGC) in partnership with the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP), BIMAP’s Executive Director Dr Sonia Greenidge-Franklyn implored the students to be more diligent as they look to advance in the job market.
“We want you to understand that when you go into the world of work that it is an exchange. You have to make sure you create a good impression. You have to make sure you deserve the experience that they’re giving you,” she advised.
Recognizing Barbados’ small market, she told the 43 students representing 18 secondary schools to adopt an international mindset now and to work on their application, resume writing and interview skills. “When you go to your interview, there’s something called Standard English. Dialect has its place, and an interview is not the place for dialect,” Greenidge-Franklyn warned.
BAGC Vice President Shernell Belle-Alexander told Barbados TODAY that the programme, which has been around for more than 18 years, trains students as they embark on six-week internships in the public sector.
She expressed concern about students who are unaware of the demands of the working world and underscored the role of guidance counsellors in teaching students what is expected of them.
Over the years, the programme and internships have helped students become more mature and sensible in their approach to life after secondary school. She hopes that following today’s session, students will take a positive mindset into their internships.
Guidance counsellor of Graydon Sealy Secondary School Donna Tull-Cox said the programme had helped students appreciate such skills as social graces and communication.
“It’s the small things we take for granted. We assume that everyone should know because they’re living in the same environment that we’re living in, but a lot of the students, they’re young, they don’t see the importance of certain things,” Tull-Cox explained.
Juelle Jordan, guidance counsellor at the Fredrick Smith Secondary School, said the programme has exposed her students to practical skills while addressing misconceptions they have about the job market. She also expressed confidence that it would help them to be more productive and effective in their internships. (KW)