If she was asked to give a message to students of Barbados’ newer secondary schools, Shantelle Armstrong would more than likely say they can achieve their full potential, since a school does not define a person.
Armstrong, who recently received a CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank scholarship to pursue a doctorate in corporate governance, recalled some of the ‘not so encouraging’ comments she received after she was selected to enter Deighton Griffith Secondary based on her performance at the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination.
One of the comments that entered her thoughts periodically throughout those years came from a lady who told her that with extra private lessons she could have landed a place in an older secondary school. Some comments were not as mild and over the years, she became acutely aware of the perception regarding the level of achievement pegged to students of newer secondary schools as opposed to those attending the older secondary schools.
However, rather than discouraging her, Armstrong said those comments were likely motivating since she was confident of her abilities and came from a supportive family background.
Today, she remains proud of the education she received at Deighton Griffith Secondary School and presents a picture of academic success at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. It features a Bachelor’s Degree, first-class honours in management studies and a Master of Science in Investment and Wealth Management with a distinction. She was also the 2017 Student of the Year in the Master’s programme.
Recently, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Chief Executive Officer Colette Delaney paid a courtesy call on Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau. This provided an opportunity for Armstrong to chat with the banking executive.
Armstrong thanked the bank for the scholarship, underlining the importance of such awards to students; adding: “I will try not to disappoint you,” to which Delaney replied, “Based on your track record, I can’t imagine that you could do so.”
In addition to the degrees, her track record includes work on a paper published last year by the British-registered Emerald Publishing. The paper, entitled ‘A Survey of Capital Budgeting Practices Used By Firms In Barbados’ is co-authored with Dr Philmore Alleyne and Marissa Chandler and is also included in the Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting.
According to the paper’s abstract, it “makes a significant contribution to the body of literature in emerging countries such as Barbados on the usage of capital budgeting practices and factors that may influence their usage”… and “further contributes to policymakers, practitioners, organisations and stakeholders of organisations.”
The Union, St Philip resident, who is currently employed at Barbados’ Financial Services Commission as an acting senior analyst, said that after completing her doctorate, she plans to focus some attention on risk management. She makes the point that her achievement shows that “your school does not define you, it is about what you do while there.”
She reinforced that point many times and noted that she was not the only example. Many other models of this exists, including a friend who attended Princess Margaret Secondary and whose performance stands strongly with hers.