Sade en route to greatness
At 21 years old, Kingstonian living and working in Montego Bay Sade Johnson was recognised less than one month ago by the University of the West Indies' Mona School of Business and Management for Best Undergraduate Performance in Management Studies.
But Johnson was not surprised. From as early as 13 years old, she knew her potential and would always work tirelessly at what she wanted.
"In second form when I heard about a trip to Disney World and wanted to go, my father said I would only be allowed to go if I achieved high grades on all of my tests for that semester. I surprised myself and I fulfilled my end of the bargain. It was then that I realised you don't have to be naturally good at something, but if you want it badly enough, you will strive to do your best and that you can be successful through sheer determination," shared a rather proud Johnson.
But the administrative assistant at Island Routes wasn't always interested in tourism. Growing up, her interest was in law. Johnson explained: "My academic journey started at Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory School, followed by Holy Childhood High School, where I took both my CXC and CAPE exams. When I was in lower sixth form, I actually thought I would end up studying law. But somewhere along the way, I decided that tourism was something I wanted to study, and a series of summer placement opportunities with organisations like the Jamaica Tourist Board cemented my interest. As such, I went to the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, where I received my undergraduate degree, a bachelor of science degree in tourism management."
The diligent and hardworking young woman who prides herself in her reliability is not done yet: "My short-term goal would be to study for an MBA, specialising in marketing and communications in tandem with my current position. In the long term, I aspire to be an entrepreneur, but I don't know what my business would be as yet."
Living daily by the mantra 'If you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything', Johnson encourages anyone with a dream to follow it. "What God has planned for your life can never be shifted by anyone or anything. I recall in July when I had my interview with Island Routes, there had been some confusion over the date and I was actually one week late, arriving on the following Thursday. When I showed up at the gate, the security had no record of me for that day, but in my heart I just knew there was no way I could have travelled from Kingston to Montego Bay to not even get beyond the gate. After a couple of minutes, the HR manager agreed to see me. She made no promises of an interview, but through our discussion, she decided that I should interview with one of the managers. I had to wait a couple of hours, but I finally got my opportunity.
"Had I not been persistent that day, I would not be where I am today. If you really want something, you shouldn't give up. I have found it becomes easier to weather the storms of life believing that everything happens for a reason. For me, personally, I have seen my parents work far too hard to give me a better life, to squander the opportunities I am given. This is what I hold on to every time I find myself in a difficult position or with some uncertainty about what to do," she ended.