Sherene Williams-Chin: Following her path
Sherene Williams-Chin is the fourth female commissioned land surveyor in Jamaica and one of three females practicing land surveying in the island at this time. Having known her father, a commissioned land surveyor for many years, it was no surprise to me that Sherene choose this path. This week, we take a peek into her life.
Q: First, tell me about your childhood.
A: I was born under the clock, so to speak, and grew up in the Maxfield area. I spent some years in St Elizabeth but then I eventually migrated to Duhaney Park where I spent a significant part of my life.
Q: Tell us about your schooling and academic achievements.
A: I first went to St Elizabeth Basic School, then St Francis Primary in Cross Roads. My mother operated a canteen at the Jamaica School of Business, and this allowed me to be near to her. I then went to Meadowbrook High School. After Meadowbrook, I matriculated to the University of Technology (UTech), where I enrolled in the surveying programme, attaining a diploma then a honours degree. While attending Meadowbrook, I did a little modelling and made my contribution to singing and acting at church, school and community functions. Of note, I am a born-again Christian.
Q: Tell us about the journey to becoming a commissioned land surveyor, and your principal.
A: With all the experience in engineering surveys, which, you could say, I practically inherited, as I would go to the field with my dad to conduct engineering surveys, the journey, one could say, lasted since my late teenage years. The practical journey, however, has been more than six years (now), as disappointments ... almost had me calling it quits. However, I persevered as I felt I had to prove that I was born to be a commissioned land surveyor. My principal was the eminent Land Surveyors Association of Jamaica life member, Earl Spencer. I gained substantial experience from him. I received my instrument of commission in 2013, having passed the land surveyors examination.
Q: How does it feel to be the third practising female commissioned land surveyor and fourth overall in Jamaica? Do you have a special bond with your fellow female surveyors?
A: The feeling I get being a commissioned land surveyor was never associated with a female but rather, more or less, the belief in being a certified professional. I first met Cynthia Edwards (second ever female commissioned land surveyor) while at UTech, where she was my lecturer in hydrographic surveying. Despite her having a reputation as a stern, no-nonsense person, I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was not that way with me. She was very encouraging and easy to communicate with.
This interview with Sherene Williams-Chin will continue next week. Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter of Land. Until next time, traverse well.
- Craig Francis is a Commissioned Land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at firstname.lastname@example.org or his Facebook page Precision