Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
Graduating students of the University of the West Indies (UWI) were urged yesterday to use their university education to create their own jobs.
Addressing the 2011 graduating class at the UWI, Mona campus, guest speaker Minna Israel, who was also conferred with an honorary doctor of laws degree, told graduates that while their services may be in great demand, "the very poor economic climate may see some of you not getting the right jobs you always wanted".
"This may mean that you will have to be creative. If opportunity doesn't knock, build your own doors. I, therefore, charge you to not just look for a job but to create jobs; consider being an entrepreneur and becoming your own boss," said Israel, who is also the president and country head of RBC Royal Bank (Jamaica).
The career banker told the graduating class that while the idea of entrepreneurship might seem daunting, it can be rewarding.
"Entrepreneurship is a gamble. I know it; but the greatest return comes with the greatest risk. The rewards can be very high and satisfying," she said.
become change agents
Additionally, she also urged them to use their university education and life experience to become active change agents to "make (Jamaica) the ideal place to live, work and raise your families".
"You may ask me 'How do I go about doing this?' I submit that you must first be willing to be part of the solution. You have to expect that change will not come from your sitting at home. It will not come from your just talking about it on Facebook. Change will not come from your refusing to vote; change will only come when all of you and us decide that we must act," she said.
The 2011 graduating class comprised 2,273 graduates drawn from various faculties. The two-day ceremony, held on Friday and Saturday, also saw World and Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt being conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws degree. General manager of the Jamaica National Building Society, Earl Jarrett, was also conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.