Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
Gone are the days when tertiary and highschool students were guaranteed summer employment. Thankfully, a few are still available. Digicel Jamaica offers internship opportunities for university graduates under its annual Graduate Recruitment Programme.
"Under the programme, Digicel has over the years enjoyed a great relationship with the University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Northern Caribbean University and the University College of the Caribbean. We continue to leverage to provide internship opportunities for students preparing to enter into the working world. The internship cohort is refreshed for each staging, and once an intern exceeds our expectations, they are retained to continue the mutually beneficial partnership," Digicel said.
This year, six university graduates will have the opportunity to join the Digicel team and gain real-world experience over a 10-12 week period in their business solutions (ICT) and technical departments.
"This programme is a win-win as the graduates gain hands-on experience in their area of study, they work on challenging projects and get to interact with some of the brightest minds in the telecommunications industry. In return, Digicel benefits from the perspective of fresh minds," Digicel said.
Valued learning experience
Tally-Ann Morrison, human resources assistant at Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, said they provide students an opportunity to work in the real world. Summer employment is offered annually for students to gain valuable experience that will give them an advantage when they seek jobs after graduation.
"Last year we had more than 120 high and university students. It is not a set figure, but numbers are based on the requests of the department managers who request them. We have persons who have participated annually as well as final-year university students who move into temporary and permanent employment when they graduate," Morrison said.
Meanwhile, Peter Moses, Citibank's country manager said summer employment gives high school and university students an opportunity to be engaged in a disciplined work-related environment.
Moses, who has more than 30 years' experience at Citibank, said persons who enter into the work environment, especially for the first time, develop valuable interpersonal attributes that cannot be acquired through academics.
"They now know how to become punctual, deliver on timelines and be team players. These attributes do not come naturally. It becomes more apparent to them that the workplace is much more than just completing a paper for high school or university," Moses said.
He also said it is a good way for companies to give back to the community. By offering summer employment, companies can assess potential employees for the future and evaluate their areas of expertise.
"It is not just that they have academic qualifications, they must be able to deliver. Without the right attitude, they will not be able to come through," Moses said.
Citibank would not employ persons for the summer unless there is something useful to do. Moses, who joined the bank as an executive trainee assigned to the senior officer in the country with initial responsibility to work on the bank's budget, said this decision could change over the coming months if a project comes up for which they will need additional persons.
BOJ to hire for summer
The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) will be engaging students in its annual Summer Work Experience Programme. The programme is aimed at exposing students at the secondary and tertiary levels to a practical, professional and challenging work environment while providing an opportunity for them to make a meaningful contribution to the operations of the bank.
The students will be at work for periods ranging from a minimum of four weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks from June to August.
In keeping with the BOJ's general recruitment policy, children of employees are exempt from the programme.
If you are an employer with positions to offer students this summer, or if you are an organisation that needs student volunteers, tell us about it at: email@example.com