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When things are slow, try studying - Metcalfe - Clovis Metcalfe, managing director of First

Published:Sunday | January 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Clovis Metcalfe, managing director of FirstCaribbean Jamaica, addressing a dinner function of the 8th Annual Caribbean MBA Conference, held at the Hilton hotel on Thursday. - Colin Hamilton/freelance photographer

Clovis Metcalfe, managing director of FirstCaribbean International Bank Jamaica Limited, says a slow economy presents the perfect opportunity to pursue higher academic learning.

"Earning an MBA in a slow economy helps individuals broaden their knowledge base and expands their horizons. It gives them the ability to move up the career path and obtain higher leadership positions," the banker said Thursday night, speaking at the Caribbean MBA Business Leader dinner at the Hilton Kingston in New Kingston.

The five-day Caribbean MBA conference, for which First-Caribbean International Bank is a main sponsor, concludes today.

Metcalfe said that many employers are finding that a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) programme is an excellent way to help manage and capitalise on the changes on the global front, which he said, had had a negative impact on the international business community.

He said competition in the job market had become even fiercer with what was happening globally.

"Indeed, with employers becoming more aware of the capability that an MBA brings to the table, many prefer to hire MBA graduates," he said.

"Companies realise the value of a well-educated workforce, especially during tougher times, and the MBA will give you a tool kit of general management skills that transcends location, time and job types."

Upwardly mobile

Keith Binns, financial adviser at Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, speaking at the same function, warned that the upwardly mobile should be as focused on developing job experience as academic qualifications.

"You with your training will be so rounded that you will be able to conquer any world or any job that you are fitted into," he said.

But: "What you have to be careful of is that you do not get carried away with the feeling that success is only book learning. You have to pick up the little things by the way," he added.

This is the eighth staging of the Caribbean MBA conference, and the second in Jamaica.