Some 16 students of the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School are having the opportunity to put some of what they learn at school into practice as they take part in an internship programme to introduce them to the World of Work.

Goddard Enterprises Ltd. (GEL), which has adopted the school, has given the students the chance to work at its various subsidiary companies in areas which are of interest to them.

The students have immersed themselves in the work of the businesses and are also being mentored by senior staff in these organisations.

Guidance Counsellor at the school Mrs Julia Edey stated that the internship programme is an important learning strategy for the school and in the last two years, they had seen growth in the students after participating in the programme, with many of them doing better in their studies as a result.

The learning process started from the interview stage where students were short listed and had to undergo an interview with the Human Resources Department of each subsidiary to determine those best fitted for the roles. Then, the students who were chosen attended a virtual session where they met with some of their interviewers and GEL’s Managing Director, Mr. Anthony Ali via Zoom.

During that session, Managing Director and CEO of GEL Anthony Ali explained to the students “We are trying to make sure that our future leaders have a chance to get ahead and get a good start,” while giving them the commitment of his staff to participate.

He then made a presentation to the students encouraging them to get involved in the company, to speak up, share their ideas and ask questions. He urged them to participate and get involved, as the best way to get the maximum out of the programme. “You can get out what you put in, if you get involved, you get more.” he added,

He then gave them a detailed explanation about the difference between knowledge, ability and attitude explaining that ‘the company will give the environment, but it is the attitude that will get you the job.’

The students were also told that there are three types of people – those who let things happen, those who make things happen and those who ask what happened. He asked them which type they wanted to be, explaining that the answer would help them to decide how they deal with the internship opportunity.

The Head Office People Co-ordinator Mrs. Valerie Lovell then discussed the various Covid-19 protocols which will be in operation in the companies and to which the interns will have to adhere as they go to work daily.

Mrs. Julia Edey explained the extensive nature of the programme when she gave further details as to what will be required when they complete the internship period. Each student must complete an Internship Portfolio – a collection of evidence to document their experiences in the workplace. The aim of the portfolio is to help them connect with the experience and the knowledge they would be gaining and highlight the skills that they would have learnt.

It should show evidence of their actual performance and reflect what they did weekly. Later, this portfolio should help them during their job search and will help to determine what they wish to do and the area they want to pursue.

Nicholas Lampkin - one of the Parkinson School interns, on the job at Hipac Ltd.

Nicholas Lampkin – one of the Parkinson School interns, on the job at Hipac Ltd.

Each student will also be subject to an exit interview with their mentor, giving them areas on which they could improve and getting feedback on how they can enhance their overall development.

Further guidance was given in two informational group sessions with the students when the Chief Financial Officer of GEL Mrs. Natasha Small conducted one entitled ‘Your Money and You’ and Ms. Stephanie Catling-Birmingham, Divisional People Manager – Auto & Talent Development conducted a second session, entitled “Work Ethics, Professionalism and Personal Branding.”

Both sessions were aimed at empowering the students to better themselves in their personal and work lives. The sessions were very well received by the interns and their Guidance Counsellor, Mrs Edey.

Parkinson Principal Mr. Ian Holder called it a ‘blessing to have the connection with the GEL team and stated that he was grateful to the company for its involvement in the programme.

Before the Zoom session ended all of the students pledged to work hard and do their best, while living up to the expectations of them.

Subsidiary companies involved in the internship are Hipac Limited, GEL’s Property Management Department, Marshall Trading Limited, Caribbean Label Crafts Ltd., Courtesy Garage Limited, Anti-Septic Limited trading as Terrific Tiles as well as GEL’s Head Office.

Two students who are very interested in Agriculture were invited to intern at an independent company belonging to one of the GEL Directors – Redlands Plantation.

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