Tag Archives: internship

‘Expedition’ is on the way!

After two long years of lectures, exams, and projects, eight final year students packed and journeyed to South Eleuthera for an exciting ‘expedition’. While it’s not a holiday, working in the picturesque, serene South Eleuthera area is ideal. The interns have begun a twelve-week summer internship with various partners in the communities of Rock Sound, Tarpum Bay, and other settlements in South Eleuthera. The first of it’s kind for UWI in the Bahamas Family Islands, the programme was named ‘Expedition’ by the Shaun Ingraham, CEO of the One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF).

Orientation at the One Eleuthera Foundation

The OEF  and Center for Training and Innovation (CTI) are instrumental in coordinating and hosting the students for the duration of the programme as well as coordinating with local partners and businesses to place students in participating businesses and organizations. Four CTI students have also been selected to work along with the UWI interns with the objective of transferring knowledge.

Courtesy call at The South Eleuthera Mission

Key features of the internship programme are capacity building, innovation and training. The students bring a wealth of knowledge, new ideas and enthusiasm. This is beautifully meshed with the grit, innovation and commitment of local business owners who have committed themselves to succeeding in the hospitality industry.

‘Expeditions’ is a truly Caribbean affair. The eight interns represent five Caribbean countries – Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia.

The partnership and synergy between the various organizations, businesses and students is an uplifting example of what can be seamlessly accomplished when Caribbean people work together. The welcome reception hosted by CTI during the two day orientation was a welcoming event where we shared stories, backgrounds and even photos.

Project review at OEF

The first two days of orientation were filled with courtesy calls, brainstorming and logistics sessions, and strategic planning sessions. There was of course some fun with a visit to the CTI farm where we had a ball exploring and learning about the crops with CTI staff who were truly accommodating.

The Bahamian family island experience unfolds as the interns settle into picturesque Tarpum Bay,  in enviably proximity to a beautiful white sandy beach.  Days of hard work are bracketed by breathtaking sunrises and sunsets and post-work trips (across the street) to the beach have already become the norm. What better way to shake the stress and awaken creativity!

We are deeply grateful to the people of South Eleuthera for extending a warm welcome. We thank Mrs. Valderine Major, UWI-CHTM Student Services Manager with responsibility for internship for her support of the project. The One Eleuthera Foundation and the Centre for Training and Innovation have been an absolute pleasure to work with. Mrs. Audrey Carey, Programme Director, OEF has been an invaluable facilitator and Ms. Everne Anderson, Administrative Assistant, CTI – we appreciate the ongoing logistical support and attentive care. We also thank the staff and students of OEF and CTI for the support, attention and care extended to the team and we look forward to working together throughout the 12-week programme.

The OEF/CTI press release on ‘Expeditions’ can be viewed on the Eleuthera News website.

How to be a super intern

Once you’re done with all the classes and exams it is the time to translate your knowledge into practice. This transition can be overwhelming and this gives rise to critical deliberation and internal turmoil, as you try to determine your level of preparedness, and your ability to embrace the opportunities. Areas such as; communication, social media usage, dress code, etiquette, and corporate responsibility, create a pressing concern in the minds of many entry level applicants. These critical features such as behaviour and image portrayal can be major factors when determining whether or not you will become a part of the company’s future. To ensure that you are ready for success, here are some things to consider and also to put into practice when preparing for your internship.

Familiarize yourself with the establishment; research the role and company beforehand

Understanding the company’s mission and corporate hierarchy are important aspects of any job. It is crucial to confirm to whom you are reporting. This is beneficial as it assists you in understanding the fundamental values of the company before your internship even begins. What kind of organizational culture am I going to be a part of? This is important to know if you will be a good fit for the organization. Furthermore, staying informed about anything that is happening with the company will prove beneficial for your internship as well.

Know everything you can about the company
Know everything you can about the company

Get your attitude right; adopt an attitude your internship supervisor will love

Employers are interested in learning which characteristics you possess that will be vital and reliable assets to them. If you are intelligent but display an irrational personality, this can be the barrier that blocks you from becoming hired full time. What they require is someone who is always aware and prepared, open to learning and can take criticism when necessary.

Right attitude, right outcome
Right attitude, right outcome

Be on time; present yourself as a responsible and punctual worker 

The ability to be punctual shows a good sign of your commitment and demonstrates your ability to be consistent in the workplace. While some situations may be beyond your control, you should attempt to minimize your tendency to be late through effective planning. If your primary means of commuting is via public transportation plan in advance, taking into careful consideration factors such as time and possible emergencies and or other circumstances (traffic), to ensure that you reach your destination in a timely manner.

Dress professionally to reflect the workplace; practice your ability to be modest in your dress code

Every job has its own unique dress code. Therefore, it is important to have appropriate attire available for your new internship. Make sure you understand the dress code and if necessary, go shopping beforehand. Knowing what is suitable to wear to work is essential to your success at your internship. Remember, first impressions are very important and can create a lasting impact. In the event that you are not completely sure about the dress code, do not be afraid to contact your supervisor before the time for a little guidance.

Intern Leifa

Learn office etiquette; be mindful of it at all times

Transitioning from academics to a professional environment requires a substantial amount of adjustment and knowledge of professional etiquette.  Where you would normally have the  leverage to engage in informal communication and everyday behaviours (texting, chatting) in the classroom, these practices  are usually not permitted in the workplace. Other concerns of extreme importance include, being polite, and maintaining respect and common courtesy, especially towards your superiors. In addition, hygiene, cleanliness, and dining etiquette should be paid close attention to.

Intern Shantiqua

Bring a note book; note and report taking are critical during internship

Most likely, your first day will be filled with co-workers giving unsolicited advice and explaining the ins and outs of your workplace. So take advantage of this opportunity by making notes to review later on so you do not forget anything important! While it’s tempting to make mental notes, after the fourth mental sticky-note, you’ve probably already forgotten the first thing you needed to remember.

Team work makes the dream work; strive to be a team player

You are the one who needs to leave the best impression. Be resourceful and come up with solutions. Learn to get along with colleagues. Offer assistance. Contribute. Prove to your employer that you can also be an independent thinker, who can still collaborate with others and make compromises when needed.

Make meaningful connections; establish a good network within the company

The best way to create a good reputation within the company is to be involved, proactive and enthusiastic. Proposing ideas, seizing every opportunity to network and making connections are necessary. In this way, supervisors can stand as a reference to your work for potential future consideration. Get to know the employees well while inquiring about potential prospects and building a rapport with strategic personnel.

Work smart not hard; manage your load and do not take more than you can handle

Translate what you learn into practice and make keen observations to do all that you are required. Furthermore, keep in mind the long-term goals such as recommendations and possible job offers. Remain proactive and desist from complaining at all costs. Take the initiative and ask questions wherever uncertainty exists. Be visible and make yourself available at all times. As an old business saying goes, “never go to your manager with problems; always go with possible solutions to a problem you’re faced with.”

Manage your workload effectively
Manage your workload effectively

And there you have it, your “How To´ guide for internships. These are a collection of the essential principles of a basic internship. Undoubtedly, the workplace can be a very volatile environment with unpredictable regulations and may require you to adapt to an ever-changing environment. But have no fear, this guide will equip you to excel in the workplace. Put it into practice and watch as you become a super intern.

by Daniella Thompson (BSc. Tourism Management, 2015)