UWI Internship 2020

First Citizens UWI Internship gave 22 students real-life work/learning experience!

The 2020 edition of the First Citizens UWI Internship Program kicked off on Thursday 2nd July 2020. This year the Group took on 22 Interns from the Management Studies department and the Department of Computing and Information Technology, UWI. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic which threatened to suspend the initiative altogether, both the UWI and First Citizens agreed to a shortened 6-week internship period to ensure that the students were able to benefit from the hands-on, project-based, learning and real-world experience afforded them by participation in the program.

The internship, which usually runs for a period of 12 weeks, exposes students to the fields of Computing and Information Technology and Management Studies, to provide them with real-world professional experience matched specifically to their area of specialisation. Students learn from First Citizens mentors and function as staff during the internship.

At the virtual closing ceremony which was hosted via ZOOM on Friday, August 14, UWI St Augustine Campus Principal Professor Brian Copeland, expressed to the students that the programme is one “that allows our students to see just how the rubber meets the road in a real-life environment.”

Speaking on the design of the programme, Professor Copeland remarked, “Our students were challenged to apply their training to come up with practical solutions to real business issues. Through a mix of online and face to face encounters, First Citizens employees provided [them] with coaching, guidance and mentorship which allowed them to obtain technical, behavioural and leadership skills.”

The students were applauded by UWI faculty as well as the First Citizens Group—most notably represented by the person behind the internship programme, Professor Sterling K Frost, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Operations and Administration and UWI Professor of Practice in Management Studies.

Addressing the Group’s commitment to its stakeholders and its corporate social responsibility in the face of the changing landscape due to the pandemic, Deputy CEO Professor Frost offered the students this advice:

 “I challenge you today to not accept anything that is normal or new normal, as this in itself constrains our ability to think expansively about fundamentally transforming ourselves and our society….The new normal should not be the lens through which we examine our changed world. We should use our discomfort to forge a new paradigm instead. A paradigm of excellence, a paradigm of resilience and paradigm of transformation.”

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