More than 100 student members of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Accounting Students Association (ASA) received hands on career development training through the organisation’s annual Interview Fair recently.
Members of the association were given the opportunity to prepare for the work environment with the help of at least 20 businesses during the event at the Solutions Centre, 3Ws Oval, UWI, Cave Hill Campus on Wednesday, President of ASA, Ettonia Antrobus, said the aim was to expose students to the interview process with practice sessions conducted by corporate professionals.
Antrobus said multiple businesses and sectors throughout the island partnered with them to conduct the interviews with the students virtually and in person.
“It allows students to figure out what is expected of them in an interview environment. How to dress, how to answer questions and how to structure their CVs… and help them to be prepared as best as they can to essentially get the job,” she said.
Students had the opportunity to meet potential employers and gain wider knowledge about the fields they were aspiring to enter, including KPMG Jamaica, which participated in the initiative to scout potential employees.
“This year we were fortunate enough to have EY come in on Monday as well as KPMG to recruit persons for their assurance and tax and advisory positions, respectively. Regional branches like KPMG Jamaica would have also invited students for further employment, specifically final year students,” she said.
Managing director of Proficient Professional Services Sherene Blackett said she was encouraged by the preparation and conduct of the participating students. She noted that many seemed well prepared for work.
“It really was just fine tuning what they already know. So I’m very encouraged that we have a strong group of candidates here who will make a solid contribution to the world of work,” she said.
Blackett who had assisted with previous UWI Career Days said participation in similar events was important for shaping the future business.
“I think it’s important for us to help shape the future. To do whatever we can to assist the generation so that the future of business is in good hands. And if we don’t contribute to that, then how are we making sure that actually does happen,” she said Senior project officer of donor resources,
CARICOM Secretariat Kwesi Jones said it was critical for him to be a part of the programme as a major issue was the inability to find qualified employees “capable of functioning in peculiar situations” straight out of university.
“While we may not be a business as such, the range of things that we do requires students to approach it just like how they approach perhaps even the private sector or definitely as they approach certain positions in the public sector,” he said.
ASA has 200 international and local members and is a student club established to promote interest in the field of accounting while enhancing the academic, social and professional experiences of its members. (JK)