Two students from Niagara College in Ontario, Canada, are in St Lucia on a 10-week internship programme.
The two, Emma Randall and Jasmine Simpson, are both second year students pursuing a Bachelors’ degree in International Commerce and Global Development. The internship is intended to give them hands-on experience living and working in a developing country and imparting their knowledge and skills while learning in a dynamic work environment.
Emma is at the Saint Lucia Coalition of Service Industries while Jasmine is at the Holistic School of Massage Therapy. The internship was facilitated by Diane Girard of NEX Consulting who liased with Maxine Semple – Study and Work Abroad Advisor at Niagara College. The two were in touch with SLCSI Executive Director, Yvonne Agard, who made the logistical arrangements.
Niagara College is one of three campuses in the Ontario region. The other two are Welland (Health and Forensics) and Niagara on the Lake (Business and Culinary). The study programmes at Niagara College are predominantly International Commerce and Global Development with a large intake on international students from the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America and Asia. The three campuses have a combined population of roughly 9000 students.
Emma, who is 20, is excited about her internship. She said there are a few St Lucian students at Niagara College and they encouraged her to make the best of her stay on the island. Emma describes herself as “outgoing and personable” and one who loves to travel. She has been to South Africa, England and France. She enjoys meeting people and learning new cultures. Emma is hoping her stint in St Lucia will bridge the gap between “what we study and what we see, and how it applies in the real world.” She added: “I hope to apply what I’ve learnt to this internship and hopefully learn from it as well. I really want to see how business is done in a different country so that can help me grow.”
Emma hopes to become an entrepreneur, owning and managing her own business someday.
Jasmine, 21, is the more soft-spoken of the two interns. St Lucia is only her second trip abroad. Her first trip was to Mexico in February 2005. She too is keen to learn new cultures and ways of doing business. Jasmine has been assigned to the St Lucia Holistic School of Massage Therapy – an area which she admits is relatively new to her but she’s keeping an open mind. She has studied market entry which will come in handy for this institution as it is on the verge of penetrating new markets within the OECS. Jasmine also has strong social media skills and is versed in programmes like PowerPoint and Prezi, which will come in handy in client presentations. She hopes to adapt very quickly to her new living and working environment.
Executive Director of the St Lucia Coalition of Service Industries, Yvonne Agard, said: “SLCSI is pleased to facilitate the internship of these two students. It’s part of our global reach as an organization. In the modern age of doing business, networking and strategic alliances are essential in opening new doors of opportunity. And so, we see this exchange as part of a process of growing our global network and building alliances which could serve us well in the future.”
Outside of their internship, Emma and Jasmine are looking forward to a truly wholesome St Lucian experience.