It's OK to fall; success in the process, aspiring scholars told

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, September 16, 2018

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Leaving an established career in the private sector to lead the now Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) was a major career transition, says Professor Fritz Pinnock.

However, he said, all the emotions that usually come with making those decisions are helpful to connect the dots of life and should be embraced in order to progress.

Pinnock was addressing aspiring scholars to the Chevening Scholarship at a sensitisation event at the Mandeville Hotel recently.

The scholarship, organised through the British High Commission, allows successful candidates to pursue fully funded one year master's degrees at universities in the United Kingdom.

The deadline for applicants interested in starting programmes next year closes on November 6.

Pinnock told the gathering that they should not only dream of what they would like to achieve in each phase of their journey but make proactive moves in order to achieve them.

“Many of us will stand up, which is good, but not good enough; you need to stand out. To stand out takes a lot. Take responsibility for yourself. It's ok to fall. The more you fall and get up, that pushes you to success. Success is in the process…,” he said.

The CMU president said when he started at the institution and saw the limited resources, he went on a quest for development, which required him to make more than one attempt to reach the point where it is today.

“It was a seven-and-a-half year journey. I wrote 90 proposals, which got 'No' [but] the 91st succeeded,” he said.

Pinnock urged the attendees to go for their degrees but emphasised that the future of Jamaica also lies in acquiring skills and competence.

“Go for your education, but within your education, make yourself employable,” he urged.

Pinnock said that having a good attitude was also important.

Racquel Peters, head of international trade at the British High Commission, said that leaders within organisations should encourage employees to grow and feel empowered as that is how businesses will do well.

“Jamaican businesses should build successful companies by building the people whom you work with and who work for you. CEOs, human resource managers, you need to encourage higher education and skills training among your employees. Implement policies that encourage your staff members to pursue foreign education opportunities such as Chevening Scholarships. Work to combat the disparity between boys and girls in education,” she said.

Peters said that the new skills and newfound ideas should be valued locally.

The scholarship sensitisation session in Mandeville was a collaboration between the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the British High Commission.

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