Career & Education

From intern to manager

Andre Bromfield's climb at JMMB

Sunday, July 30, 2017

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For branch development manager with responsibility for JMMB's Santa Cruz and Junction locations, Andre Bromfield, summer jobs were a routine way of spending the holidays while attending Munro College. But on his mother's advice, he stepped things up a notch while pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Management Studies at The University of the West Indies, Mona, and got a job related to his field of study.

That was in June 2007. He landed a place at JMMB as part of the company's decade-old summer employment programme, which affords young people the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in a financial institution. It also facilitates the interns' personal and professional development while providing an opportunity for JMMB to groom and acquire young talent.

Asked about his corporate ladder climb, Bromfield said it was largely due to his 'big picture' view of his career and the unique JMMB culture that is built on what the company calls a vision of love.

“JMMB also fosters an environment where they empower and nurture young talent to grow with the company as it expands. They are also willing to 'take a chance' with an employee who they believe has the potential and has demonstrated consistently exemplary performance,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Bromfield, who is not yet 30, encourages students to make the most of similar opportunities because, in addition to the earning power that it affords, it can be an excellent launching pad to one's career.

Giving deeper insight into his own approach, he shared with Career & Education some specific actions that young people with similar ambitions should take.

1 Researchthe company

Bromfield encourages interns to research the company before applying for internship and even during the period, so that they can make the best use of the opportunity.

“While doing my research on JMMB, I noticed Kisha Anderson's profile, which had indicated that she began her career at JMMB as a summer intern and had climbed the ranks in the company. That prompted me to apply to JMMB, as I saw it as a company that rewarded its own team and that there was opportunity for career growth.”

“I was actually interviewed for my internship by Kisha,” Bromfield said, reminiscing.

He added: “While doing your internship, it is important to determine if this company is the right fit for you, based on its culture. Try to also read more about the company's policies and procedures and see where you can apply the theory learnt in school to the on the job experiences.”

According to Cecile Cooper, country manager, culture and human development, Bromfield and Anderson are but two of several individuals who joined JMMB as summer interns and later transitioned into permanent staff.

2 Make a mark

“As an intern, seek to perform well in your job, regardless of the nature of the job,” Bromfield advises.

“The recommendation of your immediate team lead will help to determine any future job prospects at the company, so ensure you leave a good impression.”

3 Think of yourself as apart of the full-time team, and act like it

“Treat your summer internship with the same level of seriousness that you would a full-time job, likening it to a probationary period. Be punctual, meet deadlines, exceed your targets — as this helps to shape your reputation at the company,” he said.

“You are limited only by your own actions,” the young man added.

4 Look at thebig picture

He outlined that although an intern is hired to carry out specific functions and complete particular projects, it is important to use the opportunity to determine whether the role offers long-term growth and balances your focus on your career trajectory.

“Use your initiative, and where you identify specific gaps or can lend your expertise, then share these recommendations. Taking this approach allows you to create a road map for your career path,” he explained.

5 Be forward-thinking

“Prepare yourself while in your current role, for the succeeding role so that if an opportunity arrives you are ready,” shared Bromfield. “While I was an intern I took the initiative to shadow the then express transaction officer, so that I could better understand the role and the criteria for growth in that role, and even offered to assist with tasks. When the role became vacant a few months later, I was recommended for the job because of my performance. Additionally, it was an easy transition into the role because I was familiar with some aspects while being an intern.”

The manager notes that his decade-long decorated career path, which has included serving as a relief client relations officer and personal portfolio advisor, has been a rewarding experience.

The JMMB Group summer employment programme took on 80 tertiary and senior high school students this year. They have been assigned to several departments in the company, working alongside permanent staffers on special projects, and providing clerical and administrative support. They are also given the opportunity to participate in the company's sporting activities and attend its events.

Ahead of starting their official duties, interns are introduced to JMMB's culture, its policies, and financial offerings.

The programme runs from June to August.

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