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Nice job, GraceKennedy!

Simone Clarke-Cooper

Monday, February 10, 2014    

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ALMOST a year after implementing its inaugural Formal Internship Programme, GraceKennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby Friday announced that all 10 interns who started the programme on March 4 of 2013, would be hired month-end by the conglomerate.

Wehby had promised the programme during a speech at the Mona School of Business and Management in September 2012, stressing the need for corporate Jamaica to give graduates fresh out of school, the opportunity to gain productive working experience.

"I noticed that all too often, employers wanted applicants with experience. But how could someone just out of university get experience in the first place without opportunity? We wanted to give them that opportunity," Wehby said Friday, adding that the company was pleased with the results of the programme, as the talent unearthed had been nothing short of impressive.

"These young people were operating in real roles, not odd jobs. And in addition to the work they were assigned, they participated in projects, and were assigned to committees. It wasn't easy, but they were enthusiastic, dedicated and ultimately successful. We are now proud to call them part of our dynamic GK team," he said.

The company has confirmed that the internship programme would continue this year, after a review. As was the case with the first set of students, applicants must possess a first degree with First or Upper Second Class Honours, and have no prior full-time job experience. Participants will be chosen based on areas of need in the company. The 2014 interns should begin their year-long internship in April.

Warren Cornwall and Kaydene DeSilva were two of the 10 chosen and among the 750 students who applied for the inaugural internship programme.

"Being a part of the GK internship programme has exposed me to new learning opportunities and provided me with the chance to meet and work with outstanding individuals. I am grateful and excited that I have been given the chance to become a permanent member of the GK family," said Cornwall, a junior risk analyst.

His sentiments were echoed by colleague and HR associate, DeSilva who said: "My first year spent at GK has been delightful. I work within a great team, and feel valued by each and every one of them. I enjoy my role and I am taking on new responsibilities all the time as that role develops."

Wehby added: "We consider this an investment in our own companies, and ultimately in Jamaica. I look forward to more of corporate Jamaica taking on initiatives like this."

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