ONE hundred and sixty-three high school and university students are to benefit from the recent resumption of the Sagicor Group Jamaica’s annual summer mentorship programme. The initiative resumed after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Half of the students were introduced to the programme at the first of two orientation sessions held on Friday, June 10 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Speaking at the session, Sagicor’s assistant vice-president of group human resources Marilyn Flynn said, “The main goal of this programme is to empower the Jamaican youth for the jobs of tomorrow; as such we will be focusing on three critical areas: helping our youth to get work experience, helping them to grow their network, and helping these students to gain new skills and knowledge required to enter the workforce and succeed.”
She went on to say, “we are always excited to host these young people as they bring renewed energy and innovative ideas to the office.”
As a precautionary measure against COVID-19, the programme only admitted just over half the usual numbers of approximately 300 students.
“This corporate social responsibility initiative is geared at touching the lives of young people in the communities in which Sagicor operate, and it remains impactful,” Flynn added.
With a view to foster greater understanding of their prospective career fields and provide exposure to the corporate working environment, the four-week programme will engage these high-achieving students from all walks of life with hands-on work experience and career guidance. They will also receive a stipend during the period.
One mentee, Jevaughn Mayne, a university student who has been assigned to the Client Services Division in the Kingston metropolitan area, shared that he was excited to be a part of the programme.
“I aspire to be a cybersecurity analyst for a financial institution, so this is where that path has led me, and I definitely think it will be beneficial working at Sagicor. I also think the investment information session during the orientation was beneficial to persons who might not have known about it prior to this event,” the Wolmer’s Boys’ alumnus said.
Flynn gave some insights into the programme and the purpose of the orientation session before the beginning of the on-the-job training.
“They will be working alongside our experienced team members in areas that align to their career aspirations, building on their existing skills and gaining new ones,” she added.
“We start by making sure that they know what is expected of them, offering them guidance on how to be professionals, among other things from an HR standpoint. When they get to the departments, they are going to be exposed to what happens in the workspace,” Flynn explained.
In addition to gaining a positive experience that will bolster their growth and development, Flynn pointed out that these engagements with professionals sometimes result in students finding lifelong mentors.
“It is really giving them the guidance they need, showing them what the world of work is like, giving them the opportunity to build the necessary skills and confidence they will need to meet the workforce challenges of tomorrow, offering them support where it is needed and giving them a foot into Sagicor, so to speak.
“The programme ensures learning doesn’t end when school lets out for the summer while providing an enriching experience. This is our way of helping to develop our children for the next stage of their lives and putting them on a path to contributing positively not just to our country but to the world at large,” she added.
The students were selected after an open call for applications was made to upper-sixth form and tertiary level students in May. The second session will be hosted on July 8.