Simone Narine is headed for a future in digital marketingSunday, November 07, 2021
The 2021 NCB Foundation scholarship recipients are all pursuing degrees in digital programmes. There are 14 chosen scholars this year, one from each parish, and the focus on digital for this year's scholarship and grant programme seeks to empower Jamaicans to create digital solutions that solve local and global challenges, become financially independent and literate, and be resilient in an increasingly volatile, uncertain and complex world.
We have been highlighting a few of the recipients, with the hope of inciting a level of hope amongst students who may be struggling, or those who may be interested in pursuing a digital career, but need some reassurance and inspiration.
Digital careers present students with an opportunity to learn to adapt and be agents of change within Jamaica's digital transformation.
Meet Simone Narine.
SIMONE Narine, 19, is from the community of Seaview Gardens in Kingston. She is a first-year student, enrolled in the BSc in Marketing with a major in digital marketing and advertising management programme at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC).
C&E: How would you introduce yourself to the world?
SN: I am a hard-working and driven young lady who is shy but willing to take on any task. I am very open-minded, creative, reliable and ambitious. I hope the world will accept me for who I am.
C&E: Where do you see yourself in five years?
SN: Realistically speaking, in five years I see myself in my profession as a digital marketing specialist. I also see myself doing research to start up a print-on-demand e-commerce service with the option to sell and buy products, catering to creatives in Jamaica.
C&E: What sets you apart from other students in other disciplines?
SN: I believe that my personality traits will help me to become one of the best digital marketing specialists. I am empathetic, innovative and open-minded. These qualities are what sets me apart from other students in other disciplines.
C&E: Why did you choose to do the degree you're doing now?
SN: I chose this degree because it aligned with my CAPE subjects in lower sixth which were information technology, management of business, communication studies and entrepreneurship. I did my research and watched a lot of videos about digital marketing to gain insight about it. I even did an online self-assessment to see if my personality traits were compatible with the career choice. Finally, I decided that this was what I wanted to do, and I believed that UCC was the best option for me to get my degree.
C&E: Who or what would you say is your biggest motivator?
SN: My biggest motivator right now is my need for achievement. I've set some personal goals for myself which I am very eager to accomplish. Every day brings me closer to my goals and it is up to me to do what is best to meet them.
C&E: How did you gain an interest in your area, and what industry do you want to pursue post-graduation?
SN: After being unsure of what career path I wanted to take, I did my research and decided that digital marketing was the perfect fit. I was always passionate about the different ways Jamaica's brand can be improved and I said to myself, why not start with the businesses here. In high school, my principles of business classmates and I used to find it difficult to get information about certain business places in Jamaica. I found out that the best way to fix this was to become a digital marketing specialist. I would also like to become an entrepreneur in the e-commerce industry after graduating from university.
C&E: What are the career opportunities available locally for your major?
SN: According to LinkedIn, there are over 173 and more marketing jobs and 54 digital marketing jobs available right now in Jamaica. Some of the job titles mentioned were digital marketing specialists, media planners, social media marketers, research analysts in innovation, brand managers, and many more.
C&E: How do you see this helping you contribute to Jamaica's development, especially on the digital front?
SN: We are living in the technological era, where almost everything is/can be done over the Internet. Jamaica relies heavily on tourism. As Jamaica gradually transforms into a more digitally inclined society, digital marketing can be used as a driving force to help push the tourism sector forward and build the economy. If more young people pursue a digital career, eventually more job opportunities will be created for them and this will increase productivity in the nation.
C&E: Was this always what you wanted to do?
SN: Digital marketing was not what I always wanted to do. I initially wanted to become a conveyance lawyer because I was interested in dealing with contracts for houses or buildings, but when I graduated and I went to sixth form I had a change of heart. I watched YouTube videos about the different career options I could consider that was related to my studies at the time and I fell in love with digital marketing.
C&E: Tell us one interesting thing about you
SN: I love art. I dabbled in digital art this year and did my first commission last month, and my client loved it. I haven't got the time to do art as much as I used to because I am extremely busy with school, but whenever I get a break I will work on my art some. Though I am very good at it, I am not exactly where I want to be.
C&E: How has the scholarship helped you pursue your dream?
SN: The scholarship I received from the NCB Foundation definitely lifted the weight off of my parents' shoulders. Our life was not easy financial-wise, and I am forever grateful for the scholarship. Now, I am sure that many of the other recipients and I are able to focus on our school work more without wondering how we will be able to pay the fees our universities require.
C&E: What would you say to other students interested in pursuing a digital career, but may need some reassu rance and inspiration about their choice?
SN: My advice to students who are interested in pursuing a digital career is your parents might want you to take the more traditional route of becoming a doctor or a lawyer, and while those are good career choices, it is important for you to determine what is best for you. Doing your own research is very important. Try to look up companies or persons in your career choice because chances are they will always have insight on their profession to give on the Internet. When I was in sixth form, I was confused about what career path to choose. I did my research and came to the conclusion that I wanted to do digital marketing. If you are thinking about taking on a digital career, I advise you to use the many social media platforms, websites, and search engines like YouTube, Google, and Instagram to get an idea of what a digital career entails. I recommend that you watch Digital Jamaica on YouTube because that channel has helped me a lot. Lastly, just stay focused and believe in yourself and always remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.