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salome belasco

Lok Jack GSB MBA in Sustainable Energy Management ranked # 17 in Oil and Gas Management and Trade Worldwide

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We are proud to announce that our MBA Sustainable Energy Management programme is the only one in the Caribbean that has been ranked number seventeen (#17) in the Oil and Gas Management and Trade worldwide in the ‘Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking Worldwide 2019.’
The MBA in Sustainable Energy Management is recognized by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) with its prestigious MBA Innovation Award. This award is for MBA programmes that “are innovative in content and they have taken risks by introducing new ideas and concepts.” The Association of MBAs is the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education. Their accreditation service is the global standard for all MBA, DBA and MBM programmes.

For more information on this programme speak to our academic advisor Mrs. Shivana Ali at 645-6700 ext. 200 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Ms. Renee Thomas, Programme Director of Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business

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Ms. Renee Thomas is the Programme Director of the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business at UWI-ALJGSB, she has over 15 years’ marketing and sales experience in the banking, distribution, media and education industries. As Programme Director for the Bachelor of International & Sustainable Business, she works closely with faculty and other key stakeholders to create a positive learning environment for students while maintaining the Business School’s quality standards through the design, delivery, and evaluation of the programme. Ms Thomas outlines below the value the undergraduate programme provides to students and some advice to persons that are uncertain on their next step!

The BISB programme aims to prepare students with the foundation required for launching and leading successful businesses as well as the development and running of businesses or business units with directions towards innovation, international expansion, sustainability and growth.

Students will:

  • Focus on the problems and challenges of business and society, while seeking to address unmet needs
  • Understand the evolving world of business
  • Develop the skillsets to operate with self-confidence as entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs
  • Launch and grow new businesses or ensure the sustainability of existing corporations through the creation of innovative add-on products and services

Why should someone do this programme?

  1. The programme prepares you to become an entrepreneur (someone that starts a business at taking on financial risks in hope of making a profit) or an intrapreneur (employee who develops innovative ideas, products or projects within a company)
  2. Practical learning environment. Classrooms are a mix of traditional learning (students listen while lecturers teach) and authentic learning (guest speakers, games, case study discussions, debates, group projects and presentations and simulations)
  3. Learning approach was designed to help students:
    1. Develop a global, entrepreneurial and sustainable mindset.
    2. Become critical thinkers, social activist, leaders, problem solvers
  1. Lecturers are a mix of academic and industry specialists
  2. Business Spanish is delivered every semester to prepare students for international business opportunities in non-English territories
  3. The specialisations (Technology & Operations Management, Strategy & Project Execution and Disruptive Innovation & Entrepreneurship) are designed to help students develop the capacity to innovate along the value chain in their own business or an existing organisation
  4.  Socially responsive projects that are executed as part of the core curriculum (for e.g. for your Self Awareness & Leadership course you will be identified/develop a community-based project and work on it for the duration of the course)
  5. The Capstone project integrates all the learnings of the programme. Students are required to solve a challenge or undertake an intervention in a sustainable manner for an existing organisation
  6. Access to the University of the West Indies facilities (library, gym, swimming pool, tennis court, clubs, social activities centre)

 

My advice to persons who are unsure about your next step upon completion of CSEC or CAPE

“If you find yourself uncertain about the area of business you want to study or the type of career you want to pursue, then the BISB programme is definitely for you! This programme was designed to allow students to dream big, find their passion, purpose and voice. You practice as you learn, giving you the ability to prepare yourself for the world of work. You gain basic business management knowledge while focusing on how to lead, launch, innovate and sustain your own business or a multinational company.”

Sign up now, and let us help you make your University experience one you will never forget!

 

For further information, speak with the academic advisor Ms. Kersha Garner at 645-6700 ext. 200 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

 

What’s the difference between the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business and a Business Management Degree?

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A lot of persons asks this question: “How does the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business differ from a Management degree?” Let’s clarify this for you.

The Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business degree:

  • Prepares students with the foundation required to launch and lead a successful business as well as provides them with skillsets needed to develop and run a business or business unit with direction towards innovation, international expansion, sustainability, and growth.
  • Through a practical learning environment, the programme teaches students to be visionaries, intuitive, creative, innovative, risk-takers and approach tasks informally
  • Prepares students to develop a global, entrepreneurial and sustainable mindset (a way of thinking that allows leaders to make strategic decisions based on the context of their environment in mind with their intended impact)

 

A Business Management degree:

  • Provides students with a broad understanding of business organisations with subject-specific knowledge in areas such as markets, customers, finance, operations, communication, information technology, and business policy and strategy.
  • A theoretical approach to the understanding of business, leadership, and teamwork
  • Focuses on developing students to function and operate an existing business
  • Teaches students to be calculative, risk-averse and approach tasks formally

 

For more information, contact the Academic Advisor Ms. Kersha Garner at 645-6700 ext. 200 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business students coordinates International Day 2019

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On February 14th, 2019 the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business hosted International Day in commemoration of ‘World International Day 2019’ which was coordinated by the undergraduate students at Lok Jack GSB. The event highlighted the international opportunities that exist for current students such as employment opportunities and student exchanges.

The event was oversubscribed with over 200 forms five and CAPE ‘A ‘ level students from various schools. There were embassies such as the Republic of Chile, Japan, USA and more. In additon, there were companies showcasing their products and services as well as sharing their internship opportunities available to participants. These were as follows: Blue Waters, Nestle, Massy Technologies, Association of Caribbean States, grand Bay Paper Products and more.

 

Nicholas Jagdeo, current student in Master of International Business

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Why did you choose to do the MIB programme?

My experiences in life have taken me out of Trinidad for extended periods of time, which opened my eyes to the possibility of starting my own business in a more international way. But, nothing I had learned was really geared towards understanding how businesses and multinational corporations operate on a global scale. When I saw Lok Jack GSB was offering a master’s program that’s specifically tailored to address the scope of international business, I felt like it came at exactly the right time. The program offered an option to complete the degree in one year or one year and three months. I knew it would be intense, but this was an overwhelming attraction for me.

 

What is your experience thus far within the programme?

I’ve truly seen the intelligence behind the design of the program and its structure, especially as I continue to progress along the pathway. The core courses build upon each other, and as we advance, in finding the material challenging, but easy to ingest because of what was laid before. The workshops have been quite good, and I’m enjoying that program facilitators have seen the need to introduce some practical workshops (eg. consulting and learning how to write a business plan). Life is about curveballs, and the curveballs we’ve gotten – being the first MIB cohort – have been nothing short of exciting!

 

Who should do this program?

This program seems geared towards those who want to branch out – whether regionally or internationally, but really branch out of Trinidad. Prospective candidates need to be well-read and have a strong grasp of current events, international relations and have a thirst for international business.

 

How has this programme impacted you professionally?

Extremely! The course has helped me in understanding my own entrepreneurial goals and is guiding me into achieving them. Every course has taught me something that I’m trying to implement, also in my personal life.

 

For more information on this programme contact Ms. Kerry-Ann Jordan at 868-645-6700 ext. 351 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Okera Duncan, National Open Scholarship awardee chooses to stay in Trinidad and pursue the undergraduate degree at Lok Jack GSB

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Okera Duncan graduated from Queens Royal College at CAPE level in 2017 with a national open scholarship in the field of Modern Languages, he did languages at CSEC and at CAPE level pure Mathematics, French, Spanish, Communications Studies and Caribbean Studies. He resides with his family at Mt. Hope, has one sibling and a firm supporter of advancement in technology. Okera is also the Founder of ‘Sapienza Educational Services’ which is an online platform to learn various languages, he’s also the President of the student society CGMT initiative (Caribbean Global Multicultural Task Force Initiative) which promotes cultures and languages by their practice.

Everyone was astonished by his decision to stay in Trinidad to pursue his undergraduate degree as they knew he always wanted to study abroad to enhance his global space in addition to gaining the benefits and opportunities that follow. However, he knew that he can get that also right here in Trinidad and Tobago based on the vast amount of technological advancement currently occurring such as social media amongst others.

This is when Okera went on an adventure to look for the right institution that will give him the advantage, tools, and resources needed in order for him to succeed in what he wants to do. Okera then saw an ad in the press for the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business at Lok Jack GSB which piqued his interest, so he decided to attend an information session at the school and heard more on the programme and in his words “the rest was history.”

Okera experience within Lok Jack GSB thus far has been an eye-opener as he’s been exposed to different workshops and seminars where he got the opportunity to network with influential business professionals and advance his knowledge within different fields of study. His advice to persons looking to do a bachelor degree is, “do your research.”

 

Learn more on the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business here: http://bit.ly/2YUOnOj

 

 

Anjaana Downes – current student in Master of International Business

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Why did you choose to do the MIB programme?

I chose the MIB, after two years of searching for a suitable programme that would catapult my marketability within the international market. Since I’ve started the programme I’ve not only been considered for opportunities not open to me before but I’ve also been able to apply real-life experiences as well as practical knowledge within several key learning areas. It doesn’t hurt that I now also have a better grasp of the Spanish language which I’ve wanted to learn for quite some time.

 

What is your experience thus far within the programme?

After six months I’ve not only gained extensive knowledge but also experienced personal growth through learning how to apply myself as well as working with others. A Master’s programme definitely also teaches patience and discipline that may or may not have existed previously. This to me is one of the most important benefits of the programme. Professional growth is great but personal growth can potentially affect all areas of your life positively. Arthur Lok Jack has also been extremely in providing additional workshops and extra-curricular activities that are not mandatory parts of the degree programme, but are open to all students. This has also been a great experience and I’ve ensured to take advantage of many of them.

 

Who should do this programme?

Anyone who is interested in learning about different areas of business can benefit from this programme. Even if the focus is not necessarily on an international arena. The skills and educational benefits can also be applied within a local setting. The international aspect is a bonus.

 

How has this programme impacted you professionally?

My path has been expanded to include a range of new opportunities since including this programme on my resume. I’ve been considered for several scholarships and am now eligible for additional roles that I had initially been interested in prior. I am also a lot more secure in applying for these roles, since I know I have more of the criteria required to fulfil them.

 

For more information on this programme contact the academic advisor Ms. Kerry-Ann Jordan at 868-645-700 ext. 351 or email: k.jordan@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Is Your Money Safe?

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Introduction

Do you evaluate the riskiness of your financial institution or do you simply invest based on the power of the brand? I strongly suspect that it is not based on risk assessment but on some other factors. How does the financial institution now treat with such blind faith? It is beyond the scope of this article to cover every aspect of this topic but rather to give the reader an insight into what they may be exposed to by the financial system.

Risk Management

All financial institutions are well aware of the term risk management. They have it all carefully worked out. The Asset Liability Management Committee meets regularly to ensure that everything is maintained within parameters and all should be well.  There is actually more to it than meets the eye. All financial institutions are exposed to a number of risks which they should carefully consider and evaluate on a regular basis.

The international banking sector has adopted sophisticated risk management systems to manage the relationship between risk, return and capital with a view towards maximizing returns within the established risk management framework.

Despite these risk management frameworks ranging from the Basel Accords, local laws and regulations and individual bank requirements, there has been no standard risk-taking behavior adopted by all financial institutions. All other factors being equal in terms of economic conditions and environmental conditions, there have been significant influences on the risk-taking behavior of financial institutions leading to differences in their performances.

 Unintended Risk Exposure

During the 2008 financial crisis, there were more than 400 bank failures in the United States.  This had a major effect on the economy of the United States as well as a damaging ripple effect around the world due to the interconnectedness of the global financial system.

According to Ben Bernake, The failure to appreciate risk exposures at the firm-wide level can be costly. Example during the 2008 financial crisis, firms did not fully comprehend the extent of their exposure to US subprime mortgages. They did not recognize that in addition to the subprime mortgages on their books they were also exposed to these mortgages via off balance sheet vehicles.

In Trinidad and Tobago, investors in Clico Investment Bank faced a similar situation of being exposed to the risk of which they may not have been aware at the time of investment.

Due to the interconnectivity of the financial system financial institutions are being encouraged to consider not just their direct customers and shareholders but to adopt the bigger view of the stakeholders. A stakeholder in this instance is the wider society. Why is this so important?

The “too big to fail” theory adopted by financial institutions means that they have effectively transferred their risk to the stakeholder. This means as in the case of the US subprime fiasco and locally Clico and Hindu Credit Union, the taxpayers were forced to bail out the institutions to avoid economic collapse. Stakeholders (taxpayers) were exposed to risk without any agreement on their part.  This risk transference is indeed very worrying as the extent of the risk only becomes apparent after a crisis.

How Much Risk is Enough?

But what does risk management mean? The technocrat will probably answer that risk should be kept within defined standards and this could be verified by audits (internal and external). But more importantly, it will also be verified by external credit rating agencies.  Your financial institution is probably rated AAA. What does that really mean? Does that rating mean anything to you? Well first of all who exactly are you? Are you a depositor, shareholder or stakeholder? How does your financial institution measure up?

In terms of risk-taking behavior, the banking sector in Trinidad and Tobago has been very conservative in their lending as evidenced by an average delinquency rate of 4% which is 1 % lower than the industry benchmark.  This can be interpreted as the banking sector in Trinidad and Tobago is not taking enough risk as their profit margins are largely dependent on the spread and service fees.

This may be viewed as the banks not lending to projects with positive NPVs. The high profitability of the banking sector without them taking enough risk may be enough to appease shareholders but stakeholders remain dissatisfied by the overly conservative nature. What is the purpose of the bank? Banks may intentionally not take the risk even with projects with a positive NPV to maintain their credit ratings. Apart from profits, banks are supposed to play a developmental role in society.

But good governance is not about not taking a risk, but rather taking the right amount of risk according to the stakeholder’s risk appetite. This implies that stakeholders should be aware of the potential risk and rewards and make an informed decision. This, of course, is where the Board should be concerned in providing the right oversight and make decisions based on correct and current information.

The Role of the Regulator

The important lesson learned from previous financial crises is that you cannot place full trust in regulators. After every crisis, new rules and regulations are instituted with an aim of plugging the previous loopholes, but these deal with specificities rather than the entire system as a whole, which is not an easy task by the way.  The truth is that the rate of innovation in business and banking is beyond the capacity of the regulators to be proactive. There must be some type of governance mechanism to deal with this issue.

Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that financial Institutions and indeed any business cannot succeed without taking a risk. The classic financial theory also highlights the theory of risk and reward going hand in hand. But there is information asymmetry, so stakeholders are at a disadvantage and hence decision making is skewed. It is therefore that stakeholders carefully monitor the health not just of their financial institution, but the financial system as a whole because they may be faced with the risk that they had no idea was transferred to them. What do you think? Are you comfortable now?

Bhushan Singh is Lecturer and Consultant at the UWI Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

Bachelor Students from French Guiana visit the Lok Jack GSB for their summer session

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French Guianese students from the from the École de Gestion et de Commerce de Guyane, visited the Lok Jack GSB North Campus for a study tour as part of their summer session, from 27 – 29 May. This initiative was spearheaded by the Institutional and International Relations Centre (IIRC), and included the participation and support of our Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business students and coordinators.

The students were first treated to a tour of the Lok Jack GSB campus before plunging into a full schedule of various educational activities and sessions, facilitated by local and regional business experts. These sessions included “Conducting Business in the Caribbean & Latin America” facilitated by Dr. Mahindra Ramesh Ramdeen, CEO, Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA), and “Youths in Business” presented by Mr. Surrendra Maharaj, Chief Coach and Principal Consultant, Boundless Consulting and Mr. Sedron Collings, Managing Director, Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Dr. Mahindra Ramesh Ramdeen, CEO of the TTMA, speaks to French Guianese students on “Conducting Business in the Caribbean & Latin America.’”  

 

At the sessions, students were presented with various topics related to exporting in the Caribbean and Latin America including the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME), trade agreements, ease of doing business and more. Students were challenged to make comparisons with doing business in French Guiana.

Students also engaged in numerous workshops such as design thinking, which highlighted the transition from inspiration and ideation towards implementation. Our facilitators exposed them to tools and techniques such as visualization, mapping, and using storytelling to create solutions. They also engaged in testing, refining, and improving new ideas, business models, and processes. To wrap up the sessions, students who developed a business idea had the opportunity to present it to a panel of entrepreneurs.

 

Students from French Guiana and the Lok Jack GSB Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business (T&T) programme, mingling in front of the “Future of Trends Map” at the Atrium of the Lok Jack GSB campus.

 

Students Exchange and Study Tours are initiatives and services offered by the UWI-Lok Jack GSB through the Institutional and International Relations Centre (IIRC). For more information about student exchanges or study trips, please contact the IIRC at (868) 645-6700 ext. 139 or email: iirc@lokjackgsb.edu.tt.

To learn more about the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business programme, please contact the Admissions department at admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt or (868) 645-6700 ext. 200.

Shankarah Lessey, MBA in International Trade Logistics and Procurement Alumnus

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Mr. Shankarah Lessey, is an alumnus of the MBA in International Trade Logistics and Procurement (MBA ITLP) programme at UWI-Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, Senior Project Engineer at HDC, and author at Archway Publishing. We asked Shankarah to tell us what his experience was like throughout his enrolment at Lok Jack GSB, and on his current position. Check out his responses below:

 

 

5.30pm (or later if you were stuck in traffic!!) Dinner in the cafeteria.

The arrival times at the Lok Jack GSB Campus was notoriously varied across the student body with students coming from as far as Chaguaramas or Port of Spain after a hard day’s work. The well-stocked cafeteria was always my first stop before heading off to an evening of classes in the MBA ITLP Programme. Sada Roti, Aloo pie and sometimes pizza were all very welcomed treats that filled the corridors with lofty aromas that served to ease our daily stresses prior to starting our evening lectures.

Afternoon Seminars in YARA Auditorium

We often found ourselves in the large YARA Auditorium on afternoon sessions that tackled global issues in a local context with varied experts being invited to present to the student body, keeping our focus on making that impact in the industry and placing our studies into context. The seminars ranged a wide group of relevant topics such as climate change, the future of the oil and gas sector, public-private partnerships and waste-to-energy technologies in the Caribbean. These were all presented in a global setting but grounded in local and regional research in order to retain its relevance to the population.

4-8 lectures, industry experts presentations and student zoom sessions

I was always pleasurably intrigued by the depth of the MBA ITLP Programme and the connection the faculty had with industry which showed in the lectures and exams. The entire faculty was clearly guided by overarching policies that spoke to industry relevance, a relevance that came out in the frequent guest lectures from technical and executive personalities across industries of oil and gas production, port management, shipbuilding, Exim Bank and even from past students who currently act as ambassadors in their current workplace for the Lok Jack GSB.

Moving On

It has been really difficult to move on from the enjoyable life at Lok Jack GSB Campus, back to a work life that isn’t supplanted with daily lectures and monthly assignments from the semester’s group of lecturers. The most memorable part of the MBA was the International Business Trip in Shanghai, China organised by our Programme Director Dr. Khan. It was the experience of a lifetime, a different culture, business environment, trade zone and language was the ultimate MBA experience that connected all my learnings for the two-year programme and put it to use on a global scale in an international environment with other practitioners from across Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, China and Europe.

Currently, I have been accepted to Oxford University and Kings College London for different further graduate programmes that I am currently considering to pursue while I seek to publish my first print and digital books in August 2019. The MBA ITLP from the UWI-ALJGSB was truly an unforgettable experience that fully prepared me for the global business environment imparting the confidence, skill and focus that is needed in order to break into the global business environment.

 

For more information on the MBA in International Trade Logistics and Procurement programme please contact Mrs. Shivana Hosein, Academic Advisor at (868) 645-6700 ext.103 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt.

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