Tuesday 26 March, 2019

New bachelor degree programme takes entrepreneurship to global level

Photo: Undergraduate Academic Advisor at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, Kersha Garner.

Photo: Undergraduate Academic Advisor at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, Kersha Garner.

Business students seeking an extra boost to push their business ideas on a global level can now apply to the new Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business.

Kersha Garner, Undergraduate Academic Advisor at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business said the programme is specifically designed to assist young people in learning how to develop sustainable business practices to ensure success at an international level.

 “The Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business was launched in April 2018. The purpose for us starting a programme like this is to give young people the opportunity to experience business education and business practice.”

“While there are quite a few management studies programmes available, this particular programme is geared towards people who are seeking to have their own business, passionate about entrepreneurship, passionate about understanding how to take their idea and create a profitable business that is also sustainable for a long period of time.”

“But not only that, entrepreneurship is a mindset, so you can be an entrepreneur by having your own business and you can also behave like an entrepreneur within a company...entrepreneurship is about identifying opportunities and taking risks."

 “Students of the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business will understand and be exposed to the practical aspects of business; how to start it, how to help it grow, and how to secure the right financing and tools to take that product overseas, maybe to China, the UK, or Brazil,” she said.

She said the programme is suitable for a range of interests, from entrepreneurship to project management.

 “For individuals who prefer to work on large projects, they will need to understand financial management, so the programme will be able to assist that individual.”

“For those who prefer to work for themselves, for those entrepreneurs out there, we’re saying we can give you the knowledge, the tools and the help you need to develop the skills, to be disruptive and innovative and to create products and/or services or expand on something that already exists and improve on it, that is the kind of mindset we are looking to create,” she said.


Focus on practical application

Garner said the programme focuses on the practical application of business concepts, featuring a summer internship which ensures students receive viable experience within companies in order to give them that added advantage.

Within the first year students get an understanding of the core courses, and at the end of that first year they must register their own business. This way they can learn and understand how to go through the real process of setting up a business.

“In their second year they continue their courses and they must complete a five to eight-week summer internship. We pair them with a company based on their interest and career path, and they will be able to get first-hand experience of company processes as well as being challenged on how to contribute and excel in a dynamic business environment.”

“In the third year they would choose their elective courses – they can do technology and operations management, strategy and project execution or disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship, depending on their career path they will be able to fine-tune the skills they have learned.”

“In their fourth year they would complete a capstone project, this is a group-based project where they have to come together and identify a problem in the world of business and come up with a research-based strategy to solve it or to present in detail their Business for their Business”

“The school’s teaching and learning philosophy is about “authentic business education” meaning that students are not only exposed to the theoretical knowledge, they must also showcase how to apply that knowledge.  Assessment will include examinations, individual projects, internships, assignments, written and presentation work. It’s a well-rounded programme,” she said.


Local programme, global reach

Garner emphasised that the programme focuses not only on creating a sustainable business but establishing one’s product or service globally.

“The programme not only equips students to learn about local business practices, it will also give them the tools to market and sell their products overseas.”

For example, if you’re selling pepper sauce, but you have people from the UK who taste your pepper sauce and want to buy it over there. How can you get that pepper sauce into the groceries in the UK? The student will now learn how to export and market their products overseas, to fulfil the required processes in order to have their products approved. The programme will teach students how to do business in other territories.”

“We’re not just looking at business in Trinidad and Tobago, we have to look broader than that,” she said.

(Photo: Undergraduate Academic Advisor Kersha Garner said students of the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business will have access to the tools, skills and guidance needed to take entrepreneurship to the global level.)


Winning combination: Passion paired with skills

Although students will have all they need in terms of tools and skills, one of the most important elements is passion.

“Passion is the first step to realising your business goals. That, paired with the knowledge, skills and tools that this programme can give you, makes the winning combination for success.

“Reacting to adversity is also important; you need grit in order to get up and find a way. That’s what we’re pushing, a solution-driven mind-set.”

"This bachelor degree is also a University of the West Indies degree, so students will be exposed and have access to the best of both worlds: the quality of Faculty and teaching methodologies of the Business School and the access to amenities, campus life and life-long establishment of the University of the West Indies," she said.

Garner assured that throughout the programme, students would have the necessary support to help them achieve their goals.

Students can either use their skills to help launch their own businesses or apply within the business industry for positions within the technical, management, operations and project management fields.


Eligibility requirements

Interested applicants do not need to have prior business experience.

However, they would need to have:

- At least five CSEC or O’Level passes, inclusive of Mathematics and English (Grades 1-3), or

- High School Grade 12 certification with a minimum GPA of 3.0, or

- Professional and/or vocational certificates along with three years’ minimum working experience.

All applicants will also need to undergo an Admissions Assessment.


For more information visit Arthur Lok Jack School of Business online here: http://bit.ly/2NZuGzK

Visit them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/lokjackgsb or Twitter: @lokjackgsb

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