TSTT mentors Undergraduates in Vacation Internship Programme

TSTT University Vacation Interns together with Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Utilities Gary Joseph (front row4th from left) are flanked by other TSTT executives.

Port of Spain, Trinidad, July 18, 2018

Twenty-three university undergraduates have been selected to engage in six weeks of specialist workplace training in the TSTT University Vacation Internship Programme over the July – August period.

The enthusiastic bunch of young men and women participated in a character-building series of personal development workshops before being strategically placed into various administrative and technical departments across the organisation using a mentorship / on the job training approach.

At the Programme’s unveiling, Senior Manager,Human Capital Management, Jamiilah Linton-Anane, revealed this year’s theme – “Learn, Grow, B-Innovative” – as three key elements that will enable the students  to make a smoother transition from campus-life into the workplace.

During her opening address to the eager group of students, Linton-Anane stated that “This experience combined with the knowledge exposed at university can be seen as an excellent jump start to apply theory into practice and the skills needed to be successful in the world of work. Our internship programme provides life skills essentials and work ethics which increases the professional growth and value of each individual.  Interns will also be exposed to varying forms of technology to stimulate your interest in innovation.”

The 23 undergrads were shortlisted from over 80 applicants, after meeting the telecom giants’ key criteria. Those selected were second-year or third-year students at a recognised tertiary institution and maintained a minimum grade point average of 3.0. The academic fields of this year's participants include Computer Science, Management studies, Engineering, Science and even Spanish and Linguistics, among others.

Prior to taking up duties in their designated departments, TSTT hosted the students at a series of orientation seminars covering Customer Service Excellence, Health & Safety, Career Essentials & Time Management and Protocol & Etiquette. This year, TSTT also extended the Programme to the Ministry of Public Utilities, who provided five of the 23 applicants.

In her feature address, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Industrial Relations and Corporate Support Services, Carol David, urged the ambitious youngsters to veer away from traditional aspirations. She challenged the exuberant bunch to use this experience as a stepping stone towards becoming diverse young professionals.

“See this opportunity as a learning journey and TSTT as your learning lab, where you would come out not only as a better professional, but as a better person,” said David. “I want you to learn things about the working environment that you will never find in a book. This is a chance to re-evaluate what you are studying now. The skills you possess must be aligned to where the world is going. A lot of people in organisations are now realising that those skills they were so proud of years ago, are now losing relevance in the workplace so I am challenging you to be creative.”

Brandon Gareth Sidhusingh, a sophomore mechanical engineer at the University of the West Indies, expressed delight with his selection to the Internship Programme. He was also grateful for the ability to work alongside and gain practical knowledge from experienced engineers in his field of study. 

“Over the next couple weeks, I would be involved in the maintenance of systems, working with generators and other equipment that are heavily featured in my academic curriculum. In most school environments, a lot of emphasis is placed on theoretical approaches. This programme will help me a lot because it provides a great amount of hands-on work. It’s going to assist me with familiarising and acclimatising to the workplace,” he revealed.

Brandon and the other students had the opportunity to chat with Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Utilities Gary Joseph as well as members in TSTT’s executive team and management who were present at the launch, and took that opportunity to get additional insights and advice on their respective career paths.