Caribbeans celebrate Durham MBA
(23 August 2006)
This summer Durham Business School celebrated the first ever cohort of students to graduate from its Caribbean MBA.
Three of the 22-strong cohort made the long trip back to Durham to attend a special graduation ceremony at Durham Cathedral and celebrate their success with family and friends at the Business School.
Patrick Thomas, Everette Hanley and June Boyce all studied together on Durham Business School’s Caribbean MBA based in Barbados.
For Patrick Thomas, Area and Country Manager for Barclays Bank and First Caribbean International Bank, the MBA has provided him with a wider business perspective.
Patrick, who was accompanied by his wife and cousin for the celebrations in Durham, said: “The interaction with the lecturers made a big difference and really gave me the opportunity to take a broader look at things, especially with regard to globalisation.
“The Durham degree is prestigious and has a real resonance in this part of the world.”
Students on the Caribbean MBA come from a wide range of managerial functions in both the private and public sectors.
The programme comprises six core modules including managing people, managing finance, managing in the competitive environment, information management and managing in the global environment.
Patrick added: “The MBA has opened my eyes to other possibilities and has made me think more about my personal goals outside of banking.”
A colleague of Patrick’s also enrolled on the Caribbean MBA. Everette Handley, Retail Collections Manager for First Caribbean International Bank, realised the added potential an MBA could give him, in terms of his professional and personal development.
Everette, said: “With increasing globalisation, it is no longer good enough to rely solely on experience – it is becoming more important to have a professional qualification.
He added: “There are no longer ‘jobs for life’ and it is important to make yourself more marketable and have the qualifications to support your experience. I feel that the Caribbean MBA has enabled me to do that.”
Everette came to graduate with his peers, accompanied by his wife and three children. With a full-time job and a family in Barbados, the programme was demanding but very rewarding.
“Part of my role is to motivate and promote self-development and the MBA reinforced the fact that self-discipline is the key to achieving these goals.”
June Boyce, works for the Caribbean Development Bank as a Consultant Programmer. She said: “I have quite a technical role and I was keen to gain a management qualification so that I could use my expertise in other areas of the business.
“One of my favourite elements of the Caribbean MBA was that our assignments related directly to our own company. This really helped make it true-to-life.”
While the Caribbean MBA is in its infancy, Durham University’s links with the Caribbean go back much further. In 1865, the University offered degrees in theology, history and law through Codrington College in Barbados. The partnership continued for over a century and there are still many Durham alumni in the region.
Peter Allen, Programme Director of the Caribbean MBA, believes that the success of the first cohort has provided solid foundations for the development of the programme in coming years. He said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the Caribbean MBA programme - they have been a really wonderful group of students.
“I am sure the programme will go from strength to strength and continue to provide a resource that will be of real value to our Caribbean counterparts by offering a powerful forum for collaborative learning and the co-development of practical and relevant business solutions."
Durham Business School partnered with Ernst and Young to launch the Carribean MBA and its success enabled the formation of the Carribean Management Education Centre (CariMEC).
Ernst and Young continue to be fully supportive of the programme and sponsor the prize for the top student each year. Dr Christine Parkinson, CEO of CariMEC, said: “The Durham MBA has been well received in the region and we are now one of the leading players in the market here.
“Our students come from a variety of backgrounds but they share a real desire to expand their knowledge and expertise and possess a strong motivation to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment.”
More information about the Durham Business School’s MBA programmes ring 0191 334 5533 or visit the website.