Pradesh Jaimungalsingh, Trinidad & Tobago - Top Paper Award in Strategic Human Resource Management, studied at School of Business and Computer Science - San Fernando

Predesh JaimungalsinghI am thirty-three years old.  I live in Otaheite, a village in South Trinidad.  I am married and have a beautiful two-year-old daughter whom I regard as my ultimate inspiration.  

My academic journey is a bit un-orthodox to the typical student I attend classes with. Fifteen years ago I started a degree programme but didn't complete.  I allowed the challenges of university to get the better of me.  I opted to get a job and dropped out.  This is perhaps the biggest mistake I have ever made and I have regretted it ever since.

While working I did some professional development courses.  I was able to get by and earn a living but nothing fantastic.  I made a decision to return to school and continue higher education as I realised the hard way that this would be the only way for new professional doors to open.

I chose ABE for a number of reasons.  Firstly, I got great reviews from several colleagues who were past students.  I saw their careers progress as they completed the different levels of study.  These were 'ordinary folk' that returned to school and I started noticing a lot of development in their ideas, their work ethic and trend of thought in their jobs.  This motivated me to research the ABE programme.  Secondly, I spoke to some of the lecturers at my local college as well as course administrators.  I soon realised that ABE provided both a holistic and theoretical approach to business study.  I was convinced that this is the programme that would be best suited for me. Thirdly, ABE is an internationally accredited designation.  This appealed to me as I am hoping to live abroad in the future.  This would allow me the opportunity to maintain some degree of competitiveness in the job market.

I studied both Level 5 and Level 6 at the School of Business and Computer Science in San Fernando, I honestly enjoy every minute of attending classes there.  The lecturers are effective, very experienced and well qualified.  

ABE has a positive image in Trinidad and Tobago.  It's highly recognised by many employers.  Specifically, I have noticed that the banking sector and many human resources departments in the Energy and Distribution sector recommend ABE as an option for staff development.

I personally enjoy the challenge of the exam structure for each module.  The exam questions continue to cover content and application from all learning outcomes and with a limited three hours to evaluate, plan, organise and prepare responses, it really pushes me beyond my previously conditioned mind-set.  I continue to push and challenge myself semester after semester.  As strange as it sounds, I have reached the point where I get outrageously excited when exams are getting closer.

I would say that studying ABE has given me a lot more confidence in my job.  I learnt theory that I can apply and understand in the workplace.  I am able to speak with authority on many functions.  I have also gained a renewed appreciation for teamwork during my ABE study.  For a number of modules my classmates and I studied as groups.  

My tip for successful study is focus on the learning outcomes and accept responsibility for your performance.  The tutors and resources are guides.  It is the student's responsibility to research, plan, organise and structure their study in alignment with the expected learning outcomes.  It helps to start from day one.  Do not cram!  Cramming is a frustrating exercise that may help you pass an exam.  The exam is not the means to the end.  You need to be prepared to apply what you have learnt on the workplace and consistent and continuous study structured with daily objectives is the key.

Long term, I intend to complete a BA degree programme and move on to a Masters in Human Resource Management (HRM).  I hope to get a stable job in human resources and grow from there.  I have a deep passion for HRM and would one day like to hold a senior human resources leadership role in a large multinational.  It may be a fantasy now, but with positive thoughts, hard work and God's guidance, I think it may just be possible.