Laushell Downes - Top Paper Award in Analytical Decision-making studied at Nations School of Business & Management
Laushell is an administrative assistant in the HR department of Mings Products and Services Limited. She is fuelled by a strong ambition to achieve her best and work hard to go on to a leadership position quoting America statesman, Colin Powell, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hardwork and learning from failure.” In her story below she has also shared some useful study tips to help others achieve top marks...
"Being brought up in the Cinderalla county of Essequibo, Guyana, coupled with being the youngest and only female child of my family, is one of the most delightful experience I have had. Essequibo, being a rural area was always exciting, there was always something to do. As my mother was working abroad to help provide for my family, I was taken care of by my three older brothers and my dad. Being the female baby in a dominant male household made me appreciative of the multiple capacity of the human form, there is no fixed male role nor fixed female role.
Coming from a generation of teachers, my family took education seriously, and made sure the foundation started at an early age. In addition to my family, many schools played an integral role in nurturing and shaping me into the woman I am today.
After successful completion of my high school and business Diploma, I am employed as an administrative assistant at Mings Products and Services Limited, Guyana’s sole authorised distributor of products manufactured by Yamaha Motor Company Ltd – Japan. True to its motto “The Quality and Technology People” – MPS takes great pride in providing quality products and services to its customers.
Some of these products from the Yamaha line are: outboard engines, generators, water pumps and motor cycles. With MPS being my first place of employment, I have gained insight into how to work effectively and effeciently in an office environment and to use my training to execute my daily duties.
I truly believe the company we keep tells a lot of our character. For me, I have always had friends, family members and work colleagues who encourage me to further my studies, which is what led me to choose ABE. I learnt about ABE on social media platforms and did further research, which convinced me that this study path is what I needed to have a clearer understanding of the world of work and become the successful person I want to be.
Over the past 5 years, employers in Guyana have recognised the impact ABE Qualifications have had on their staff and business overall, and as such, encouraged their employees to further their studies with ABE. For those who had limited knowledge of the qualification, members from ABE and the university centres engaged in exhibitions across Guyana and visited companies to give further insight on the benefits of their programme.
As a result, ABE has spread across Guyana. I am drawn to the programme because most importantly, it is internationally recognised, affordable, flexible (which many students highly appreciate) and results have shown that the units in the ABE Qualification have significantly changed the world of work, since they are designed in such a way which allows students to apply what they have learnt to the working environment.
Personally, I have seen a growth in myself (professionally and academically) since I have started my ABE Programme. For example, the study of Organisational Behavior improved my people skills, I have learned that understanding human behaviour helps in influencing them. Working in the human resources department, I have the opportunity to apply Elton Mayo's Human Relations and Cognitive theories to create a motivational atmosphere within my working environment. Additionally, analytical techniques such as Gap Aalysis and Ishikawa Fishbone Diagram helped me identify areas for improvement, increasing the overall productivity in my place of work. My time management skills have improved significantly. As I am given multiple tasks, I am more able to prioritise every task and decide how long I will spend on each. Most important, studying ABE made me a critical thinker and as such I am able to avoid costly mistakes in the workplace.
I truly believe preparation is key to an effective study session and will make a huge difference in my academic outcomes. Additionally, you must know what will work for you and what would not. A few tips I recommend are: choose a study area that is comfortable; which has proper ventilation and is free of noise. This increases productivity and the ability to focus. Planning is a tool that works in every aspect in our lives. I find planning and organising my study sessions in advance contributes to their effectiveness. At the end of each session, I do a self assessment to know if I accomplished what was intended. My favourite tip which works best for me was making the best use of voice recordings on my phone. I retain information better this way. For those who enjoy listening to music/audio recordings, you will find it useful. I would organise my notes and record myself reading each topic; rename each recording as topics and listen to it as I would listen to music i.e. on your way to work or while travelling, exercising or mediating.
Upon completion of my ABE Qualifications, my immediate plans are to apply for a promotion in my organisation, seek leadership opportunities and pitch creative ideas, contributing to Mings Products & Services Limited goals and objectives. Externally, I intend to take part in useful activities e.g. joining committees and campaign groups to practice public speaking (Toastmasters). I am driven to be the best at what I do and in five years, I see myself as a manager, where I can be a leader to my team and have the opportunities to develop my skills; be open to interesting projects and continue to work with people who motivate and encourage me to be successful. I believe this can be achieved through commitment, continued professional and academic development and most importantly, my faith in God."