Cayman’s remarkable financial industry continues to yield excellent career opportunities for the local employment market. However, to best position themselves in an increasingly competitive and demanding global service industry, today’s students need both an excellent formal education, as well as relevant work experience.
With this in mind, 17-year-old Jonathon Allen is already preparing himself to face these challenges by working at the island’s largest law firm, Maples and Calder, weekdays after school, said a press release.
Jonathon is in his last year at John Gray High School, a time when most students are primarily focused on graduating. But this young man has chosen to look beyond graduation and to get the ball rolling for life, and work, after high school.
Jonathon was introduced to Maples and Calder’s IT Department in May 2006 as part of a two-week work experience program that the high school annually coordinates with local businesses. At the end of his two-week tenure, he asked to be kept on during the summer.
Andy Maclusky, the firm’s Chief Information Officer was so impressed with Jonathon’s dedication and work ethic that he had no hesitation in keeping him on the team.
‘Jonathan immediately showed aptitude when he first came to us,’ explained Mr. Maclusky. ‘He was keen to learn, worked hard and quickly became an asset to our team.’
On a daily basis Jonathan assisted the IT Department with installing computer software, updating computer programs and rebuilding PCs for more than 350 users at the firm. The summer job later evolved into an after school job when school re-commenced in September.
‘In IT it’s all about the willingness to learn and progress. Technology is constantly changing and the learning never stops,’ said Mr. Maclusky. ‘Jonathon has the right attitude and his eagerness and hard work have already set him on a fine course working with computers.’
Jonathon had the choice of undertaking his work experience at Maples and Calder or at another organization, but a friend convinced him to go to the law firm.
‘I chose Maples and Calder because I heard that they had an amazing IT Department and that it was a great place to work,’ he said. ‘I’m glad I did, as they have given me so many additional opportunities. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve gained experience and it has also been fun.’
After graduating from high school in May of this year, Jonathon plans to study at the University College of the Cayman Islands and continue working at Maples and Calder on a part-time basis.
The partnership between businesses and education is critical in raising the employability stakes for young people. An understanding of the skills and behaviors required in the workplace is a shared responsibility, the release noted.
Maples and Calder has a long track record of supporting the development of youth in the Cayman Islands through its sponsorship of local charitable causes and its scholarship program. ‘The firm is delighted to be able to further the career prospects of such a motivated young person,’ the release said.