Two final year management study students at University College Cayman Islands recently concluded a students consulting programme set up to provide participants with the opportunity to work on solving real-life business challenges. Organized jointly by the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau and the institution, the programme is in its second year and has continued to receive sponsorship support by Cayman National Bank.
In addition to providing students with hands-on experience, the programme enables entrepreneurs and companies to benefit from interaction with talented and motivated students, under the guidance of their lecturer. Jacqueline Ebanks of Jackie Watersports was effusive in her praise of the initiative. ‘It has been nothing less than a very enlightening experience for me to work with these young ladies. I was cognizant of the fact that I needed a business plan for my small, start up and being busy, it seemed like a task I could only get to sometime in the distant future. Through the student consulting programme, Katrina and Shiann made this a reality and I learnt so much.’
When Shiann Powery was asked to give feedback on the semester, she said, ‘I thought it was a great programme and I would recommend that every business student take advantage of the opportunity as it will allow them to put their learnt theory to the test. It is a win-win situation; the student gets practical experience and the business owner gets the well needed help.’
Fellow student consultant, Katrina Pona, seconded that. She said, ‘there is nothing like experiencing something firsthand in comparison to being in a classroom, taking notes and studying. Being a student consultant out in the field was very interesting and I found this experience to be very useful and beneficial in combination with my course. If I wish to start a business myself or know of someone who wishes to, I would now be able to give them advice based on firsthand experience.’
The programme lasts for 10 weeks and is open to the schools business students taking the course Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. The interaction between students and business owner is a combination of in person visits, phone discussions and e-mail exchanges. An end of term report detailing the students’ business analysis and recommendations is the final output.
For more information on this programme and other small business initiatives, please call 945-0943 or email: [email protected].