A mix of lectures and international travel is the latest programme at the University College of the Cayman Islands, and an increasing number of students are expressing interest, says UCCI’s Business Studies Chair Robert Weishan.
This momentum, Mr. Weishan said, has been sparked by the recent International Business Practicum, the field visits for which took place in Trinidad and Tobago. This year’s programme followed last year’s visit to Costa Rica, and plans are already made for a focus on a nearby Caribbean island nation.
Trinidad was selected for this year’s 27 February to 5 March excursion on the basis of its status as a developed country, its listing among the top 40 high-income countries in the world and other key factors. “Last year’s visit to Costa Rica enabled students to observe the continental and Hispanic side of our diverse Caribbean region,” said course director Dr. Robert Weishan, who is chair of the Department of Business Studies. “This year’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago offered insights into how a former British colony – a history it shares with Cayman – and now a young republic, manages its economy, society, commerce and businesses.”
Thus, these courses, Mr. Weishan explained, were designed to give UCCI business and Civil Service College students “valuable benchmarking experiences from other Caribbean nations. The objective is to develop a more global business outlook and enlightened perspective.”
These included, Mr. Weishan said, opportunities for first-hand exposure to strategic development approaches, career-perspective broadening and global outlook expansion, as complements to classroom instruction.
Broadly, the topics and related field excursions during the Trinidad visit included the oil industry, eco-tourism, international capital flows and trade in economic development, and various small and micro-businesses and their implications for small nation states.
“The trip to Trinidad and Tobago was one more vital step towards UCCI’s pursuit of academic and professional excellence in developing future community leaders, innovative entrepreneurs, exceptional public servants and successful business executives for the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Weishan said.
For UCCI student Jairia Ramoon, a bachelor’s degree student in business administration and a debt collection officer with The Cayman Islands government, the visit was “an eye opener”. Among highlights, she said, was a chance to review the TT government’s plan for diversification of its economy.
Meanwhile, Lauriston Burton, a detective inspector with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service pursuing an associate degree in public administration at the Civil Service College, the benefits extended both personal and professional growth. He is looking forward, he said, to applying those gains to improving the quality of his service to the public.
The 11 students who attended the practicum were accompanied by Mr. Weishan and his wife Carmen; Deputy Registrar Diane Campbell, who coordinated the visit, and senior lecturer Patricia Ebanks.
Commenting on the personal benefits, Ms Campbell said: “I see how the students and staff enjoy the experience, and it is always very thrilling to meet some of the people with whom I have liaised over the months to bring the lectures and tours to reality.”