For over 40 years, the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has conducted its summer student employment program, providing Grand Bahamian high school and university students the opportunity to experience real, hands-on work within the corporate world.
GBPA began this program with the intent to create a structured environment where youth are able to learn valuable information from top business professionals, enhancing their core work ethics. The program, which commences in May and ends in August of each year, includes three, four-week long sessions; ensuring that GBPA includes the highest number of participants as possible, while offering a financial earning opportunity for summer students.
GBPA President Ian Rolle stated that the summer student program has been extremely beneficial for many of the youth in Grand Bahama. “We are pleased to welcome such bright young minds into our family, if only temporarily.” He shared, “We are excited to be able to impart to them, special tips and wisdom we ourselves have gained over the years, that they will undoubtedly apply in their future professional endeavors.”
GBPA Human Resources Manager, Dr. Telina Smith shared Rolle’s sentiments stating, “This program is an excellent tool to help GBPA build our own resource pool and allows both students and employees to learn from each other. Our youth are full of so many bright and innovative ideas, and we are grateful to be able to foster them in a growing environment, which encourages modern thinking and ‘outside the box’ concepts.”
Recent high school graduate, Lauren Ritchie noted that her past two summers working at GBPA, have been a fulfilling and extremely beneficial experience. “Working at GBPA in the Group Corporate Affairs Department has given me the great opportunity to develop my skills as a writer and journalist in a supportive environment amongst some of the best Grand Bahamian professionals in this field.”
Ritchie said that she loves working at the Port Authority, because her superiors continuously ensure that she feels like a member of the team. “I love being given the chance to brainstorm and contribute my thoughts and opinions to major projects that are happening on Grand Bahama.”
Carlos Rose, a summer student of Business Development, stated that he was pleased to meet a lot of new people and learn new skills and to improve on others such as communication, professionalism and computer literacy.
“Given the opportunity,” Rose shared, “I would love to be able to work here again and learn even more about the business field.”
The GBPA Summer Student Program has been a great initiative to empower the Grand Bahamian Youth and help them to gain the special skills that they will need to succeed in the professional business environment that awaits them. The Grand Bahama Port Authority looks forward to continuing this program in the future.
GBPA executives are hopeful the 2018 students left feeling enriched after their time at the company. “GBPA is already looking forward to the wave of students in the 2019 year.”