Career & Education

'Dweet fi di love!'

Educator urges students to pursue dreams

Sunday, April 22, 2018

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Some 300 students and teachers left The Worthington at Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on a high early last week, following an interactive, career-oriented presentation by well known educational leadership professional Dr Renee Rattray.

“I want to remind you to do it fi di love!” the educator charged, quoting Chronixx's popular song which was the soundtrack for her address.

“I guarantee that if you do that, you won't work a day in your life!” said Rattray, who is the JN Group senior manager for learning, development and culture.

She was addressing students from some 16 non-traditional high schools in Kingston, St Catherine and St Andrew at Rotary Careers Day 2018, which was held under the theme: 'Careers for the Innovative and Inventive'.

Dr Rattray, a former principal, advised the students not be pigeonholed by perception about their schools and communities, but to be bold and pursue big ideas that help to build their country and region.

“Think outside the box! There doesn't even need to be a box,” she said. “You have to be thinking about how you can bring new ideas. Every day your brains should be working and churning to see how you can do things differently.

“If you don't innovate and create, you can't be great!” she told the students, who repeated the line in a chorus.

To that end, she said, students should not simply choose to follow what is popular, but to spend time building their character, confidence, and gathering knowledge about the careers they love.

“Choose substance over hype,” she urged, weaving more lines from Chronixx's hit into her message.

“Use social media not only for likes, but to watch meaningful videos and seek out information that will improve your ideas,” Dr Rattray emphasised, stressing the importance of networking, coaching and mentorship.

She also urged them to use the Internet to understand how people in different parts of the world are achieving similar goals and objectives, and to use what they learn to adapt or improve their ideas.

“Success don't come overnight,” she continued with the Chronixx adages. “Be hungry for knowledge. To think and improve, you must be constantly craving knowledge. It is not by accident that you have been born in the information age. Everything is at your fingertips. Use it well!”

The pursuit of innovation, Dr Rattray said further, will not always be smooth but, she argued, the best character-building lessons emerge from experiences of failure.

“People who never failed never changed anything! Sometimes the biggest lessons are learned when things fall apart,” she said.

“Greatness requires perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, gall, a strong stomach. You can't give up if you're going to be great! Be fearless in your pursuit for greatness — innovation demands it.”

Another thing students should consider as they choose the careers they want for themselves, Rattray said, is the value those careers will add to the world around them. To that end, she suggested they adopt the Sustainable Development Goals into their philosophy and pursue initiatives that will enhance the quality of life for everyone.

“It's not all about making money so that you can buy all the luxuries and comfort you need. Don't be driven by that. Be driven, instead, by the value you will add to your society and the lives you will affect,” she urged.

“Think about ways in which you can use the skills and talents you've garnered to help others, and move persons around you forward. Pay it forward! Or, as Rotarians say: 'Service Above Self!'”

Rotary Careers Day 2018 was organised by The Rotary Club of Trafalgar New Heights, Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains, Rotary Club of St Andrew North, Rotary Club of St Andrew, Rotary Club of Kingston East and Port Royal, Rotary Club of New Kingston, the Rotary Club of St Catherine North, and Rotary Club of Kingston.

The event was mounted with support from Spanish Court Hotel, LASCO, FLOW Foundation, National Baking Company Limited, Coldfield Manufacturers, JN Bank and Tastee. Support was also provided by the Management Institute for National Development and the Vocational Development and Training Institute.

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