Career & Education

Salada, UCA partner to train, hire students

Sunday, December 03, 2017

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The inability to finance tuition fees and later, to secure gainful post-graduate employment are two common woes often echoed by university students.

Salada Foods Jamaica Limited, via its flagship brand Jamaica Mountain Peak, has taken note of the problem and has joined forces with University College Ambassadors (UCA) Limited to provide tangible solutions for both issues — offering temporary employment and in-demand career experience for students across different universities.

Established in early 2017, UCA seeks to bridge the divide between corporate Jamaica and university students by providing them with valuable career experience and access to disposable income via part-time job placements. Salada Foods' Commercial and Corporate Affairs Manager Tamii Brown shared that it was a no-brainer for the company to collaborate when approached by UCA executives.

“For many students, it is a hand-to-mouth situation where often times nothing reaches the mouth because most of the money goes towards covering tuition fees. By working with UCA, we have been able to tap into a fountain of youthful innovation while providing opportunities for these students to learn and earn,” she explained.

Since the start of Jamaica Mountain Peak's relationship with UCA, over 50 students have been employed in event planning, promotions, sales, and marketing roles.

According to Brown, students are not only receiving an opportunity to earn but are also able to gain work experience that will prove advantageous when they seek employment post graduation.

“These university students are about to embark on their careers and we at Jamaica Mountain Peak are pleased to be a part of the journey,” she told Career & Education. “We share real-time insights on standards and expectations in corporate Jamaica and they meet each initiative with a fresh outlook and non-stop energy.”

University of the West Indies student Garfield Evans is one student whose life has been positively impacted by opportunities received through the UCA and Jamaica Mountain Peak partnership.

“In August I wasn't sure how I was going to cover my tuition, but this partnership has not only enabled me to pay for my tuition and other supplies, but it has given me the opportunity of a little stipend in my pocket at the end of the month,” said Evans.

The second-year student noted that his experience with the coffee producing brand has also been vital to his professional growth.

UCA chief executive officer Kristofferson Nunes described his company's relationship with Jamaica Mountain Peak as “one of the richest” in terms of business and personal development.

“Our relationship with Jamaica Mountain Peak has had a positive psychological and financial impact on students who have received opportunities from them. By having additional income in their pocket, the students are less stressed because they aren't worrying about where their lunch money is coming from,” Nunes explained.

“I have learned so much about the business world and what is needed to excel in Corporate Jamaica because of my work with them over the past few months,” he noted.

The relationship with UCA and Jamaica Mountain Peak is not limited to business as the two organisations also teamed up for a good cause. The local coffee company sponsored a team of 20 from UCA to participate in the run to raise funds for scholarships for needy students of the university. This was in addition to their role as the hot beverage sponsor of the UWI/CB 5K Walk/Run held on Sunday, November 12.

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