(Seated from left) Shaqueilla Seale, Donna Herbert (HR Services Administrator) and Dianne Catling (HR Manager – EC), and (standing from left) Hope Jordan, Darren Mayers, Angeline Catling, Tré Mason, Jaimee Cox and Krystal Rollins. (GP)
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Always at the fore and going further, The Sol Group continues to bring out the best in every endeavour they embrace. For the past eight years, Sol’s companies in Barbados have been nurturing and invigorating youth about to make the leap into the working world.
The Sol Internship Programme, which started in 2011, continues to be an outstanding force in jumpstarting the careers of young individuals. Each year, Sol seeks out those who demonstrate the ability to think innovatively, act courageously, and lead fearlessly.
According to Tré Mason, one of the nine interns in this year’s programme: “The internship programme began on June 1, and has been a very good programme. I’m an engineer, so I was placed in the operations department specifically in HSE- Health, Safety, and Environment. I was able to see and experience a lot of what I have studied. I have seen a lot of things from my courses come into play. I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been working here, it’s great”.
More than just technical knowledge, Sol’s wide array of departments, fields, and various lines of business make for a whole world of possibility to grow and involve yourself in a well-rounded company.
For Joshua Wiggins: “It’s been a wonderful programme. I’m in IT and it’s quite dynamic. We never stop here. We’re always on the go trying to solve new challenges and innovating because this company always wants to be at the forefront. Sol is always looking ahead for new technology”.
Each of the participants in the programme beamed endlessly about the experiences they have been given. “Most people might believe that we sit behind a desk all day but we actually do go out into the field. In certain cases we get to go out and interact with other contractors and such. It’s very interesting to work at Sol,” Joshua added.
From Operations to IT and onto a department that not all companies have, Sol creates an environment specifically geared towards going forward. Another intern at Sol this year, Shaqueilla Seale afforded: “I am an ERP intern, that’s Enterprise and Resource Planning. We deal with accounting software. In the ERP department, the team members are competent in both IT and accounts. I studied computer science and accounting and I find that this programme has been very fulfilling. It’s helped me with my self-growth because there aren’t many companies that have an ERP department.”
She continued: “Interning at Sol has given me a way to bridge the gap between IT and finance which I’ve always been looking for a way to do. It has been very rewarding.”
According to Hope Jordan, a legal intern at Sol: “I would say that my experience here has been very insightful. It has allowed me to see what the day to day working of an attorney at law is like as well as a corporate secretary. Being a corporate secretary is all about organising all of Sol’s organisations across their 23 markets. I like it because it’s challenging. There is always a lot to do. There’s always a new project and deadlines to meet.”
The broad consensus of the Sol Internship Programme is that of elation. More than just a place of business, Sol provides a full experience to students so as to give them much more than a boost in the working world.
Being able to enjoy your working environment is part of what helps a company to thrive. Angeline Catling said: “I enjoyed the programme a lot. I was based in finance and I studied accounts and finance at UWI so this internship has given me practical experience to complement what I studied. We got to interact with internal and external customers. We had to meet deadlines and be very organised.”
For Shaquille Chandler, interning in the dynamic and interactive IT department at Sol was a great learning experience. “It’s been such an interesting experience. When I started, I had some knowledge of how it should all work but since I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot more. The employees and my colleagues are very nice. At Sol they are very good about sharing information and teaching new things,” said Shaquille.
Since 2005 when The Sol Group formed, they have constantly driven forward going further while expanding and innovating their way into the future. By creating an internal company environment that promotes growth, Sol draws people in to join them and become leaders in their field of study and leaders in their communities.
According to marketing intern Darren Meyers: “This internship has been very fulfilling, everyone at Sol is really nice. I especially enjoyed working with the other interns because I feel that working with them as a group has helped me grow. I’m the youngest in the programme right now and I really appreciate everyone else that’s been a part of this.”
More than just learning about their fields, Sol is always encouraging expansion and involvement in the community, especially when it comes to their interns. The Sol Internship Programme’s success speaks for itself.
Donna Herbert, Sol’s Human Resources Administrator and Internship Coordinator, said: “Each year the programme varies in terms of the number of persons that we employ. We can go from five persons to fifteen persons in any given year.”
“We receive many applications every year, one year we had over 200 applications. We always try to select the greatest potential. The internship programme is based on requirements from each of our departments and the projects that they have ongoing at any given time,” Donna said.
“Our objective is to welcome the interns into Sol after they have completed the programme. When we hire them on the internship programme, we try to extend full employment to them at the end of the programme,” she added.
Sol Intern Angeline Catling (left) making a presentation to BVHS’ Case Manager Kimberly Harewood (centre) and Project Coordinator Melissa Dieffenthaller. (GP)
Each year, each group of persons within the Internship Programme is required to come up with an outreach project. The interns then brainstorm and collaborate with one another and then the team in charge of the interns helps to select the best project idea.
Donna said: “This year there were quite a number of suggestions but the one that we found most interesting was the Cans for Candy initiative. They decided that they wanted to give back to the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society.”
“They came up with a campaign where they asked staff to donate canned items to the initiative; some staff donated money as well. They collected more than $2 500 in donations. They even had a bake sale to raise extra money.”
Going even further, part of their Outreach Project was visiting the Nature Fun Ranch in St Andrew. Since 1999, the Nature Fun Ranch has been a remarkable force for promoting sustainable and positive lifestyles for youth.
The rush towards the future in every aspect of human life shows no signs of slowing down. Sol is leading the way in innovating for the future and making certain that the next generation is primed and prepped for taking on the world.