That was the message of Nicholas Lok Jack, executive Director of Associated Brands Industries Ltd, on Saturday at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business presentation of graduates of the class of 2016 at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of- Spain.
“International business is where it has to be today. The marketplace is no longer Trinidad and Tobago, is no longer the Caribbean, is no longer the region. It is everywhere we turn..., everywhere we meet, gather, congregate, there is opportunity,” he said.
Lok Jack stated that employees should be given the chance to expand their horizons and test their metal on their way to being professional business people.
Quoting American political activist Ralph Nader, he said “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” Therefore he encouraged employers to tap into their “high-potential” employees’ personalities, passions and beliefs, and give them the opportunity to do more. He also encouraged employees to volunteer for or request more responsibility, not expecting compensation, but to gain experience, recognition from employers, and to be instrumental in transforming your company and the country.
Similarly, Stephen Weeks, Public Affairs Officer, United States Embassy, noted that Trinidad and Tobago had enough talent, educational institutions, and human resources to succeed, grow and internationalise.
He told the 342 graduates that TT had an excellent education system and smart people like themselves but that they needed to continually adapt to change throughout their professional lives because the world would continue to become more complex and competitive.
Weeks stressed that the key to economic development and social justice was democratising education, creating greater opportunities for everyone, and to ensure that everyone is a lifelong learner.
“A more developed economy, a more internationalised economy will hopefully be able to spread the benefits of that education system to a wider population because, as we see in the States too, economic and social inequity can create serious social problems... which is much harder to address,” he said.