Social Sciences Alumni - Go Anywhere, Do Anything

Meet Dana Blackburn.

A former Faculty Office regular, Dana was a transfer student from another Faculty where she was pursuing a programme that wasn't the right fit for her. She finally made her way to Social Sciences and enrolled in the B.Sc. Economics and Accounting programme where she flourished, gaining excellent grades and graduating with an upper second class honours.


The U.W.I. Social Sciences Experience

Dana describes herself as a study mouse and spent much of her time in the Law Library where she found it most peaceful and conducive to learning. But she will be the first to tell you “Don’t just study!” Dana became the Vice President of the Young Economist’s Association (YEA) during her final year - a tenure which gave her practical experience in a leadership role and one which proved useful when applying for internship and work as she was able to showcase her organizational, leadership, research and finance skills.



“My association organized a public event at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination in which the past Prime Minister of Barbados - The Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur - was the main speaker. And the press came! ...Student societies are not only fun, it looks great on your CV!”

Dana was also an avid football player and took part in all the inter-faculty games. "This helped to keep me fit and ‘stress free’ during term time. A football match never missed me!"





Inspirational Lecturers

There were a few lecturers that inspired Dana during her studies in particular Dr. Nadini Persaud who she says is a shining example of the perfect lecturer in every regard. “She is strict when it  comes to the work ethic she expects of her students but she is also very inspiring.”

Dana also spoke about Mr. Anderson Elcock aka ‘Ras’ who teaches first year Microeconomics. “Ras is a genius and totally cool!” She indicated that his unorthodox way of approaching the subject made it easy for many to understand.
 

Next Step - Internship

After completing her studies Dana was on the job hunt non-stop and proudly gained an internship with Deloitte & Touché, a leading financial consulting firm, as an audit intern. Dana was the first audit intern the company ever hired, something she is still proud of.

After a successful internship, she gained a permanent position in the Audit Department where she remained for a few months. Her consulting skills were admired by the Finance Division of the firm and she was offered a transfer to the divisions of Financial Advisory and Consulting. Again, she was the first junior to be given such a role.
 

On the Move Again - Pursuing a Masters Degree

Dana applied and was accepted to the University of Leicester, a top 15 U.K. ranked institution, to pursue a Masters in Financial Economics. Her grades and extracurricular activities undertaken at U.W.I., as well as her work experience, proved useful in getting acceptance to the programme and obtaining financing. During her year at Leicester Dana worked part time at the university library earning additional income to help with expenses and also gain further work experience.

Dana indicates that the academic system, administration, teaching methodologies and styles are no different in the U.K. to those at The U.W.I.

         “U.W.I. graduates will be at an advantage in the English school system because everything is so familiar, from the lectures to the
          seminars. I found it easy to fit in to academic life at the University of Leicester. You should be proud to be a student of the
          University of the West Indies, trust me.”