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Internship abroad in Kingston


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Organizations in Jamaica do facilitate study tours and interns. This includes international organizations such as UNICEF. Contact must be made with the organization directly to explore this. One advice is to prepare a proposal outlining the benefits to them of offering you an internship. It is possible that through industry associations and chambers of commerce, opportunities could be pursued for placement of high skilled interns in businesses.

More opportunities may be in Kingston than the rest of Jamaica. This is because you are more likely to find located there the head office of retail chains, multinational corporations and other  businesses as well as government offices and the country office for international development partners.

Find out and target internship for the company or companies that could benefit from your knowledge and experience. Some online search resources are available.

Search for Internships

Online tools you can use to search for leads for internship in Jamaica include:

Some internship are linked to summer or short term programmes and/or restricted to students from Jamaica or Jamaican students abroad.

Short programmes

eGov Jamaica Limited (eGovJa) is a government company. Through its Internship Programme, eGovJa commits to providing students of tertiary institutions in Jamaica with the chance to get hands-on experience in various areas in computing.

The government's Ministry of Tourism implements the Tourism Enhancement Fund's (TEF) Summer Internship Programme for eight weeks. This is geared at introducing secondary to tertiary level students from 16 years old, to those pursuing Masters degrees, to the world of work.

The National Youth Service is a government agency that implements the Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP) that targets tertiary graduates and the NYS Summer Programme. Participants are paid a stipend. The NYS Summer Programme has a social inclusion element in that inner city youth are targeted beneficiaries. Participants are placed in an organization to work for three weeks on the case of the NIS Summer Programme; and six (6) months in the case of GWEP, to practice values taught during orientation, including voluntarism, and develop employability skills.

Other government agencies/ companies with summer employment programmes of typically between four and eight weeks include:

  • Bank of Jamaica
  • Child Development Agency
  • Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica
  • Norman Manley International Airport

While these entities have done so in the recent past, the programs are not always implemented annually. Check with the entities to know whether a program is available for the upcoming period, eligibility requirements, and the applications process. Some internship is attached to a school.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has a Parliamentary Internship Programme where the UWI places graduate students with the Jamaica Parliament to provide research services for parliamentarians. Another is the Caribbean Internship Project (CIP) where the three UWI campuses collaborate in assigning interns to social service agencies in the Caribbean.

Many private companies do summer internships. Jamaica National Building Society's does the Annual Summer Internship Programme which places secondary and tertiary students in one month internship in JNBS and its subsidiaries as well as outreach organizations supported by the Society.

Two companies were identified which have internship programmes linked to the UWI; Digicel Corporation and Grace Kennedy Limited. Digicel has the Graduate Acceleration Programme (GAP) and the Graduate Recruitment Programme (GRP). Information from Glenford Smith, career writer for the Jamaica Gleaner, is that the GAP targets students in the top 15 per cent of their graduating class, and with a knowledge base in disciplines relevant to company needs. The GRP targets students in their penultimate and final year of both business and IT-related majors, including finance, operations, human resources, marketing and computer science/telecoms. GraceKennedy also offers a limited number of internship opportunities through its programme. Other companies that can be explored for summer internships/ jobs include

  • JPS (a light and power company)
  • FLOW Jamaica (a communications utility company)
  • Commercial banks
  • Major supermarkets
  • Fast food outlets (including KFC, Burger King)
  • Other retail chains (e.g. furniture)

Some universities abroad also have affiliation agreements with schools in Jamaica for research internships. Ask at your school about programs.

Affiliation of schools in Jamaica

The UWI has affiliation agreements for research internships with dozens of universities across the world (Campus Registrar). This includes Kings College (UK) and Yale University (USA) for medical electives, Stockholm University (Sweden) and among others Universidade Federal de Pernanambuco (Brazil). A list of the affiliates can be viewed here. Student Advisory Services assist students with job placement and internships.

The University of Technology (UTech) has partnered with the University of Miami (UoM) for research internships and student and faculty exchanges.

Networking

Internships are valuable opportunities for networking in your desired field of employment and to create contacts that can assist you in building your career. Friends and family, or any contact you have in your desired business may know of openings you can explore for internships. There are also professional social networks like LinkedIn which allows for people to make business contacts. Make use of Easy Expat's forums for contacts in your industry or expats that have tips about work.

Visa and Work Permit

Depending on where you are from, expats require work permit and a visa prior to starting an internship in Jamaica. The list is published online of originating countries from where expats require a visa prior to arrival in Jamaica. Except for Citizens from CARICOM, British Commonwealth and expats who are married to a Jamaican citizen, non-nationals doing business in Jamaica are required to have a Business Visa when staying in Jamaica for thirty (30) or more days. A citizen of the USA is exempted if travelling only for business. Apply to the Jamaican Consulate in your country of origin for the visa and prospective employer, contractor or lawyer to the Ministry of Labour & Social Security (MLSS) for the work permit. When you apply for a visa your passport, which must be valid for at least six (6) months before the day you plan to visit, is required. If the expat is hired through an agency, the agency can give guidance on the process for the visa and work permit.

Update 13/02/2016


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