Tecnología

O.U.R. indraperutah//
Psychology student is Erasmus scholarship winner

Still, he was able to grad­u­ate with first class ho­n­ours. A true change mak­er, it was while work­ing at one min­i­mum wage job and ob­serv­ing how man­age­ment treat­ed their em­ploy­ees, that he de­cid­ed that in­dus­tri­al and or­gan­i­sa­tion­al psy­chol­o­gy were the keys to his fu­ture ca­reer

Der­ron Watkins is the lat­est T&T na­tion­al to be award­ed an Eras­mus Mundus Joint Mas­ter’s De­gree (EMJMD) schol­ar­ship.

Watkins, who ob­tained two bach­e­lor’s de­grees in eco­nom­ics and psy­chol­o­gy from the UWI, St Au­gus­tine, will read for a Mas­ter’s de­gree in Work, Or­gan­i­sa­tion­al and Per­son­nel Psy­chol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Va­len­cia, Spain and at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Coim­bra in Por­tu­gal.

He will jour­ney to Spain to be­gin this course of study in Sep­tem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to Watkins, hard work and a pas­sion for psy­chol­o­gy are the dri­vers of his suc­cess. It was while study­ing for first de­gree that he re­alised his true in­ter­est lay else­where.

“When I en­tered UWI in 2013, I de­cid­ed to pur­sue a ma­jor in eco­nom­ics,” he stat­ed.

“But along the way I fell in love with psy­chol­o­gy.”

Not be­ing one to quit, Watkins de­cid­ed to fin­ish his de­gree rather than switch­ing ma­jors and then made the de­ci­sion to re­turn to UWI for a sec­ond un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree in psy­chol­o­gy.

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It was not an easy road. With GATE fund­ing un­avail­able for this sec­ond de­gree, Watkins need­ed to work full time to make ends meet and to pay tu­ition and oth­er ex­pens­es.

Still, he was able to grad­u­ate with first class ho­n­ours. A true change mak­er, it was while work­ing at one min­i­mum wage job and ob­serv­ing how man­age­ment treat­ed their em­ploy­ees, that he de­cid­ed that in­dus­tri­al and or­gan­i­sa­tion­al psy­chol­o­gy were the keys to his fu­ture ca­reer.

“I want to help com­pa­nies to re­alise the true po­ten­tial of their em­ploy­ees, while en­sur­ing that em­ploy­ees in turn feel val­ued and re­ward­ed,” he said.

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Speak­ing about his fu­ture plans at the end of his study abroad, Watkins, cur­rent­ly a busi­ness op­er­a­tions as­sis­tant II in the so­cial ser­vices unit of the Ju­di­cia­ry of T&T, Fam­i­ly and Chil­dren Di­vi­sion’ said he hopes to, at least ini­tial­ly, be able to re­turn to his job pro­vid­ing ser­vices for fam­i­lies and chil­dren. Longer term, he plans to es­tab­lish his own con­sult­ing busi­ness.

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The Eras­mus Mundus Joint Mas­ter’s De­gree Schol­ar­ship pro­gramme is high­ly sought af­ter around the world by in­di­vid­u­als seek­ing to study in Eu­rope. It al­lows schol­ars the op­por­tu­ni­ty to read for a post­grad­u­ate de­gree in at least two coun­tries in the EU, all ex­pens­es paid.

In 2021, 2,756 schol­ar­ships were award­ed to in­di­vid­u­als in 141 coun­tries. Watkins is one of an elite group of ap­prox­i­mate­ly 100 in­di­vid­u­als from T&T who have been award­ed the schol­ar­ship since 2005.

Com­ment­ing on Watkin’s achieve­ment, Charge d’Af­faires ai of the EU Del­e­ga­tion, Ze Alves-Pereira said: “We are very hap­py that this en­ter­pris­ing and hard­work­ing young man was cho­sen and we cel­e­brate with him and his fam­i­ly this achieve­ment. We hope that he will find his time in Eu­rope to be an en­rich­ing one and that he will re­turn to Trinidad ful­ly pre­pared to play his part in this coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment, as so many of his pre­de­ces­sors have done.”

He added: “There are so many tal­ent­ed in­di­vid­u­als in T&T who can ben­e­fit from this op­por­tu­ni­ty to ex­pand their hori­zons and ex­pe­ri­ence and I would like to en­cour­age more na­tion­als to ap­ply to the Eras­mus pro­gramme.”

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