BPTT Interns challenged to be leaders

“Parliament is the heartbeat of our national democracy and it is where you, our future leaders, must play a greater role."

July 15, 2014

TWENTY-FOUR interns from bpTT enjoyed a first-hand introduction to national leadership they when paid a visit to the Parliament to witness a sitting of the Senate on July 8.

Motivational, transformational and eye-opening were some of the adjectives used by the group to describe the depth of their experience. 

The day started with a visit to the Public Gallery where they listened to contributions by several  independent senators on the Judges Salaries and Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The group was then treated to an interactive session with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Wade Mark, who explained the roles and responsibilities of Parliament and answered questions posed by the interns. 

In the words of intern Christian Homer, a Geology student at the University of Florida, “This was a very informative visit and it was a pleasure listening to the debates by the Senators. The Speaker of the House gave us a clear look into the demands of national leadership and challenged us to play a greater role in the democatic proces. After today, it’s a challenge I’m energised to take up.”    

Speaker Mark told the bpTT interns that while it was their first visit to Parliament, he hoped that it would be the first of many. “Parliament is the heartbeat of our national democracy and it is where you, our future leaders, must play a greater role. It is where 1.3 million people are represented and the future of our nation is guided. Embodied here is a responsibilty that is yours to take up,” the Speaker explained to the attentive group.

BPTT’s internship programme enrolls the brightest Trinidad and Tobago students who are entering the final year of studies at universities locally and across the globe. This year’s cadre represents a diverse range of academic study, including engineering, geology, medicine, law and management studies. The interns are split between bpTT’s  Port of Spain Head-Office and its Mayaro Resource Centre.  

Ronda Francis, Corporate Responsibility Manager, bpTT, advanced the reason for the visit of the interns: “Today’s glimpse into the corridors of national decision-making was meant to inspire our interns to play a greater role in national leadership. Internship at bpTT goes beyond simply hiring employees and really looks to develop well-rounded citizens.”

Guided by bpTT’s Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Adviser, Joel Primus; and Human Resource Adviser, Resourcing, Sonya Le Maitre, the interns received behind-the-scenes insights from Brian Caesar, Marshal of the Parliament, and Atiba Wiltshire, Corporate Communications Officer, Office of the Parliament.

Joy Noel, who is completing her studies in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, saw the internship as a privilege. “During the debate, one of the senators explained that our responsibility goes beyong doing what is permissable and extends to doing what is right. That statement inspires me and actually embodies the philosophies espoused by bpTT. I appreciate the technical experience I am receiving during my internship but it goes deeper than that. They are also showing us that as we learn, we must teach, and that as we receive, we must give back.”