Meeting of the minds

The later part of yesterday was extremely mind stimulating. I met three new people and discussed some new ideas with someone I’ve known for a little while now. Around 5PM I met with someone from Canada who is currently in Trinidad and Tobago carrying out Requirements Analysis with several ministries in the government for an application that exists in most developed nations and one I’m excited to see materialise here in Trinidad and Tobago. We chatted about my work at NIBTT as he had some previous interaction with them which did not work out as he would have liked. I will be attending one of the meetings with him next week between his company and the ministries, as the project they’re currently working on is one I would definitely be interested in contributing to.

As I left that meeting, I received a call from my new mentor Ian Alleyne. Earlier in the day, he sent me a link for a business meetup today at the Arthur Lok Jack School of Business which starts at 6PM. He chatted a bit about that and what my 5PM meeting was like. I’m feeling very good about the people who are coming into my life right now and how I can work with them to contribute more to society.

After my quick chat with Ian, I met up with one of my best friends for his birthday. He is currently on a course co-ordinated┬áby the Organisation of American States Department of Sustainable Development held at the University of the West Indies. He brought two of the participants from the course with him, one from Mexico and another from Costa Rica. Daniel from Costa Rica is a lecturer at the National University of Costa Rica in the area of Geography and Omar from Mexico is an engineer who deals with solar technology. When I meet people with expertise in a particular field, it’s important that we exchange contacts. It’s also even more crucial that I take time to sit and think about how our combined expertise can be used to make society a better place.

My day didn’t end there. When I got home, the Air Conditioning technician was there conducting some repairs on one of the units caused by a group of naughty ants. He works for himself so his work hours are pretty flexible. After he finished the repairs, he started asking about the work I do and my educational background. When I told him I completed an MSc in Software Engineering he then told me about his educational background in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. We started talking about some ideas for improvements to Air Conditioning Units and it was pretty exciting. It is definitely a conversation we will continue before the end of the week but because it was late and he has a family to go home to, the conversation ended prematurely.

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I think I found a Mentor

One of my colleagues Ian Alleyne at UTT, lectures courses on business and entrepreneurship. He has his own payment company Paywise and he has experience in the financial sector as well as other industries. We initially met through a mutual friend early on this year and we have maintained contact since then. As we’re both on campus these days we’ve had the opportunity to meet up more often. Yesterday we chatted a bit before I started work on campus about what I’m doing now and what my intentions are and he offered to be of service to me. He asked if there was anyone I can currently talk to about getting my business off the ground and while I had one friend I may bounce ideas off of once in a while, I’m very weary of his advice as his vision of how business should be run is quite different from mine. For a while now, I have been hoping to find a mentor but finding someone in Trinidad and Tobago who has a similar vision to mine on how to run a business was the challenge. The business culture in Trinidad and Tobago is slowly changing but there is still that “grassroots” mentality towards business that is quite predominant in certain industries. I really admire Ian’s way of doing business. He believes in me and he has high hopes for me which is a major boost to my confidence and I hope to learn a great deal from him in the future.