Alex Henry is a Senior Manager responsible for Organisation Capability Development at Sutherland Global Services. He is only 25 years old. With hard work, he was able to rise through the ranks quickly, gaining five promotions in four years at his former place of employment, Concentrix, where he eventually became Operations Manager at the Global Services Sector (GSS) firm.

“I started out in 2016 as an advocate,” says Henry. “I moved into Team Leader six months after. Then I moved into Senior Team Manager a year after that. Then Operations Manager for the programme a year after that as well.” After spending six years working in the GSS immediately after high school, Henry says, “I am very optimistic about what I can achieve here.”

Since working in the GSS, Henry has escaped the poverty of his childhood to become one of the most successful members in his family. He became the first in his family to own a car, all while pursuing his degree and running a business he started with his income. He said that when he initially started working, he left his childhood home in Bog Walk with two bags of clothes and now he owns two cars, lives in a comfortable apartment and has the ability to invest and give to charity.

Alex Henry’s success in the GSS is not unique. Many other persons have entered the sector and grown significantly as professionals in their respective fields, even with only a high school education. George Pennington, now the Global Application Support Director for Symptai, is one such person. When he started working at Accent Marketing, he was studying for his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering but was unable to continue. He received his first promotion to the post of Subject Matter Expert and then Team Leader. He then moved to Concentrix and was promoted within a year to Senior Team Leader.

Pennington was compensated generously for his performance, allowing him to finance his tertiary education in Information Technology. He shuns the notion of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), which is just one small part of the GSS, as only call centre jobs. “It’s the only industry that has many paths,” he says. “It provides that entry opportunity and the opportunity to grow.”

Deidre-Ann Fraser also experienced similar growth at KPMG JESS, where she has been working for almost six years. She has had four promotions, moving from Officer to Senior Officer to Team Lead to Assistant Manager to Manager. She knows personally that the GSS is not a ‘sweatshop’ as misinformed persons tend to label the sector. “Being here, I have proved that that isn’t so,” she says.

Fraser says she is now able to pay her mortgage and car loan while still living comfortably. She suggests that persons explore the different opportunities in the GSS as there might be a role just for them.

Alex Henry, George Pennington and Deidre-Ann Fraser are just three out of the thousands of persons working in the GSS. They have exceptional stories, but, in no way, are they alone. These are the real stories from the GSS in Jamaica and there will be many more like them. Whatever your field or experience, if you join the GSS, you could be the next success. Are you ready to write your story?

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A 5-year project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank that will provide Jamaicans with access to training and better jobs in the global services sector, namely in knowledge process outsourcing, information technology outsourcing and business process outsourcing.

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