In April 2008, four graduates of the Executive MBA in Jamaica traveled to Miami to participate in the commencement ceremonies. In April 2009, the tradition continued with seven students from that program, and three from the Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM), donning caps and gowns, and walking as part of the Chapman School graduation.
For Jerome Sommerville (EMBA Jamaica ’09), senior account manager (sales), Illuminat Jamaica Ltd., the trip to Miami meant a chance to connect with family located in South Florida, and to be part of a rewarding event.
“The atmosphere amongst faculty and international students was fantastic,” he said. “I felt like I was a real part of the FIU family rather than a distant cousin.”
Ceremony provides ideal conclusion to a positive educational experience.
“I needed internationally recognized certification without relocating or disrupting my career,” Sommerville said. “FIU brought the program to our doorstep, had enough ranking and achievements to satisfy my needs and provided course content that is practical and very applicable to modern business practices.”
“Both the EMBA Jamaica and MSHRM groups were simply a pleasure with which to work,” said Ron Gilbert, faculty director of the EMBA Jamaica, with Eric Cartaya serving as faculty director of the MSHRM. “The students in Jamaica are highly experienced working adults who are eager to learn. The EMBA Jamaica was especially challenging as it was a very large cohort of 64 or so students. In spite of the large class size and many challenges related to hurricanes and the like, all endured and pressed on.”
The 2009 Spring Commencement took place in the U.S. Century Bank Arena at University Park. Approximately 540 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students in the business school received their degrees. In addition to Sommerville, Nicole Barrett, Nadia Frankson, Donovan James, Michelle Nunes, Althea Smith and Tamara Riley from the EMBA Jamaica made the trip. Sharmitch Barnett, Lizma Forbes and Charmaine Gentles from the MSHRM also attended.