Leann Kendall -  USP Alumni Network

Name: Leann Kendall

Country: Guyana

Programme: Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Psychology

1. Why did you choose your field of study?
I have always been intrigued by observing people since I was a child. The way they interact and their specific idiosyncrasies have always piqued my interest. And as I grew, so did my passion. Taking my childhood love of the mind and interaction to a professional level was only natural and so my study in psychology was a logical step in my personal pursuits.

2. Briefly reflect on your student life at USP?
In a word my student life has been SENSATIONAL. Being a student here at USP has been a gratifying experience, encompassing academic pursuits such as the enriching classroom presentations and heated debates thereafter, to extracurricular enjoyments like performing in Plantation Theatre under the tutelage of renowned playwright and author Thomas DeTitta of the United States, and also performing with my fellow international students at the University’s Open Day. I tried my utmost to make use of all available opportunities as expedient as it was to do so. My favorite aspect of my student life at USP however, was being a part of the graduation choir. This experience is a performer’s dream and leaves nothing to be desired. Under the expert and inspiring direction of Mr. Igelese Ete I know every student that has joined USP’s Graduation Choir has left rejuvenated, revived and recommitted to their initial goal of being better students and ultimately being the best they could possibly be.

3.Greatest achievement[s] as a student
My greatest achievement as a student was the occasion of being awarded the gold medal and Vice-Chancellor and President’s Prize for the most outstanding overall results in a Postgraduate Diploma. [Joint Award]. In this moment I felt validated that my commitment, dedication, struggles and sacrifices were worth it and that my dreams are still bona fide.

4. Who/what do you credit your success to? What inspires you?
My unwavering focus on success and my distaste for mediocrity has always driven me throughout life. These traits have impacted my work ethic personally and professionally. Additionally my desire to make my parents and loved ones proud has also been a motivational factor for me. There are several things that inspire me in life and all are equally as important. One of these is music. As ideally stated in Plato’s Republic “Music is a moral law: It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Another source of my inspiration has been my brother – Andrew D’Enycour Kendall. His ingenuity and overall dedication to my success has been incredible; and this further motivates me to continue striving towards higher heights.

5. How do you think USP helped you in your career?
I am currently a full time student at The University of the South Pacific but it is envisaged that upon completing my studies at this institution I will utilise the necessary skills and expertise amassed here to the best of my abilities. I will endeavor to utilise my Pacific knowledge inculcated with the skills and expertise of my homeland and try my utmost to positively impact change.

6. Describe any challenges you face to reach where you are today and how you overcame those challenges?
A challenge I faced was coming half way around the world to pursue higher education. Being over 8000 miles away from the ones I love, while studying, has been difficult since my “sounding board” and “security blanket” were not physically present with me. To overcome this I sought refuge, trusting in the Almighty, and relying on technology and the power of music to overcome my trying days. And in moments when I felt overwhelmed, and wanted to throw in the towel, I reminded myself of the reason I began in the first place. In those trying times I remembered to keep pressing forward because the show must go on and the harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.

7.Where do you see yourself in 10 years (career and/or personal goals)?
Within the next 10 years it is my desire to be established as a clinical child psychologist with expertise in social networks and emotions within the Caribbean and subsequently further afield. To ensure this I would have completed my Masters and doctoral studies in this area
and maintain a healthy balance between practicing my craft and academic publications.

8.What advice would you give to current and future students of USP?
Your learning experience should never be limited to classroom. Try your utmost to be a well-rounded student and use all available opportunities as learning experiences. Additionally, regardless of the hurdles that may come your way, and the stumbling blocks you may encounter, trust in the creator, embrace your strengths, work on your weaknesses and always rise to the occasion.

9.Please share top three tips that you think are most important for our current students or recent graduates that will help them when starting out on their career paths.
• Become involved in extracurricular activities. Your GPA can only take you to a certain point within the workforce. Yes, formal education is important but employers are also interested in your overall qualities as such your ultimate goal should be to make yourself as marketable as possible to prepare for the competitive labour force. Being involved in extracurricular activities can build your confidence, enhance your social skills and highlight your willingness to be a team player and theses are traits that are necessary in the labour force.
• It is imperative that you understand the importance of social media and how it can affect your career desires. Optimise your use of social media by ensuring that it presents you in a positive manner both personally and professionally.
• Be passionate about your field of study and always remember, as ideally encapsulated by the mottos of my alma mater: “Labor Omina Vincit” – Work conquers everything; so “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor  knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thoughest.” (Ecc. 9:10).

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