HARD AT WORK IN THE OFFICE AND FOR THE YOUTH...
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Miss. Beryl Birgitta Payet
26 Years old
Where are you originally from and where do you currently live?
I'm originally from La Digue Island which is Seychelles' Fourth Largest Island. I am currently residing at Pointe Larue, a district of Seychelles' main island - Mahé.
According to your business card – what is your job title?
I'm a Senior Engineer of the Radio Communications Section at the Department of ICT (Seychelles' Broadcasting and Telecommunications Regulator).
And how does that compare with what you wanted to do when you were 10 years old?
When I was 10 years old I wanted to be a pathologist. These are totally different fields. I often remind my friends that the closest I can get to what I wanted to be when I was 10 years old is that now one of my duties is to identify the cause of interference with regards to radio-frequencies and should I have taken the field of pathology I would have been identifying the cause of death.
Give us 5 words or phrases that describe your typical work day.
Diary Items Aren't Always Achievable.
During a typical work day I would try as much as possible to complete every item on my diary. But most of the time this is not the case. But progress of a task is as important as a completed task. I normally have to undergo a lot of reading and research for report writing, follow up with individuals or ministries and organisations, help my colleagues should they have issues that they need my clarify, attend to the tasks assigned to me, submit my completed tasks to my boss and report with regards to the status of the uncompleted tasks.
In a nutshell, how did you get to where you are right now? Name some of the most important milestones.
After completing my A levels I was awarded a Government scholarship. That’s when I opted to study communication and electronic engineering. I followed my Bachelor’s degree in Malaysia for 3 years. I successfully completed my studies with a First Class Honours. Upon my return to Seychelles, I was recruited as acting senior engineer at the Department of ICT. After 3 years I was confirmed in the post of Senior Engineer. I have represented my organisation at several international and national meetings. Beside my professional life, I am also dedicated to the community where I was for 2 years a member of Seychelles’ Lions Club and for the past 3 years I’ve been a board member of the Seychelles National Youth Council which is the entity responsible for youth development in Seychelles. As a board member for SNYC I’ve also represented the Youth of Seychelles at the Commonwealth Youth Forum during the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka in 2013.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get to your current position and how did it help you to grow as a person?
Having to spend my last 5 years of studies away from my home town has been the biggest obstacle. First it was moving to the main island for my A levels for a period of 2 years where I could still manage to travel home on weekends through boat trips and phone calls were affordable. Then I had to move to Malaysia for 3 years where I would spend months without my family and phone calls were not any cheaper. But these have made me an independent young lady. It taught me to be in total control of the decisions I take and to stay focused on what I am here for and what I want to achieve.
What are the top three things someone needs to excel in your field?
That will be something really difficult to answer considering that everything for me has the same priority; from punctuality to time management and efficiency. But once you love what you’re doing, determined to learn new things and complete your assigned tasks and respect your co-workers you’ll do fine.
What do you think is the MOST important thing governments and/or companies can do to help young people get started in their careers?
Empowerment. Not only intellectual empowerment but empowering the Youths with:
1. Values and decision making skills which will allow them to deal with social issues and make responsible decisions which will have an impact on their social life and their career simultaneously.
2. Governance and management skills. This will help them understand their role at their current position and which level within the hierarchy they can move to and what they need to do to achieve greater heights.
On a lighter note, tell us about the strangest day you’ve ever had at work or the strangest thing you had to do?
My strangest day at work would somewhat be my funniest and unexpected day at work. Despite having an ‘A’ level in French and able to write and speak French fluently, I’ve NEVER spoken or written French for the past four years at work. Not long ago a French speaking gentleman walked into our office and I had to assist him. The minute he started talking I went blurred. But after a few seconds I managed to catch up and had a very interesting conversation in French. After assisting him, I sat there and said out loud: “When I thought I was never going to need French at work”. That made me realise how the diversity in the language you can speak and write can be beneficial to you in your daily life and how one never cease to learn and put into practice the things learnt.
Some words to youth out there: What advice can you give them when chasing their dream position?
Everyone should have a dream. And in chasing your dreams there will be things you will need to achieve along the way. Mind you it will not be an easy path, there will be mountains to climb, there will be crossroads but remember your aim is to meet your target which is indeed your dream. It may take a while but patience and determination will guide you through. You should also acknowledge the key people beside you who will be willing to guide you through the decisions you make along the way.
Remember the words of Pope John XXIII:
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”