MITS - An Enabler of Positive Transformation

The core function of Mona Information Technology Services (MITS) is to implement, support and manage the technologies and technology strategy in support of the academic and business functions of The University of the West Indies Mona, Jamaica.  While MITS continues to play its part “to advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean and the wider world(The UWI Triple A Strategy 2017 - 2022), it has also become diversified in the areas of outreach and nation building. An initiative of this nature aimed at unlocking the potential of the productive population and as such, revitalising the development of a nation, is indeed crucial and indispensable. MITS is therefore proud to move beyond its principal roles and responsibilities, supported by Information Technology, to incorporate and drive transformational initiatives in the advancement of human capacity building.  Some of the initiatives that MITS is involved in, include, supporting excellence in various forms and is therefore providing opportunities and access through charities and bursaries to primary and high school students from the Mona and adjoining communities.

Learn more about our Outreach Initiatives.

Student Centredness

In addition to supporting and managing the vast amount of IT needs of the institution’s students, MITS through its dynamic internship programme which indirectly started in 2002 has been supporting some core beneficial values such as embracing student centeredness and promoting excellence in work performance and Information Technology service delivery. The internship programme came into being when the MITS Helpdesk, now called the MITS – User Support Services (USS) needed extra hands to assist with the effective operation of the then newly established shift system which progressed from the standard 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. Mondays to Fridays, to the 7:00a.m. to 10:00p.m. work shift, followed by the extended service hours on Saturdays and Sundays 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. and 9:00a.m. to 4:30p.m. respectively. This adjustment in working hours was established to cater to the demands for IT services for not only the full-time walk-in students and other stakeholders of the Campus but to the part-time and remote students and prospective students who required IT services and or answers to various questions outside of the regular business hours.

The Past Intern Knowledge Empowerment (PIKE)–Professional Development Training Seminar

In June of 2015, Mona Information Technology Services established the Past Intern Knowledge Empowerment (PIKE) annual professional training seminar, in its attempt to improve work standards, professionalism and excellence in service delivery. PIKE was also introduced in response to the public’s perception that universities were not preparing work-ready graduates and that many graduates were lacking social and professional skills.  PIKE engages past student workers of MITS who are now professionals, to participate in the one day training seminar.

These selected past students are invited as special presenters to, in a way of giving back, empower the service agents who provide high priority services to the students and other stokeholds of the  Campus and also to the student workers currently in training. With the aim being to advance the social and professional skills of its participants and to foster the necessary skills for business success and sustainability, the founder and director of the PIKE professional development training seminar, Mrs. Janice Brown-Roberts, (Manager of MITS-USS unit) also invites special guest speakers to further equip and inspire the MITS interns so that they can seize valuable and gainful employment opportunities in the world of work. Hence, the efforts of the programme are all geared towards “positive transformation through efficient and effective alignment with society and economy,” as cited in The University of the West Indies, Triple A Strategy 2017 – 2022.

Excellence, strategy and alignment are words that can be used to describe the move that MITS has taken to improve the service standards to the Campus community and its shareholders and to grant its interns the opportunity to not just learn and earn but importantly to acquire a wide range of skills and business process techniques which enable them to position themselves to take leading roles in the respective societies. The feedback received expressed that PIKE contributes significantly to the testimonials that MITS continue to receive for the outstanding performance in service delivery overtime. Additionally, a number of past student workers are occupying jobs outside of their respective disciplines due to the various marketable skills, both technical and professional that they have acquired through the MITS internship programme, skills that along with higher level accredited certification, are deemed as essential in today’s working environment.

In its first session when it was launched in 2015, guest presenter and past student of The UWI and past student worker of MITS, Mr. Nicolai Green, Financial Analyst at the Ministry of Finance and Planning presented on the topic: The Significance of Standards, Confidentiality & Ethical Practices in the Workplace. Ms. Demile Harriott, Group Finance Manager at Digicel who is also a past student of The UWI and past student worker of MITS, educated the audience on the importance of Obtaining Winning Characteristics for the Wider Work Environment. The director of PIKE also saw the need to include a lecture on balancing professional and work life and hence, the 2015 group received vital tips on Stress Management and Psychological Wellness, from Dr. Angela Gordon-Stair, Head of the Counselling Unit at The UWI, Mona Health Centre.

The Transition of PIKE 2016 - 2018

Pike 2016

  • The Dynamics of Customer Relations – presented by guest speaker Ms. Camille Walters, Senior Mobile Design Engineer at FLOW Jamaica.
  • Leadership & Professional Ethics – presented by Mr. Omar Wright, Research Consultant/Project Assistant at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), past student of The UWI and past student worker of MITS.
  • Financial Health Leads to Financial Wealth – presented by past student of The UWI and past student worker of MITS, Ms. Tashana Smith.

PIKE 2017

Among the 2017 speakers was one of MITS’ Senior IT Officers, Mrs. Allison Dundas-Campbell. Mrs. Dundas-Campbell presented on the topic Ethics in the Workplace. She also charged the young employees and prospective employees to focus on the professional skills that will place them in a winning category. In addition to the valuable knowledge empowerment training offered through PIKE, in 2017 a key component was added to the programme which involves recognizing and awarding the service agents (starting with the student workers) for their hard work and commitment, in addition to being consistent in the areas of exemplary service delivery. This vision strategically ties into the main objective of PIKE, which is to endorse initiatives in support of student development, improving standards and embracing a culture of professionalism and high service quality to those individuals served by MITS.

PIKE 2018

In 2018, in support of, and in joining in the celebration of The University of the West Indies, “70 years of Service, 70 years of Leadership”, PIKE featured the theme “Lead to Succeed”, which was gracefully delivered by the guest speaker, Dr. Tomlin Paul, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Outside of the MITS team, invitation was extended to front-line service and query management agents from other Campus departments and sections such as the Student Administrative Services Section, the Human Resource Management Division, UWI Health Centre, The UWI School of Nursing, the Main Library, Examination and Admissions Section, the Office of the Guild of Students, among others. The participants greatly benefited from the 2018 training seminar. The feedback received speaks profoundly to the achievement of the objective of the training seminar, as it was expressed that the student workers and the full time service agents of the Campus, found the workshop to not only be engaging, but also enlightening and motivating. 

Collage of photos from PIKE2018

MITS the Enabler

MITS supports and will continue to support the initiatives of PIKE which promotes professional enrichment and service excellence. It is the aim of the department to continue building and revitalising this training and research institution which is ranked among the top 5 per cent universities in the world, together with its Pelicans and other stakeholders. In essence, PIKE provides a necessary platform to aid in this mission and to make a marked difference in the social fabric of our nation by fostering social and professional development which leads to the engendering of skills necessary to function effectively in today’s working world. The programme achieves this objective by encouraging students to take on leading roles in their respective areas and by extension in society and by helping student workers to remain inspired and committed while striving to adopt world class Best Practices in order to give the best service at all times.

Janice Brown-Roberts
September 22, 2018