MITS - An Enabler of Positive Transformation

The core function of the Mona Information Technology Services (MITS) is to implement, support and manage the technologies and the technology strategy in support of the academic and the business functions of The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.  While the 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 and 2022-2027), it has also become diversified in the areas of outreach and nation building. Initiatives of this nature are aimed at unlocking the potential of the productive population and revitalising the development of our nation. The MITS is therefore proud to move beyond its principal roles and responsibilities to incorporate and drive transformational initiatives for the advancement of human capacity building.  Some of the initiatives that the MITS is involved in, include, supporting excellence in various forms and is therefore providing opportunities through training and “information literacy skills” development. Likewise, the MITS is also extending support through charity projects and making available access by way of 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 Information Technology (IT) needs of the institution’s end-users, the MITS through its dynamic internship programme which initially started in 2002, has been supporting some of the institution’s core beneficial values. These values include, embracing  student centeredness and promoting excellence in work performance and in IT service delivery. The internship programme was established by virtue of the MITS’ Helpdesk, now called the MITS – User Support Services (USS), need for ‘extra hands’ to assist with the effective operation of the then (2002) newly established shift system. The work-system progressed from the standard 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, to a 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. work shift. Also, the introduction of the live chat support service (MITS Live Support), resulted in further extension of the service hours to Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. respectively. This adjustment in working hours was arranged to cater to the part-time and remote staff, students and prospective students who required IT services and answers to various questions outside of the standard business hours.

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

In June 2015, the 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 student-workers are invited as special training facilitators to, in a way of ‘giving back’, empower the present interns who are providing high priority services to the students and other stakeholders of the Campus. The founder and director of the PIKE, Ms Janice Brown (MITS-USS, Manager), also invites special guest speakers to further equip and inspire the interns, so that they can seize valuable and gainful employment opportunities in the world of work. On this account, 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 and 2022-2027).

Excellence, strategy and alignment are words that can be used to describe the initiatives that the MITS has taken to improve the service standards to the Campus community and to grant its interns the opportunity to not only learn and earn, but importantly, to acquire a wide range of skills and business process techniques. The PIKE contributes significantly to service excellence and to the customer experience, judging the testimonials that the MITS continue to receive for the outstanding performance in service delivery over time.  Moreover, a number of our 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. These skills along with higher level accredited certifications are deemed essential in today’s work environment. We are pleased to note that companies that have employed some of our past student-workers have been contacting us randomly in their pursuit for potential full-time employees.

In the first hosting of the PIKE (Summer 2015), guest presenter, past student of The UWI and past student-worker of the MITS, Mr Nicolai Green, Financial Analyst at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, 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-worker of the MITS, educated the participants on the importance of “ Obtaining Winning Characteristics for the Wider Work Environment. The director of the PIKE also saw the need to include a lecture on work-life balance thereupon, 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 2016-2022

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), and past student-worker of the MITS.
  • Financial Health Leads to Financial Wealth – Presented by Ms Tashana Smith, Wealth Advisor at Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited, and past student-worker of MITS.

PIKE 2017

  • Ethics in the Workplace – Presented by Mrs Allison Dundas-Campbell, MITS’ Senior IT Officer, The UWI, Mona.
  • Improving Business Communication for Young Professionals – Presented by Ms Shauya-Gaye Panton, Research and Development Administrator at the National Commission of Science and Technology, and past student-worker of the MITS. 
  • Incident and Customer Service Management – Presented by Mr Douglas Stewart, LLB  Graduate & Procurement and Contracts manager at Nutrition Products Limited, Customer Service Manager, and past student-worker of the MITS.                  

PIKE 2018

Theme - Lead to Succeed
  • Lead to Succeed – Presented by Dr Tomlin Paul, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, The UWI, Mona. 
  • Incident and Customer Service Management – Presented by Mr Deuane Taylor, Business Analyst, Tax Administration, Jamaica.
  • The Value of the Customer Service Charter and Best Practices in Enhancing Service Delivery & the Customer Experience - Presented by Ms Kamesha Turner-Blake, Private Sector Development Specialist Consultant, Planning Institute of Jamaica, and past student -worker of the MITS. 
  • Leadership vs. Management: the Significance of Both - Presented by Mr Shevon Williams, Guild President, and past MITS student-worker. 

PIKE 2019 

Theme - Optimizing Student Centredness and Brand Consciousness through Professional Development Training 
  • The Impact of Social Media on Self-Image, Self-Representation & the Work Place -Presented by Mr Jason McKenzie, Director, Office of Student Services and Development, The UWI, Mona.
  • Our Students Matter – Student Centredness the Way to Go - Presented by Mrs Donna Foster, Senior Administrative Assistant, Admissions Section, The UWI Mona.
  • Build Your Own Brand – Engage in Ethical Activities that will pave the way for Professional Growth & Continued Success - Presented by Ms Patrice Gowdie, Quality Assurance Analyst, Jamaica Flour Mills LTD, and past student-worker of the MITS. 
  • Money Management Matters - EduCom Co-operative Credit Union LTD., The UWI, Mona, Branch Representative. 
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PIKE’s 2020 and 2021 training seminars engaged the frontline staff and student-workers in the following on-line sessions; Motivation and Empowerment, Inspiring Change through Adversity, Moving out of the Ordinary, and Quality Control Management for the Maintenance of Industry Standards in Service Delivery Practices.

PIKE 2022

Theme – Eight and Great
Fostering Knowledge Transfer for Business Success and Continuity – Presented by Mrs Deborah Dixon-McKenzie, IT Security Risk Manager, Digicel, Jamaica, and past MITS student-worker.
Promoting Work Standards, Social and Professional Skills and the importance of Excellent Service Delivery – Presented by Mr Twayson Laird, Investment Specialist, Scotia Wealth Global, Asset   Management, and past MITS student-worker. 
Enhancing and Reinforcing a Culture of Brand Consciousness and Industry Standards Customer Experience (CX) – Presented by Ms Tashana Smith, Wealth Advisor, Sagicor Investments, Sagicor Group, Jamaica. 

Collage of photos from PIKE2018

PIKE 2023

Theme – Nine and Impacting to Realign – The ninth hosting of PIKE gave rise to its theme.

The training topics were designed to support mind-set realignment, career focus and service integrity maintenance for students’ success and for the success of the brand UWI that we represent:
  • FAS-MP – Flexible to change and to adapt – Aligning to core values – Skills development for future success | Mentorship for the attainment of valuable guidance – Purposeful, be purposeful and intentional to adopt and facilitate positive thoughts and rewarding plan of action - Presented by Ms Patrice Gowdie, Entrepreneur & Quality Assurance Analyst & Sales & Marketing Consultant and past student-worker of the MITS.
  • Growing or Existing?  – Pursuing Distinction or Distraction – Decide how you wish to fit in the Business Industry - Presented by Mr Kemoy Saddler, Business Analyst Consultant with the Government of Jamaica and past student-worker of the MITS.
  • Career Choice: Relevance to Student-Workers - Enabling UWI Students – Facilitating  Better Decisions - Acquiring Marketable Skills in preparation for unforeseen circumstances (Covid-19) | Work-life Balance – Compensation and Benefits.
    Presented by Mrs Kay Bruce, Human Resource Practitioner, Human Resource Management Division, UWI Mona.
  • Created to Make an Impact
    Killers of Positive Impact: Lack of Focus - Social Media Addiction - Prioritizing trend and fashion over academic and skills development - Not aligning for future beneficial opportunities - Imitating the dreams of others and not pursuing our own dreams - Presented by Sergeant Junior Roswess of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. 
Pike 2023 Workshop photo collage

MITS the Enabler

MITS supports and will continue to support the initiatives of PIKE which promote ethical practices, interpersonal skills development, professional enrichment and service excellence. Together with its Pelicans and other stakeholders, it is the aim of the department to continue building and revitalising this renowned training and research institution which is ranked among the top 5 per cent universities in the world.  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. The PIKE programme places great emphasis on brand consciousness for the benefit of all.

Service Integrity Enrichment

Training coupled with adaptation of the valuable knowledge acquired can positively impact service integrity. Adopting a mindset to competently and delightfully serving those who serve us will revolutionise and enrich our service culture and the customer experience by extension.
Author - Ms Janice Brown
Published September 22, 2018 
Edited September 25, 2023