I remember the phone call like it was yesterday. A voice on the other line said that I had been selected as one of two awardees to represent Trinidad and Tobago as a Chevening Scholar in the UK. The feeling was a tablespoon of excitement, a pint of accomplishment and a pinch of chaos all rolled into one.

I spent the 2011/2012 academic year in Newcastle upon Tyne. So there I was, a “trini boy” in the UK for the first time, living on my own, and interacting with students from across the globe. I made a lot of friends, from Taiwan to Colombia. It was truly a great experience as I could not afford to attain that type of education on my own. So I feel greatly indebted to the programme.

I am currently part of the Chevening LinkedIn network. This has afforded me the opportunity to ‘meet’ many people from around the world. Some with similar, but most with different opinions, point of views, and more so life experiences.

Personally I have grown from interacting with scholars and alumni from countries with conflicts, famine and religious/ethnic/gender discriminations. Professionally I have made many soft links through the programme. By this I mean I have met persons who have similar interests especially as it pertains to the entrepreneurial vision which I have. However, we have not yet used our intellectual capacity collectively to benefit the programme. Therefore, I believe that there is a huge opportunity for the alumni to contribute in a way to increase the programme’s reach. We really need a dedicated platform for exchanging ideas amongst ourselves. These ideas can actually be implemented at later dates with official help. It can also be a space to discuss how alumni can give back to the programme. So please feel free to contact me on Chevening Connect if you wish to work together in making the Chevening Awards programme one of the best there is internationally.