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Reon Porter
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Tynisha Ebanks is Nova’s “Love Your Future” Scholarship Recipient for 2018 – this is her story, in her own words! Tynisha is currently studying Web Design and Development at the University of Northampton.

Where I started:

All my life, throughout the ‘growing up’ phase, attending school and learning about the world we live in, and learning how to become a good contributing member of society, I had always struggled to find what would be the right fit for me and what I was passionate about career wise. I spent a large portion of my life not knowing what I wanted to study or what direction to take career wise.

For a long time, I recall the suggested career paths being the usual, doctor, lawyer, police officer or teacher. Sadly, none of which genuinely piqued my interests, except for when I briefly wanted to be a police officer because I thought it seemed ‘cool’. I presume it may have been due to my limited exposure or better put, my lack of knowledge about the vast careers and fields out there! Perhaps this may have been the leading factor as to why my ability to dream big did not happen at a younger age.  (My biggest learning point from this is: do your research! Find something that sparks joy and look for roles that have something in common with this!)

Despite that, looking back one of the most significant impacts on my life during my adolescence stage, it was when I saw a computer for the very first time and got to use it. I can remember being extremely captivated and excited whenever my class would go to the computer room. Then during my time at high school, I still very much liked working with computers and always gravitated to understanding them and learning more about them. Unfortunately, the topics covered about them at that particular point in time in my schooling were substantially inadequate and so it never really clicked that there was so much more I could learn if I had the opportunity to do so.

After graduating from high school, I was a bit confused and very much worried about my immediate future and what my next step should be. I was not particularly passionate about anything, I knew I enjoyed art and computers, but at that time I was not aware of any courses or careers available that unified both. With my inability to make a decision I became extremely stressed, mainly because my friends and most of my peers had already decided what career goals they would be pursuing and I felt left behind and pressured to find something quickly.

After a lot of stress and lots of thinking, I somehow ended up studying accounting for a year. How I arrived at this decision still amazes me to this day – the power of enough stress and pressure is obviously incredible. Nevertheless, I took this path for the obvious reason being that I knew the financial industry played a pivotal role in Cayman’s economy, and not having any previous exposure to the world of accounting, I could not ascertain whether or not I enjoy it without learning about it first.

Shortly after completing a one-year course in accounting, I decided not to continue studies (shocker, I know!). I considered trying a different approach to finding a career that I would love; I was extremely fortunate to get my first real job at one of the top banks in the Cayman Islands. My operational knowledge and personal skillset increased tenfold by working there and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Despite the fact it was a genuinely fun and invaluable experience (that I am wholeheartedly grateful for) I knew that it was not the career choice that I candidly wanted and one that aligned with my interests and passions.

Ultimately, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions, which was not only to leave the organization that I had grown in for more than 5 years, but to change my career path entirely while in my mid-20s. After a whirlwind of decisions, I then went back to university and studied Computer Science (yay me for finally getting there after 7 years!!).

Where I am now:

It was only after completing my associates degree in Computer Science that I was not only able to identify fields within that area that I enjoyed most, but I was also able to find my main passion, which is web development and design. Fast forward to today, now I am currently undertaking my BSc in Business Computing at the University of Northampton. The course I’m studying takes a business-oriented approach to web design and web development. In short, this means that upon completion of my degree, I will be able to utilize the knowledge and skills I’ve gained within a working environment and hopefully hit the ground running.

The route that I have taken may have been quite an unusual one, but I do not regret in the least. I am ecstatic and very pleased with my decisions thus far and looking forward to the duration of my studies.


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