Statement of Purpose: I feel I am at a key point in my career, where I find myself intensely energized by the possibilities to exchange ideas, and participate in higher learning opportunities, particularly within the field of Business Administration. For the past four years I have relished an interdisciplinary scope of work in the field of Risk & Compliance Management at Hardware and Lumber Limited; Occupational Health & Safety, Compliance Audit, Internal Control Audits, Disaster Policy, and Business Continuity are just some of my day to day remit.
I am most fascinated by the clash between economic interests of stakeholders, and the company’s need to comply with international environmental standards. My central goal is to work on the cutting edge of the progress reached in the field of business and entrepreneurship, while striking a balance between the contending priorities. The University College of the Caribbean MBA Program will optimally provide me with the tools & techniques required to achieve this goal. My Interest in Risk Management began to evolve with what I witnessed firsthand in Manhattan, New York, U.
S. A. on September 11, 2001. I noted with amazement, that in spite of the understandable confusion of all concerned, there was an unprecedented level of coordination in response, which was activated and executed within minutes, with relative seamlessness. The result was fewer lives lost, due to quick, appropriate, and adequately resourced response. On the other hand, later acts of nature, which were disseminated across computer screens and television sets, belied evidence of advancements in the sphere of Disaster Preparedness.
Cases in point: The response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, and the Haitian and Japanese earthquakes. The snail paced response to the former and the relative ad hoc protocols for recovery of the latter two events have left images which will not be easily expunged from my memory. These have served as confirmation that at all socio-economic levels there is the need for prudent disaster planning and management. Professionally, I have sought advancement and have been charged with increased responsibilities and new learning opportunities related to Risk Management for the past 11 years.
In 2001, I assumed the post of Regional Manager of the Jamaica National Small Business Loan Company. With my interest peaked, and the “911” legacy of Business Continuity not as entrenched as it is today, the subject took on unprecedented importance in our company. As a young middle manager, I was mandated with ensuring that the loan portfolio was sufficiently diversified with varying business activities to mitigate the risks of similar events; at that time sale of imported wares featured disproportionately in the portfolio.
The company would claim eventual success thanks to this strategic move, and I would earn the Chairman’s Award, with the real legacy being that I facilitated proper risk assessments techniques, which was adopted and became entrenched in policy and procedure. I later ventured to the Civil Service, eventually assuming the post of Compliance Manager pro tem, at the Companies Office of Jamaica. My total tenure was approximately five years. On this assignment, my mandate was to ensure that local business risks were adequately underwritten.
A major responsibility in this capacity was ensuring that entities which operated businesses in Jamaica were duly registered and met their statutory obligations in a timely manner, and by extension that they qualified for General & Peril Insurance. The strategy employed was to engage proprietors through canvassing, mass media campaigns, information sessions, and outreach initiatives. An analysis of local entrepreneurial pursuits gleaned a common cyclical tenure in small and micro activities in Jamaica.
These entities would have their ultimate demise with the passage of a natural, manmade, or economic disaster. Generally, Risk Management and Business Continuity Planning were identified as lacking operational imperatives. I was able to make the case for deliberate Risk Management at the public education presentations with anecdotes of companies and businesses which were so affected. My proposition is that Disaster Planning is a most important domain of Business Administration and economic continuity, without which enterprises, economies, and nations invariably fall prey to ravishes of man or nature.
To become an effective advocate for sustained and coordinated State and Enterprise Risk Management, one must earn formal endorsement. I am convinced that by earning this degree I would have gained the appropriate start. Ultimately, I aspire to teach and work in Risk Management. I hope to find ways of enabling business development, while protecting enterprises from the crippling effects of disasters. At this time, an MBA is the ideal course to pursue towards achieving this end. Respectfully submitted by: Gregory Spalding