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The making of a Caribbean leader: balancing PhD and professional life


Where did you grow up?

St. Vincent & the Grenadines


What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Lawyer - Grew up hooked on Perry Mason and Matlock


What do you do now?

Finance Professional moonlighting as a struggling PhD Student


What drew you to this field?

To be honest, pursuing law was my first choice, but I was too pragmatic to allow myself to start a 5-year process (LL.B and LEC) knowing that I only had 3 years of funding. I, therefore, chose a combination of my other courses at Community College (Economics and Management). Ultimately, I did fall in love with economic development theory and look forward to applying what I've learned when I become a policy-maker.


What educational preparation did you have to do?

My job is definitely made easier by the knowledge gained in my BSc. Economics & Management and MSc. Banking and Finance, but the soft skills I honed during my years in student leadership continue to to open doors.


How did/do you fund your studies?

SVG National Exhibition Scholarship - Undergraduate

Student Loan - Masters

3-Year UWI Post-graduate Scholarship + Self-Financing - PhD


What is a typical working day like?

9AM-6PM - Combination of accounting, paying bills, procurement and a bit of sales.

8PM-12AM - Thesis work


What do you like the most about your current profession?

Closing a deal/sale! - Perhaps it's because I only dabble in that aspect of the business.


What’s the most challenging aspect of your current profession?

For me this position is transitory. The most challenging part is balancing my academic research with the requirements of a full-time job.


Who are your role models or who do you look up to?

Character and Devotion - Melsha R. DaSouza (Mommy)

Politics - Sir James Mitchell, Ralph Gonsalves, Barack Obama

Academia - Sir Arthur Lewis, Prof. Winston Moore


What motivates you?

My current motivation is to accomplish a list of things that I promised my mother I would. I've made some progress, but still a lot more to 'cross off'.


What are you most proud of?

The work I was able to do in student leadership; transforming the student experience on the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus (Barbados).


What are the biggest challenges you have faced so far in pursuit of your goals?

Funding has always been a challenge (though I have ultimately been really lucky with scholarships), but the greatest challenge was losing my mother to cancer in 2011. Still have yet to fully recover from hitting rock bottom.


What is the best piece of advice for someone wishing to enter your field of study/work?

Academic research can be lonely and frustrating. You will doubt yourself and the process. Your ability to embrace the things that motivate you, and lean on your support system can be the difference between quitting and seeing it through to the end.


What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

Football (actual and FIFA)


Anything else to add?

Quote - "Dream Big, Work Furiously" - Cherise Trotman

Confession - I romance the thought of entering representational politics in SVG.



CariScholar Q&A with Dalano R. DaSouza - Finance Manager at ALVASCO (Barbados) Ltd and PhD Candidate at UWI Cave Hill (Barbados)

This CariScholar series aims to give a glimpse into the professional journeys of some of the most accomplished academics and professionals.

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