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22-year-old Dominic Budhan serves as a trainer, mentor and general administration at STEM Guyana. He is also an administrative assistant at Kaizen Consultancy, a sorter at SAC, and currently a third-year student at the University of Guyana (UG) majoring in geography.
Over the years Dominic has garnered a wide variety of skills which include but are not limited to teamwork, and adaptability.
His interests include environmental awareness as he is a member of the (UG) Geographical Society and developing Tech skills (animation/game development) amongst others. He is also a die-hard motor racing and anime fan.
Dominic attended Mae’s High School and then Chases’ Academic Foundation where he wrote CSEC in both fourth and fifth form. Further he did one year of CAPE at Chases’ Academic Foundation. In 2020 he started his journey at the University of Guyana.
“I think it comes down to just how much you’re doing and how much you can actually cope with. I’ve been able to schedule my responsibilities based on my timetable and work to be done. Setting realistic deadlines and keeping up with them can help a lot, as we all know, procrastination can be a killer at times. With that said, always remember to take breaks, you can’t be on it every single day, or your body will choose when for you and this will have a negative effect on you. I’ve experienced trying to do too much at one time and had to learn the hard way,” Dominic stated.
He added, “Everyone isn’t the same, some can just naturally do more than others, you can push yourself yes, even push your limits a bit, just try to not go too far for your own sake and probably for the sake of those around you,” Dominic said when asked how he manages school, work and volunteering.
After completing high school, Dominic was unsure of what he wanted to do and as such he began working for a couple of years before making a decision to study.
Then he chose Geography after thinking about various options for many months during the pandemic in 2020.
“I’ve been interested in Geography since school, mainly Physical Geography and the plethora of career options offered under it (such as Geospatial analyst) is what caught my interest some years after school. Career options, courses offered under each of the majors were thought about as well as how much I can possibly do outside of my studies,” Dominic added.
However, during these couple years his interests in some STEM-related areas have grown stronger. He has completed various courses such as Cyber Security, Game Development and Web Development.
He noted, “Cyber Security courses were completed shortly after starting University as the interest was there, just that and other interests just came and grew. Luckily one of the reasons I chose Geography was that I knew I’d have time for work as well as completing courses of interest.”
One of Dominic’s challenges is lack of motivation. There are times when he wants to work on a project or something for university, but he lacks the motivation to do so. However, to overcome this, he either takes a break or utilises intrinsic motivation. This helps to keep him motivated.
There are other challenges he faces, but he overcomes them with support from his family and friends. Their support played major roles in getting Dominic where he is today.
“I think firstly, being the first in the family to write CSEC in fourth form and then doing well comes to mind instantly. Especially at the time I had little confidence in my own capabilities but Sir Herman Small and Sir Henry Chase played crucial parts helping me realise my potential. Further the outreaches and various activities done through church, being a mentor for the 2021 and 2022 International robotics team (Team Guyana Robotics) as well as the grades achieved so far in university and outside of it as well, are achievements Dominic is proud of.
He developed his various skills by participating with the youth group at Holy Spirit Church and STEMGuyana.
They helped him develop different interpersonal skills including teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and leadership.
He mentioned, “I was the President for the youth group for several years and had a great team around me. We planned effectively, overcame challenges, helped each other grow in different areas and over the years we built up a strong bond. At STEM Guyana under the leadership of Ms Karen Abrams, myself along with other STEM members were involved in training kids and some youths in the earlier years, however, I did come across as shy, soft spoken and so struggled with public speaking.”
He also added, “Over the years that assisted in developing my public speaking skills as I no longer shy away from the crowd. From 2018 and onward I was more involved in teaching and team building projects. I can now speak publicly whether it be at STEM camps, with parents, Government ministers and/or officials, and even at our last visit with the President of Guyana, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and other leaders.”
Now he’s able to remain calm and speak confidently, a skill that he wished he was good at 5 or 6 years ago.
Working in customer service at Fly Jamaica and also being a member of Laudato Si Guyana, which aims to care for the natural environment and its people, helped Dominic adapt to constant changes in the environment as well as multitasking while developing skills like Patience, empathy, communication, etc.
“Work hard, stay humble, try not to compare yourself to others, take breaks, remember everyone is different and their time doesn’t necessarily mean it’s yours. Try making a vision board to help guide yourself, it can be however long you wish for it to be, try improving your interpersonal skills, there are lots of things out there to do, the internet is there if you need help, it can be something small, just try it,” is Dominic’s advice to other youths.
Dominic plans to complete his Bachelor of Science in Geography and practise to sharpen his 3D animation/game development skills. He also plans to use different software to improve his skills in software development, specifically with python. He will continue working with STEMGuyana on various projects and to be more involved in more projects with environmental groups/organisations.
Currently, he is also a part of a water testing project with the UG Geographical and Eco-Trust Societies which will be completed later this year.
After obtaining his bachelor’s, he will pursue a tech related course/degree. As well as getting more involved in his other areas of interests such as in racing, music and more.