As a teen, Chantelle Britton was destined to become an educator.
However, after volunteering as a schoolteacher in the summer of 2017 she had a change of heart. That process of re-evaluation led Chantelle to rediscover her innate passion for mathematics and business, and to her greatest delight, she also learnt that she could satisfy her affinity for both through studies in Actuarial Science at the University of Technology (UTech).
Her dreams will come true on Saturday (November 18) with the formal award of her earned first-class honours degree of the BSc. in Actuarial Science at UTech’s graduation ceremony.
The high achiever who was selected by the Faculty of Science and Sport as valedictorian nominee, explained that “I stumbled upon Actuarial Science, which struck me as it had the perfect blend of mathematics and business, two subjects which I had grown passionate about during my high school years and wanted to further pursue academically.”
She added that “to support my decision, I attended the annual UTech career exposition, where I had the opportunity to converse with the Actuarial Science programme director at the time, Mr. Merrick Mullings.” That insightful conversation led to Chantelle submitting her application and evidently, to her excellent performance in her course of study.
School was her place to shine
Long before her tertiary studies at UTech, Chantelle has been consistently excelling on her academic journey. She was the top Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) performer at Knox Junior School. She consistently ranked as the top girl and top student from first through sixth form at DeCarteret College and subsequently attained the title of ‘top girl’ in the CSEC exams.
Leading up to her most recent success at UTech, Chantelle continued to blaze a trail of excellence, copping the university’s 60th and 65th Anniversary High Achiever Scholarships for three consecutive years: 2021, 2022, and 2023.
The UTech high achiever shared that she was raised in a large family, “living with ten other individuals” which she noted, “made it easy for me to get lost in the crowd.” She noted that “as the smallest member of the family, I often felt overlooked and unheard.” Due to this she “cherished the idea of going to school” and developed “a strong passion for learning.” Her teachers would “frequently praise” her academic performance and this encouraged her to excel even more. She mentioned that “it was not long after this that it became clear to me that school was a place where I could truly shine and be noticed.”
Shining through the challenges
Reflecting on her determination to succeed notwithstanding challenges, Chantelle explained that she had to relocate from Kingston to Mandeville to assist her younger sister with online schooling during the pandemic.
“Juggling her needs and my own academic responsibilities proved to be quite demanding.” She added that “the abrupt transition from in-person classes to a strictly online format” also required her to “quickly adapt to a new learning style. Chantelle also fought to stay afloat, what she said felt was an “isolating” university experience as interactions amongst her and her schoolmates were limited.
This led to her active participation in the university’s Actuarial Science Club where she served as secretary for academic year 2021/2022 and president for 2022/2023. She added that “despite all the challenges I encountered, I always made a concerted effort not to let them hinder the achievement of the goals I set for myself.”
Looking to the future
Looking to the future, Chantelle has her eyes set on commencing either the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams. Her outstanding academic achievements and engagement in the 2023 UTech Job Fair has already landed Chantelle her current employment in assurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
While this exceptional achiever has put her own ‘shoulders to the wheels’ to succeed, she was quick to thank her family who provided her with “a nurturing upbringing” and “the care and support” that led to her many successes. The three-time UTech scholarship recipients also noted “I admire the university’s practice of recognising and rewarding high achievers each year through the 60th (now 65th) Anniversary Scholarship. It demonstrates UTech’s commitment to acknowledging and valuing its diligent students.”
Having successfully navigated her undergraduate journey, Chantelle Britton encourages other students to stay on top of their module tutorials and to help each other. She added that “consistently practicing, putting in extra study hours, and maintaining regular attendance in class can truly yield fruitful results.”