Woman goes from failing  Common Entrance Exam twice, to earning doctorate
Local Vibes
September 15, 2017
Woman goes from failing Common Entrance Exam twice, to earning doctorate

Wendy-Ann Richardson had to write the Common Entrance Exam three times before she passed.

But today, she is the holder of a doctorate in Corporate Governance from Loughborough University, United Kingdom (UK) and she has advice for persons who want to succeed in life.

“I would like to encourage persons to never, ever let anyone write you off…don’t let your situation that you are born into hinder you from achieving your goal.

“I was not the bright child. I never remember coming first, second or third, but I worked hard and hard work never killed anybody,” Richardson advised last week.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, the woman, who was born at Lowmans Hill, said because of where she came from, while she was growing up she would never have been voted most likely to succeed, but she stayed focused and believed in God and as a result, managed to achieve the goals she set for herself. 

When she was only 11 months old, her father deserted the family, leaving her mother, who worked as a domestic, to raise her alone.

Richardson attended the Lowmans Leeward Anglican School, then moved on to the St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown (SJCK), where she sat and passed nine CXC subjects. She then went on to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC), where she attained two ‘A’ level passes.

The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill, Barbados, was her next step and there she pursued a BSc degree in Economics and Accounting and graduated with Upper Second Class Honours.  

Richardson later returned to St Vincent, where she read for a Master’s degree (by distance) in International Management with the University of London and on August 1, 2017, she obtained a PhD in Management from Loughborough University, UK.  

While completing her PhD, she was nominated for the prestigious award of Student of the Year, served as a PhD student representative, worked as a teacher at Loughborough University and a college lecturer at Leicester Commercial College.

In her thesis, Richardson looked at corporate board diversity in the UK and she is currently working on two publications. 

“I was not endowed with gifted abilities and often found that I had to work twice as hard as my friends to attain the same grades in school,” said Richardson.

Her story of academic achievement is also one of physical perseverance, as during her PhD studies she became pregnant with twin boys and had a problematic pregnancy.

Richardson explained that she suffered from preeclampsia and as a result, her babies were born at seven months, weighing two pounds and had to be hospitalized.

But apart from having to stay in the hospital, the twins and their mother were each placed in three separate medical facilities and when Richardson was finally released, she had to travel an hour in each direction to be with her babies.

“…They needed specialist care and they had no room in Leicester to accommodate all three of us, so when I was discharged, I had to commute from one hospital to the other,” explained the wife of Darry Richardson. 

But despite this, the mother of three finished her PhD early.

“I was meant to finish in November, but I finished early,” revealed Richardson, who thanked her mother and her in-laws for their help during the children’s healing period.

“I want to acknowledge and thank my mother for all the sacrifices she has made over the years; my sister Pamela, who had to sacrifice her education to babysit me; my sister Karen, who always encouraged me not to settle for mediocrity; my sister Joycelyn, who lovingly told me not to come home if I didn’t pass at my third attempt at the Common Entrance Examination; my husband, who always believed and reminded me that I could do anything; my former boss, James Archibald of James Archibald Designs, for financing my MSc; my in-laws for their consistent support and the Enhams Church of the Nazarene family. I believe they have all contributed to my being the person I am,” said Richardson.

Her mantra is “The start of a man’s life does not determine his end. You exist with a purpose.”

“I accredit my success not to natural intelligence, but to many prayers and continuous commitment to being my best and giving 100 per cent,” said Richardson, who added, “As school reopens, it is imperative that we never write off any child, for we never know the plans and purpose God has for that child.”

Now back in SVG, Richardson lives at Brighton and is hoping that she can use her expertise to benefit her country.