Architectural designer, James Campbell is cautioning youths in St Vincent and the Grenadines to never underestimate the level of education it takes to pursue a skill-oriented career.
Campbell who is the owner of Camative Architectural Designs began his business officially in 2019 after completing a building construction course at the Technical Division of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, followed by further studies in architectural designs in Taiwan earning both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in the field.
In March, 2020 when the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines launched the Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises (PRYME), and the Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises(PRYME+) programme, Campbell received a grant. He credits that programme for helping to take his business to a new level.
Campbell spoke to SEARCHLIGHT about the progress he has made since receiving the grant, his aspirations for his business and the importance of education and travelling in any skill-oriented field, including architectural design.
“…Get [a] proper education in architecture design because the college thing alone won’t work in the long run. It’s a start in college yes, but next thing, you want to go overseas or university level…college alone can’t make it- to be honest,” he said.
“ You get more experience as you travel out of the Caribbean…”, advised the Redemption Sharpes resident.
Campbell said he knows much more now than when he graduated from college because of his qualification and experience overseas.
“…because I got to study in Taiwan…I [got] to experience different architectural designs in the Asian world…”.
“… just being here you’d see the same thing everyday but you need to travel, experience different cultures…not only academically, but for being able to visualise things and seeing things in real life…not only for education-wise but for getting the exposure, and work along with persons outside the Caribbean region.”
Now, “I get to think out the box in certain instances…as you get to travel and get to sit down at an actual lecture in your classroom and you get [it] explained what you should do and what you should not do and so on, then it’s much better to get that done.”
And, he stressed that travelling exposes people to different styles around the world no matter what field of work they are in.
“…Everybody…in the world can draw but it’s how good you are at what you do and how much experience you have in the field that you’re doing…”
Campbell said his qualifications have worked in his favour even though on occasions he sometimes gets questioned about them.
“For example, I have many clients who live in St.Vincent but are from overseas…they ask me how far did I go in this field because the level of drawing they would like to get done…persons who are not qualified and experienced, they may not be able to do what they want to get done…”.
Campbell, however, credits much of his current success to the PRYME grant he received and used for computer and printer upgrade.
“…before the computer, I could’ve take like two at a time…so now I got a proper desktop, I can accept more jobs…”, the young architect explained.
“… it came in very handy because I would use my laptop before getting a desktop computer,it was breaking down eventually because of the kind of software I use..”
Campbell said he enjoys knowing that clients are pleased with his work, adding that he never had a complaint, “I am always praised, I am always being recommended to other persons”.
Campbell now has his sights set on establishing a company and expanding beyond these shores.
“ My immediate plan that I have in the next two years is to reach a Caribbean island other than St.Vincent and the Grenadines”.
The PRYME grant initiative was launched on March, 17, 2020 and has awarded numerous Vincentians with grants ranging from $2,500 to $40,000 to assist with their business endeavours.