7 November 2023 – In a recent interview, Richard Parchment, Human Resources Consultant at TechCayman, sat down with Teejhan Hansraj, the distinguished recipient of The Gene Thompson Computer Science Award at the John Gray High School graduation ceremony, who also serves as a robotics mentor at TechCayman’s Machine Learning Robotics camp.
About The Gene Thompson Computer Science Award
In memory of the late founder, Gene Thompson, an advocate for providing tech opportunities to Caymanians, TechCayman proudly launched the “Gene Thompson Computer Science Award” program. This program recognizes students excelling in STEM subjects and displaying a passion for technology, ensuring Gene’s legacy thrives by inspiring growing minds to embrace the world of technology.
The Gene Thompson Computer Science Award has been presented to graduates of several local schools, including:
• Wesleyan Christian Academy
• Triple C School
• Grace Christian Academy
• Cayman Academy School
• University College of The Cayman Islands (UCCI)
• Clifton Hunter High School
• John Gray High School
About Richard Parchment, Human Resources Consultant at TechCayman
Richard Parchment has had a diverse career, including teaching, hospitality management, and serving as a political advisor to the first Premier of the Cayman Islands. In 2014, he joined Gene Thompson’s team for the Health City Cayman Islands project, where he started a comprehensive education program for the hospital. This program has now seen more than 3000 students benefit from it, fueling Richard’s dedication to shaping young minds directly. When the opportunity arose in 2018 for Gene’s team to launch TechCayman, Richard was enthusiastic about creating a strong tech-focused education program as well.
The Interview (Richard Parchment - Interviewer, Teejhan Hansraj - Interviewee)
Richard: What initially sparked your interest in technology?
Teejhan: Since childhood, I’ve been drawn to understanding how things work. Growing up in Guyana with limited access to technology, I enjoyed disassembling and reassembling objects. When I moved to the Cayman Islands, I became involved in programs like SeaPerch, an underwater robotics competition hosted by Dart, and regional robotics competitions, which deepened my interest in technology. That was where I met Philip Liu (Education Program Coordinator at TechCayman) and became acquainted with TechCayman’s Machine Learning Robotics program.
Richard: Were there specific projects that you were working on at John Gray that led them to recognize your skill sets, or was it primarily your grades that got their attention?
Teejhan: My involvement in regional and national robotics teams, along with representing the Cayman Islands in Switzerland last year, contributed to my nomination. Hard work and dedication within these teams played a significant role.
Richard: Are there specific areas within IT or technology that you’re particularly passionate about?
Teejhan: I’m particularly passionate about mechanical engineering.
Richard: How do you stay updated with the latest technological advancements?
Teejhan: I follow technology giants like Intel, video game development, and companies like Samsung for innovations in microprocessors and displays.
Richard: Have you been involved in other intern projects that have contributed to your experience and desire to be an IT engineer?
Teejhan: I interned at KPMG, where I worked on both IT and customer service aspects. This experience solidified my decision to pursue a career in IT.
Richard: Who are your mentors or role models in the IT industry?
Teejhan: I look up to Philip Liu, the Education Program Coordinator for TechCayman, who transitioned from physics to IT. I actually met him before I took an interest in robotics when he came to John Gray to speak to my IT class. Mr. White, a mentor from John Gray who mentored the national robotics team, has also been very influential.
Richard: Can you share challenges you’ve faced in your academic journey or while working on tech projects?
Teejhan: The tech industry involves the ability to explore multiple solutions to a problem. Having alternative plans and understanding how they all contribute to the same goal is vital.
Richard: What are your long-term career goals as an IT mechanical engineer?
Teejhan: I aspire to work in the field of robotics and mechanical engineering, whether that is with companies like Microsoft, Apple, or NASA. Eventually, I’d like to start my own robotics company, possibly in the Cayman Islands.
Richard: What are your immediate educational plans and goals?
Teejhan: After completing my associate degree in computer science at UCCI, I plan to apply to the University of Waterloo to study mechatronics engineering and earn my bachelor’s degree.
Richard: Are there specific organizations or companies you admire and would like to work for in the future?
Teejhan: NASA is a company I admire due to my passion for astrophysics. Major tech companies like Nvidia, Intel, and Apple also intrigue me for their involvement in robotics and engineering.
Richard: What technical certifications have you obtained?
Teejhan: I hold the Microsoft Office Specialist certification in PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. I’ve also begun working on the CompTIA A+ certification, and I’m fluent in Java.
In conclusion, TechCayman’s interview with Teejhan Hansraj, the illustrious recipient of the Gene Thompson Computer Science Award, highlights the journey of a passionate young technologist. Teejhan’s tech fascination and involvement in robotics have set the stage for his bright future. TechCayman continues to inspire emerging tech talent, fostering excellence in STEM subjects, and look forward to Teejhan’s contributions to the tech industry.