Who is Christopher Kinch?
Interesting question. I am the only child of Angela and Llewellyn Kinch. I have an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus and also a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading, United Kingdom. Basketball is my game, and if you cut me, purple and gold will probably run through my veins. I am a lifelong supporter of the Los Angeles Lakers and believe that the late Kobe Bryant was the second greatest basketball player in the world behind Michael Jordan. And that is not up for debate. Reading books and watching a good movie are some of my favourite past-times. Even though I am a Christian, I still believe in having a good time by liming and chilling with my close friends. I am currently focussed on maintaining good health so I am eating mostly vegan or plant-based meals. However, a good macaroni pie served with fry chicken and potato salad would definitely turn my head.
Tell us about your journey to becoming an Economist with the Central Bank of Barbados.
Being an economist was never in my plans while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree. Initially, I wanted to be a doctor or an engineer, but God had other plans. After completing my studies at the UWI, job-hunting proved difficult due to the economic climate at that time. This was during 2010, when the world was experiencing the worst recession at the time which was the Global Financial Crisis. I sent out approximately 65 applications and received an offer to sell insurance at one of the top insurance companies in Barbados, but I declined the offer. However, I was subsequently hired to tutor in the Economics Department of the UWI, Cave Hill Campus.
Following this, I received another job offer which included working as a research assistant on different research projects for the UWI, Cave Hill Campus and a consulting firm. In 2011, I was offered a teaching post at the St. Michael School where I taught Mathematics and Economics at the CSEC and CAPE level for approximately 2 years. In October of 2013, I had the golden opportunity to work at the Central Bank of Barbados within the Research and Economic Analysis Department (READ), where I started out as a Research Officer and eventually became an Economist. As a result of this chance of a lifetime, I have been able to work with an immensely talented group of individuals not only in my department but also the rest of the Bank. I have loved every moment of it.
I must also mention that throughout my journey over the last decade, I have been mentored by Professor Winston Moore (Deputy Principal at the UWI, Cave Hill Campus), Professor Troy Lorde (Dean of the Social Science Department at the UWI, Cave Hill Campus), Ambassador Dr. Clyde Mascoll (Chief Economic Counsellor in The Prime Minister’s Office of the Government of Barbados) and the late Professor Roland Craigwell. They all encouraged me to continue to work at my craft as an Economist.
We know you’re a busy professional. Can you share any time management tips with us?
Use your calendar to help plan out your weeks and days ahead especially in terms of meetings, deadlines for projects, personal development, exercise and relaxation. Recently, I joined a 24-hour gym and depending on how my work day flows, I will tend to fit in an hour of exercise sometime during the course of the day.
Prioritize wisely. Figure out whether a task is important or not. I tend to do this using a daily to-do-lists along with my calendar.
The greatest time management advice I have been given is learning to say “No”.
In your opinion, what are three (3) qualities that a good Economist should possess?
I know you asked for three (3), but I would like to provide four (4) that I think are essential.
Possess great written and verbal communication skills.
Be a great thinker and ask a lot of questions.
Have the ability to work in a team setting, but also lead when necessary.
Be willing to learn from your mistakes and take constructive criticism.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in pursuing a career similar to yours?
Definitely, find a mentor whether someone in academics, private sector or government. You can send an email, a message on Linkedin.com or even meet them at an event. Also, attending the Annual Review Seminar (ARS) held by the Central Bank of Barbados will allow anyone the chance to meet other Economists. During the ARS you get a chance to hear presentations from Economists from the Bank, other government ministries, international organisations and academia.
What does success mean to you?
I think for myself it is really about leaving a legacy where I inspire the persons around me including family and friends, and the individuals coming after. Also, to pay it forward where persons coming after me are able to get opportunities that I did not have.