Black Immigrant Daily News
No one saw a future for Terry-Ann Bisnaught-Spence in the fast-paced, super competitive financial services sector, not least of all the young 20-year-old HEART intern herself who walked into the small Half Way Tree Road offices of Access Financial Services back in November 2001.
Sent for job placement, it was Terry-Ann’s fourth assignment in less than two years after the first three businesses closed down in quick succession.
“I remember in the interview when I told Mr James, he laughed and said, ‘make sure you’re not the bad luck yu nuh’.
We’re still standing after all these years, so I guess it wasn’t me,” Terry-Ann smiled, reflecting on that first exchange with Marcus James, who had opened Access for business only the year before. Terry-Ann joined the team as the second employee, working in the role of administrative assistant to the CEO.
Twenty-two years and five promotions later, Terry-Ann declares a sense of pride in her achievements and confidence in her latest role as risk analyst.
Access Financial Services Risk Analyst Terry-Ann Bisnaught-Spence (left) consults with work colleague Michelle Campbell-Ellington, Kingston Branch Supervisor.
Now 42 years young with a family of her own and many milestones along the way, the Kingston-born middle child of three siblings recalls humble beginnings with gratitude.
“We grew up in Delacree Lane off Spanish Town Road, with both parents, but we didn’t have a lot. I wanted to be a teacher like many of my classmates. But when I left Tivoli Gardens High, I needed to find a job to help my parents. So, I took my eight CESC subjects and went to HEART for job placement. It wasn’t until 2005 after working for a few years that I was able to go back to school for my associate’s degree,” shared Terry-Ann. A major in business administration put her in a position to progress through the organisation and secure other opportunities for coaching and professional development.
“There’s no question about how much I’ve grown since I first joined the team. I’ve learned to open up more. Management pushes you to come out of your comfort zone. Where training is concerned, there are always opportunities. When I was up for this role, I was so unsure of myself. But they provided the training I needed, and I can say today that I’m confident in my ability to do this job,” she asserted, adding that she aspires one day to become the operations manager.
Outside of the office, Terry-Ann is a mother of three daughters who keep her on her toes. With the youngest still a wee babe of four months old, she confesses that balancing career and motherhood has not been easy but insists it has been worthwhile.
“I want my daughters to be independent. I want them to have that push that I have, to go out and work, whether it is their own business or employed to someone else. That’s very important to me. I may not have the loftiest ambitions for myself, but I’m certainly proud of how far I’ve come, and I want my daughters to see that you can pull yourself up from any circumstance as long as you’re willing to put in the work,” said Terry-Ann.