Barbados Senator Harry Husbands, MLER ’97, Shares His Experiences With Students

On September 26, 2013, Barbados Senator Harcourt “Harry” Husbands, a 1997 graduate of SMLR’s master’s program in labor and employment relations, returned to Rutgers as a guest speaker in the Introduction to Labor Studies & Employment Relations class, taught by Carla Katz. During his talk, Senator Husbands stressed how a degree in labor and employment relations can lead to a diverse set of opportunities.

“After I completed my master’s degree, I came back to Barbados several steps ahead of my contemporaries,” said Senator Husbands, who is currently the parliamentary secretary in Barbados’ Office of the Prime Minister.

He went on to explain his career trajectory, which includes his more than 20 years’ experience as a trained teacher. Early in his career, Senator Husbands was the General Secretary and President of the Barbados Union of Teachers and President of the Caribbean Union of Teachers. He was a founding member of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados, and worked for the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in Trenton, New Jersey.

While answering students’ questions, Senator Husbands compared and contrasted his experiences working in labor relations in a small island like Barbados with that of the U.S. He noted that the smaller size of an island may increase the chances of labor issues overlapping with one’s personal life. He encouraged students to obtain international experiences in order to understand diverse perspectives. He emphasized the overall global options that are available for SMLR students.

“In virtually every meeting I enter in, every discussion is a negotiation, though it is not described as such. The skills in negotiation that you’ll acquire are important in every field. Your employment opportunities are not limited to the U.S. You should be seeing yourself as having an international education that will qualify you to work anywhere,” said Senator Husbands.

Watch as Senator Harcourt Husbands, MLER ’97, discusses his experiences as a SMLR student