JODI Graham is energetic, caring, thorough, diligent, determined and passionate about making a difference as a woman and helping others.
Born and raised in Kingston, Graham told All Woman she remembers being surrounded by a lot of family members and having a strong support system which encouraged her dreams and aspirations.
At that time, Graham explained that those goals were to own a house on the beach and make a positive impact on Jamaica, as she realised from early that there was a lot the country could offer on the global stage.
But as time passed, Graham explained that her dreams became more focused, and with a liking for the science subjects, she became interested in medicine. But after observing some medical doctors at work and being exposed to the practical side of science, she began leaning towards engineering.
“The switch happened when I visited a relative in the hospital and noticed that there were several doctors, but there was no appearance [of passion for the profession]. I said to myself, if I was going to invest so much time in something, it had to be something I was passionate about.
“The chemistry and mathematics teachers at Campion College brought the subjects to life for me. Teaching was ‘relatable’ to products I’d find at home, and the projects of converting raw materials into everyday products really drove it home that engineering was what I wanted to do,” Graham shared.
But after leaving Campion, Graham had a slight delay as she had not done a particular subject which was initially said to be optional to get into engineering, causing her to enrol at The University of the West Indies, Mona, instead of the St Augustine campus in Trinidad.
“Three weeks after starting, I realised I was doing the same courses as people who were at A’ level standard, so I wrote back to the school and they told me to come along, so I ended up starting a month behind. As a result when I got down there I had to hit the ground running,” she said.
At 33 Graham now holds a Bachelor of Science degree with first class honours in chemical and process engineering from St Augustine, and earned a Chevening Scholarship in 2010 to pursue a Master of Science degree in sustainable energy futures, which she earned with distinction at Imperial College, London.
Currently working as a senior supervisor of process engineering and engineer design lead for a project at Petrojam, Graham knows that she is working in a field often described as a man’s world.
But she says she feels empowered, knowing that her other female colleagues are holding their own, she has the respect of her male counterparts, and her work ethic and delivery have made all the difference.
In addition she has completed professional training in auditing process safety management programmes; mechanical integrity for process safety and risk management; process hazard for team leaders; the stepping up to management successful manager workshop; project management principles and practices; project conceptual development and capital cost estimating; introduction to finance for non-finance managers; and process design for plant equipment.
Graham also has professional memberships with the Jamaica Association of Energy Engineers, Jamaica Society of Energy Engineers, Jamaica Institution of Engineers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Institution of Chemical Engineers.
Outside of her professional space, Graham enjoys community outreach and volunteer activities, which she credits to her parents, and has served as chairperson of the outreach initiative at Petrojam.
“I enjoy making a difference with the communities surrounding Petrojam, providing scholarships, additional support to children, homework assistance, as well as other things. I was brought up seeing my parents being heavily involved in these things and it became a run-of-the-mill thing for me,” she said.
She has also served as a member of the PCJ Group Business House netball team and was a member of the planning committee for the Imperial College London Sustainable Energy Futures Conference in 2011.
For her achievements thus far, she is grateful to her parents Margaret and Albert Morris; her co-workers Andrea Reid, Chevril Shaw and Telroy Morgan and her husband Neville.
A lifelong bookworm, Graham spends a lot of time reading and exploring different areas of Jamaica, her favourites being YS Falls, Middle Quarters, Negril and White River. Other countries she has enjoyed visiting include Tobago, England and Italy.
Her philosophy and message to others is to realise that you are the one who has the biggest impact on how far you go in life.