In 2004, Ray Baptiste was working as a project manager at a large telecommunications firm in Barbados. Over a 20-year career she had held a variety of positions, from quality control engineer and technical specialist and right up into management. But her current company had been experiencing some turbulence, and Ray started thinking about making a change.
So, when a new telecommunications company arrived in Barbados, Ray was intrigued by the small, upstart firm. Her technical and managerial skills had been in ascension. She’d had an eye on the market. Then, one day, out of the blue, an executive from the new firm called her and asked to meet.
“We met on a Friday, I remember it well,” says Ray. “He said, ‘I want you to manage my company.’ I said I’d like to think about it. He said, ‘Sure. Take the weekend.’ Let me know on Monday.”
Though it was risky to leave her secure job for a fledgling, unproven firm, Ray accepted the executive-level position — but not without a few jitters. “It was like jumping off a cliff with your eyes closed,” she says, “Somehow though, I knew I was going to grow wings and fly.”
As it turned out, she did. As General Manager, Ray ran day-to-day operations for the company (which provided technology that enabled businesses such as banks to connect and communicate with their branch offices). “We were a tiny company with a big footprint,” says Ray. She thrived, reveling in the intense high-pressure work.
But there were costs. “The technology field is really stressful,” she says. “Just about every client wants something right now.” Ray says the focus on Self she cultivated while at MUM has paid off, as has her daily meditation practice. “Being able to have that reconnection helps me constantly. It’s made a huge difference.”
Ray came to Transcendental Meditation® early in life. “We grew up around the TM center in Barbados,” she says. “I learned to meditate when I was 13. My dream was to go to MUM. I remember doing all this research about the university. I wanted to understand what it was like. I had a year of college in Barbados, but I made up my mind I wanted to come to the U.S. I wanted to be at the school that practices Transcendental Meditation.”
She earned a degree at MUM (then MIU) in Electronic Engineering in 1991. Twenty years later she returned for an MBA in Sustainable Business. In between, she became an expert in telecommunications and IT in Barbados.
While many IT projects go on behind the scenes, some are high profile. On one project, Ray worked with INTERPOL, the famed international police organization, which sought help in setting up criminal tracking systems at police stations across the Caribbean. Ray managed the implementation, leading a team that ensured that INTERPOL’s software ran smoothly and the organization could communicate with offices in France, Spain, and Miami.
Another project had Ray using technology to help children on Barbados. “We were hired to help provide Internet connectivity to all 120 schools on the island,” she says. “That project gave back so much to the country. It’s really gratifying to do work like that.”
When Ray isn’t at the office, she can sometimes be found being a BADASS’n — that’s “Barbados Diver’s Association,” the scuba diving club Ray meets up with to explore exotic ocean locations and view the rich aquatic life around Barbados.
She says, “I try to bring a certain level of consciousness to bear in everything I do.”
Written by Warren Goldie