The first cohort of interns with the Department of Workforce Development’s Summer Employment Programme concluded recently with a special breakfast for the students to meet with the Minister of Education and Workforce Development, Diallo Rabain.
A spokesperson said: “The Summer Employment Programme assists participants in the development of their career goals by connecting work experiences to their academic learning.
“The programme began in May with 95 students being placed in internships based on their interest within Government, private and non-profit sectors.
“Work assignments are professional and based on entry-level job descriptions. The students are encouraged to use the opportunity to further develop their leadership and decision making skills and career and work competency standards. For their efforts, the students received a $5000 stipend over the 10-week period to assist with their educational and living costs.”
Minister Rabain congratulated the students and encouraged them to continue their studies.
“This year we gave approval to put additional students to work through the summer programme. We had 95 students total this year, originally budgeted for 80,” he said.
“We increased the funding to provide more students with work experience in their area of study.”
He also reaffirmed Government’s commitment “to ensuring skill shortages across different occupational groups are addressed, and that training options exist on-island to equip Bermudians for the workforce today and in the future”.
Summer intern and student at University of Plymouth in the UK, Lance Brown, shared his experience at the breakfast.
“I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and have just completed my second year of studies.
“This summer I interned within the Ministry of Public Works, Works and Engineering, alongside Principal Engineers,” he said.
“My experience there has afforded me the opportunity to learn about the different software programs engineers use for completing daily tasks.
“These included AGI 32, AutoCAD, and ETAP. These programs are vital as they give engineers the ability to test and show the expected outcome of their work.
One of the tasks, I did last year in the program, was an island-wide crosswalk survey. This task involved conducting a survey on the condition of crosswalks and pedestrian beacons around the island and presenting those findings. The surveys then lead to research into alternative pedestrian beacons, which are being used to this day.
“The entire Summer Employment Program is great. It gives students firsthand experiences in the field of their choice. These summer employment experiences can help students during their academic studies and future employment. I think it is a great program and hope it can grow and continue for many more years,” he added.
Summer intern and student at Oakwood University in the United States, Robyn Kelly shared her experience this summer working with Clinical Social Workers at King Edward Memorial Hospital, where she helped coordinate arrangements for patients’ overseas treatment and assisted families with ensuring that that their loved one had quality care upon being discharged from the hospital.
Recent graduate of Kings University College at University of Western Ontario, Brandon Sousa shared his experience interning with the Ministry of National Security, pointing out that the work he has been doing this summer has been at the forefront in recent media.
Brandon shared: “I have been working on Bermuda’s blockchain strategy.”
He also shared that he has great prospects for employment once completing the program due to the level of exposure and experience gained through his internship.
Sara Bucci, intern and Biomedical Science student at Kings College, London shared her experience working this summer with Helix, Genetic and Scientific Solutions Bermuda.
“This summer I had the opportunity to work in the lab at Helix, performing DNA and Paternity testing,” she said.
“The experience really helped me to identify my future career path. I did not realize that I would gain this level of experience or exposure in my chosen field in Bermuda. This summer has been an invaluable experience.”
The Department of Workforce Development Summer Employment Programme will accept applications for 2019 placement in January 2019. For more information please visit www.dwd.bm
- Photos Courtesy of DCI