Graduates of the Technology Leadership Forum [TLF] Internship Programme were celebrated at a ceremony at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Tuesday [Aug 20].
The TLF encourages the further development of Bermudian students interested in Information Communication Technology [ICT] careers. This year marked the fifth year of this engaging and intense internship programme.
The 2013 TLF interns participated in an intensive 12 week summer internship where they acquired experience in the ICT industry through classroom learning, a team project developing a mobile application for the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo [BAMZ] and fieldwork as members of staff at participating companies. The 2013 TLF Internship Programme graduates were Angelika Wilson, Beckett Simmons, Brittany Easton, Chris Philips, Sabur Taalib Bey and Mareliano Jones.
Photo - Front Row: Mareliano Jones, Beckett Simmons, Brittany Easton, Angelika Wilson, Chris Phillips, Nancy Volesky [Department of E-Commerce], Sheldon Jones [Ascendant Group]; Second Row: Coral Wells [W&W Solutions], Minister Gibbons, Dion Tucker [Bermuda Hospitals Board], Peter Llewellyn [Ascendant Group]; Third Row: Ian Cook [CCS], Troy Symonds [Fort Knox], Gerry Begeman [Bermuda College], Marisa Stones [Department of E-Commerce]
The TLF was founded six years ago because of an identified need for qualified Bermudian talent in the ICT field. The registered charity is run in partnership between private and public sector technology companies and organizations. The TLF’s prime objectives are to encourage dialogue, address issues, propose action steps, mentoring and to be a networking group amongst peers.
The Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Grant Gibbons said, “The reality is in today’s world the use of technology is a critical factor in the success of any business, large or small. The 2013 TLF Internship Programme’s graduates are an example of the type of intellectual capital that Bermuda requires to continue to draw and sustain the business community. Technology enables us to further develop our sophisticated business environment and also encourages our entrepreneurs to think outside the confines of 21 square miles to offer services around the world.”
The 2013 programme culminated in the August 20th graduation, where the interns received a certificate of excellence, which allows industry partners to know the level of expertise they bring to the table because they successfully completed the curriculum designed by the TLF partners.
During the classroom training sessions, students focused on modules such as Business Continuity, Project Management, Information Security, Data Warehousing, Programming, and Networking, to name a few. These modules were taught by industry professionals and were meant to provide the students with a basic overview of the topics. It is the hope of the TLF that these modules will encourage students to focus on areas of study which are of the greatest need in Bermuda businesses.
One of the benefits of this internship program is the networking opportunities available to the students and the local ICT partners. Additionally, the partners know that students graduating from the program can become beneficial members of the company’s workforce with experience and hands on training. The success of the programme is reflected in the hiring of TLF internship graduates by organizations such as the Bermuda Hospitals Board, Orbis, ICS, RenaissanceRe, Nova Limited and BELCO.
Addressing the interns, Troy Symonds, CEO of Fort Knox said, “Our ICT industry and the growth of this sector is always dependent on the “next generation” to seize the opportunities that only they can recognize, and drive these opportunities to create wealth and reputation for our Island… You “ the next generation” play a pivotal role in sustaining the dream that Bermuda’s ICT products, services, skill sets and work ethic are second to none and superior to our competitors”.
Two special awards were also handed out. The Most Outstanding Student Award was given to an intern who had made a positive and lasting impression on the TLF sponsor companies during the summer internship, embodying the objectives of the TLF Internship Programme. While academic and work performance was critical in the consideration of the most outstanding student, the intern’s leadership potential, maturity and growth during the programme was impressive. This year’s winner was Christopher Phillips.
The second award was the TLF ICT Professional Recognition Award. The success of the TLF Internship Programme rests with the participation of ICT professionals who give of their time and expertise through teaching, mentoring and networking with each year’s interns. This year the award was given to Sheldon Jones from the Ascendant Group and Matthew Coelho from Nova Limited.
The Chair of the TLF and Chief Information Officer of the Bermuda Hospitals Board, Dion Tucker, said, “Over the last five years, the TLF has given talented students interested in Information Technology the opportunity to bridge the gap between academics and the realities of a career in technology.
“Our approach effectively provides for a better prepared and realistic entry into the workforce for young Bermudians. The TLF believes that we must continue to play this critical role in the development of our young people. It not only benefits them, it also benefits all companies and organizations by providing access to a well-trained workforce. We are creating opportunities today for prosperity tomorrow”.
The numerous companies who sponsored the 2013 programme including BELCO, Bermuda Hospitals Board, the Department of E-Commerce, CCS, Logic, ACT, Renaissance Re, LinkBermuda and the Bermuda College. The companies who provided the training were also recognised: Argus, Nova Limited, Jan Fraser, First Atlantic Commerce, the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of E-Commerce, Bermuda Hospitals Board, BELCO, CCS, Ernst & Young and Gateway Limited.