Interns: Maxanne Caines & Jennifer Phillips

November 7, 2019 | 1 Comment

As part of the Cabinet Office’s overseas internship programme this summer, Maxanne Caines and Jennifer Phillips interned with the Government of Bermuda within the overseas office in Brussels.

A Government spokesperson said, “As part of the Cabinet Office’s overseas internship programme this summer, two Bermudians interned with the Government of Bermuda within the overseas office in Brussels, Belgium.

“The interns, Maxanne Caines and Jennifer Phillips, spent thirteen weeks learning about the work of the recently established Brussels Office. There, they gained insight to the importance of Bermuda’s relationship with the European Union and the overseas office in London whilst assimilating into European culture.

“The interns had the opportunity to work and attend meetings and events hosted by the Overseas Countries and Territories Association [OCTA] at the European Commission as well as the Brussels Economic Forum and the launch of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s UK Women’s Network in Brussels.

“In addition to attending meetings with various representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO], the interns were able to shadow officials in the UK representation for the EU in Brussels and at Steptoe & Johnson, a prestigious law firm that advises the Government of Bermuda on EU regulations.

“Maxanne Caines is a graduate of Oakwood University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in History and is currently completing a Masters in International relations with a secondary focus in Conflict and Security at the University of Kent in Brussels, Belgium.

“Jennifer Phillips is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a BA in History and Journalism and recently completed an MSc in Marketing Management at the University of Westminster in London, United Kingdom.”

Premier David Burt said, “I am very pleased that Ms. Caines and Ms. Phillips had the opportunity to intern in our Brussels office this summer. They both gained valuable knowledge and understanding of Bermuda’s relationship with the European Union and they got a better understanding of international policies that affect Bermuda. The renewal of this highly beneficial internship programme and the addition of placements in our overseas offices fulfils our promise to ensure that Bermudians get the experience needed to compete in the global economy.”

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Maxanne Caines Bermuda Nov 7 2019Maxanne Caines

For the past 12 weeks I had an amazing opportunity to participate in the Government of Bermuda’s internship program in The Bermuda office in Brussels. I had the privilege of working under the leadership The Hon. Renee Webb J.P who is Bermuda’s EU representative in Brussels. During the 12 week program, I was a fellow intern with Jennifer Phillips.

Throughout my internship, I was given numerous opportunities to attend events, conferences, and meetings on behalf of the Government of Bermuda. I was privileged enough to attend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s launch of their UK Women’s Network which was a film screening of Miss Representation and a panel discussion on Women in the Media.

Their mission is to gather people of all genders to explore the opportunities in and enable the achievement of gender equality and professional development. I also attended the ABIR International Regulatory Dialogue conference, which was an event comprised of representatives of Bermuda and the international reinsurance industry. I was able to receive a better understanding of international economic policies that affect Bermuda’s international business directly.

In addition, I was able to represent Bermuda in the Overseas Countries and Territories Association [OCTA] meetings at the European Commission. My fellow intern Jennifer Phillips and I had our own seat at the meeting and were able to witness how Overseas Territories interact with the European Union. At all the events that I attended, I was able to network and meet people from all walks of life.

Along with attending events, conferences, and meetings, I was able to shadow Georgia Herde who works on the Public Diplomacy Team in the Political & Engagement Section at the UK Representation to the European Union. I gained a real-time breakdown of Brexit affairs in both the United Kingdom and Brussels. This opportunity allowed me to see the new meaning of diplomacy in the 2020s. In addition to learning, I was able to enlighten the team about Bermuda and the Bermuda office in Brussels and our duties.

I am currently a graduate student at the University of Kent in Brussels; studying International Relations with a focus on conflict and security. I have always had an interest in how Bermuda interacts with international actors and agencies. During the internship, I was able to experience firsthand topics that I have been studying. I have gained a higher level of insight on topics like Solvency II, Economic Substance, Brexit and Equivalency. I have found that I am interested in diplomacy after these 12 weeks of being on a team that represents Bermuda on an international political level.

The Internship revealed to me that it is absolutely vital for Bermuda to continue to have a presence in the European Capital of Brussels. The world is changing rapidly and Bermuda needs to stay current and be apart of said change. Persons that are active in international politics in Brussels have told me on more than one occasion that Bermuda is currently ahead of the curve with setting up an office in Brussels. I am proud to know that I have been apart of the growth and existence of the Bermuda office in Brussels.

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Jennifer Phillips Bermuda Nob 7 2019Jennifer Phillips

I had the exciting opportunity to be a part of the Government of Bermuda’s overseas internship programme as a member of the Brussels office, working alongside Maxanne Caines and under the guidance of Bermuda’s EU representative, The Hon. Renee Webb J.P.

During my internship I was afforded the opportunity to attend several events on behalf of the Government of Bermuda including the Brussels Economic Forum, where hundreds of attendees saw economy experts debate globalization and its effect on the role of the European Union. I also attended the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s launch of their UK Women’s Network which was an important networking event for the all-female Brussels office.

Along with those events, I also attended an event hosted by the European Solidarity Corps, which provides funding and opportunities for youth living within the European Union and its territories. There I was able to network with other representatives and learn about the process for requesting funding for youth projects in different countries worldwide and how other EU members can volunteer to help those projects. My colleague Maxanne and I also had a seat at the table representing Bermuda at the Overseas Countries and Territories Association [OCTA] meetings at the European Commission.

Spending the summer in Brussels, the unofficial capital of the European Union, during elections in the United Kingdom was very exciting and ignited a passion for local politics and how they affect Bermuda on the world stage. As part of the internship, I was able to shadow Guy Soussan at Steptoe & Johnson, a prestigious law firm that advises the Government of Bermuda on EU regulation. Gaining additional knowledge on Bermuda’s excellent worldwide reputation and further understanding of Bermuda as a world leader in Equivalence was necessary to beginning to understand the effects that Brexit could have on Bermuda, which was an ongoing theme of the events and meetings I attended.

Another ongoing theme for events and meetings in Brussels was globalization and climate change, which I got more exposure on by attending Politico’s event on the Paris Agreements, which aims for EU member states to strengthen their response to global climate change.

Along with international exposure, the cultural shift to life in Brussels was an opportunity for development as I dusted off my Warwick Academy French to assimilate into Belgian culture, which in itself is a melting pot. It was an experience I would have never had without the internship programme, which I am extraordinarily grateful to have been a part of.

The internship has given me a greater understanding of the European Union and its influence on its member states and their territories. It’s given me insight into EU regulations and their effects on overseas territories and I’m inspired to continue to propel Bermuda’s reputation forward on an international stage.

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  1. somuchless says:

    Nice job ladies. So if Renee Webb is the EU Representive why does the gov feel the need to continue fly over there? Let her do her job and represent.

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