Interns Brianna Mendes & Amon Wedderburn

June 26, 2019

Hamilton Re today announced their 2019 summer interns as Bermuda High School [BHS] alumna Brianna Mendes and Berkeley Institute alumnus Amon Wedderburn.

These young people will spend eight to ten weeks learning about Hamilton Re’s various departments, including: catastrophe modelling, actuarial science, business intelligence, and direct and facultative reinsurance. The aim is to expose students to a multitude of career options available in the insurance and reinsurance sector and to increase the pool of qualified Bermudians entering the industry.

Ms Mendes and Mr Wedderburn share about the internship at Hamilton experience so far…

Amon Wedderburn and Brianna Mendes, photo by Ann Spurling

Wedderburn and Mendes Bermuda June 2019

Brianna Mendes Spotlight

Local student Brianna Mendes always understood the important role reinsurance played in the Bermuda economy.

And while she had heard job titles like ‘actuary’ and ‘underwriter’ tossed about, she wasn’t sure what these roles would entail.

Fast-forward to today, the university student is now one of two interns at Hamilton Re, whom have been given the opportunity to get knowledge and first-hand experience in a variety of insurance and reinsurance-based careers. Over the next few weeks, Ms Mendes will work in a variety of departments at Hamilton Re – learning about aspects of the industry like catastrophe modelling, underwriting, legal, claims, operations, IT and finance, as well as actuarial and data science.

The 20-year-old admits the internship has been extremely eye-opening so far.

“Right now, I’m studying Commerce and Math at McGill University in Montreal,” Ms Mendes explained. “I don’t know exactly what career I want to get into, which is part of the reason I wanted to do this internship at Hamilton Re. It’s rotational so I get to see a variety of different career options. This is providing a lot of clarity for me in terms of which professional direction I should take.”

The former Bermuda High School [BHS] student is no stranger to Hamilton Re. She first came into contact with the company in 2017, after winning a contest designed to raise local students’ awareness and interest in insurance and reinsurance-based careers.

In total, 19 students from public and private high schools around the Island, were chosen by Hamilton Re to spend an afternoon in their Pitts Bay Road offices, in honour of Insurance Careers Month. Following a tour of Hamilton Re’s space, the young people were given an engaging presentation by Kelli Nusum, Hamilton’s Assistant Vice President of Operations.

Ms Mendes said at that time it was “interesting to hear all the different skill sets utilized and the options within the sector”.

Growing up, she enjoyed studying STEM subjects, just as much as she did the arts, humanities and social sciences. Math, however, was something she especially excelled at. “I really enjoy problem-solving, which is why a career in reinsurance is so appealing to me,” she said.

“What I’ve liked most about my time interning at Hamilton Re so far, is how comfortable they make you feel in asking questions and learning about reinsurance at your own pace. It is very helpful when you are learning something new for the first time.”

Amon Wedderburn Spotlight

It was three years ago that Amon Wedderburn first began to consider a career in the reinsurance industry.

Fresh out of high school at the time, he tagged along with older sister, Assata, to her job in AON’s Risk Services Department to get a better understanding of the field.

“It was intriguing,” the 20-year-old said. “I got to witness my sister working with people from around the world and meeting with lots of different clients, which looked fun. The work wasn’t always the same every day, which meant it was a good challenge. Plus, there would always be new things to learn and ways to develop.”

Mr Wedderburn has been working towards a career in the sector ever since.

Currently studying toward an undergraduate degree in risk management and insurance at St John’s University in New York, he’s looking forward to graduating in the spring of 2020. This summer, to increase his chances of getting a job after university, he’s interning for a second year in a row with Hamilton Re.

“Interning with Hamilton last year I learned so much,” he said, “and when talking to my peers who were working at other companies it became evident, I was getting more practical, hand-on experience than they were. Hamilton’s internship is extremely competitive and they have dozens of applicants each year. What I like about this programme is that the team is very accommodating and don’t expect you to know everything from Day One. They explain things clearly and give you a chance to go off and practice it for yourself.”

Mr Wedderburn has found he learns better this way.

Thanks to the positive and collaborative work environment at Hamilton Re, he’s confident he’ll leave university a few steps ahead of many of his classmates.

“Getting this level of hands on experience in the reinsurance industry as an intern is really rare,” he said. “Thanks to two summers at Hamilton and some time over the Christmas break, I have a thorough understanding of the industry and all of its many working parts. To me, it’s almost like a puzzle and each department is linked in a unique way to the other.”

Setting his sights on becoming an underwriter, Mr Wedderburn is looking forward to using his communications and analytical skills to set himself up for success in the industry. “As an underwriter you have a lot of interaction with the client as you work to assess whether an applicant should be approved and determine the coverage amounts and premium,” he said. “I’m excited to see how far I can go in reinsurance and hope other young Bermudians will consider a career in this fast-paced industry as well.”

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