London Office Interns Gain ‘Invaluable Insight’

September 4, 2019

This summer, two Bermudians interned with the London Representative Office in the UK, with Ari Minors and Madeleine Fox, spending thirteen weeks learning about the work of the London Office and gaining an understanding of Bermuda’s relationship with the UK, specifically within the UK Government and UK Parliament.

“The interns had the opportunity to work and attend meetings with the UK Overseas Territory Association [UKOTA] and the Overseas Countries and Territories Association [OCTA] in Brussels,” a Government spokesperson said,

“In addition to attending a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association [CPA] meeting with UK MPs, shadowing officials in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and a working week within a prestigious law firm in the City of London.

“Ms Fox is a graduate of the University of Oxford [Lincoln College] with a BA in Jurisprudence with Honours. Following her achievement at Oxford Ms Fox has recently completed the Bar Professional Training Course at the City Law School. Prior to studies in the UK Ms Fox completed her first degree in Psychology with Honours from the University of California, Berkeley in the United States.

“Ms Minors has a Bachelor of Arts Business Administration Degree with Distinction from Mount Saint Vincent University in Canada. She is currently completing her Masters of International Business degree at Regent’s University London.”

Premier David Burt said, “I am immensely pleased that this opportunity has benefitted these outstanding, young Bermudian women. The renewal of the internship programme and the addition of placements in our overseas offices creates the kind of international experience that Bermudians need to compete in the global economy. Our hope is that we will be able to do this annually, and for more young Bermudians.”

Ari Minors, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon and Madeleine Fox

Representative Office Interns Bermuda Sept 2019

Ms. Kimberley Durrant, Director and UK Representative for the Government of Bermuda, who supervised the interns added, “Ari and Madeleine represent the excellence of Bermuda in their achievements both professionally and in academics.

“The internship was an opportunity for young Bermudians to be encouraged to develop a career within the public service in the areas of international relations and diplomacy. I am pleased that these young women are encouraged to move forward in this career path.”

Ari Minors

Ari Minors said, “Over the past three months I have had the opportunity to work as a Cabinet Office Intern for the Government of Bermuda’s London Office, under the UK Representative Ms Kimberley Durrant. This 13-week internship provided me with both knowledge and skills on how Bermuda’s civil service is represented on an international platform, and how the island has fostered and sustained a relationship with the United Kingdom.

“The internship allowed both my colleague and I to attend important meetings with the United Kingdom and Territories Association [UKOTA], Overseas Countries and Territories Association [OCTA], the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO], and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA]. These meetings gave us the opportunity to network with the representatives from the fellow BOTCs who worked alongside Her Majesty’s Government Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

“As well as taking part in the meetings, I was also afforded the opportunity to travel to Brussels to attend an annual Overseas Countries and Territories Association [OCTA] meeting held at the European Commission.

“The OCTA meeting gave a better insight on the EU and Overseas Territories relationship and how support is provided through programs and funding to assist the sustainable development of the OTs economies. As well as attending important meetings, my colleague and I had the opportunity to work shadow with two offices in London.

“At the Foreign and Commonwealth Office we were given the opportunity to meet Ben Merrick, Director of the Overseas Territories Directorate, and Lord Ahmad, the Minister for Overseas Territories. They both discussed how the FCO is working on fostering a strong relationship with Bermuda. Work shadowing at Stikeman Elliot gave us the chance to work alongside lawyers Richard Hay and Oliver Cooper who are assisting the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories in developing the Economic Substance Regimes.

“Throughout my internships with the Bermuda Government, both locally and internationally, I have learned that an important responsibility of the public sector is the ability to aid and assist citizens within our jurisdictions. Due to this, one of the responsibilities of the office is dealing with consular affairs.

“Throughout the internship I was able to better understand how the London office aids Bermudians with UK matters. Whilst working under the Consulate Officer, Mr Brandon Sousa, we assisted in dealing with matters that involved passport applications and renewals, travel enquiries, student assistance, and overall information and assistance for Bermudians living in the UK.

“This internship exceeded my expectations and gave me a greater understanding on the importance of the relationship between the Government of Bermuda and the United Kingdom. It allowed for me to see first-hand and better understand how the changes that occur within the UK can have significant impacts on Bermuda. I am now inspired to pursue a career in civil service with a focus on international relationships and consular affairs.”

Madeleine A Fox

Madeleine Fox said, “The three months I spent at the Government of Bermuda London Office as a Cabinet Office Intern gave me invaluable insight into the intricate and highly beneficial relationship between the UK and Bermuda.

“Working under Ms Kimberley Durrant, the Representative for Bermuda, has allowed fellow intern Ari Minors and myself to gain first hand knowledge of the nature of a job as a Bermuda civil servant in a foreign jurisdiction, and the challenges that we as a country face at an international level.

“My role saw me engaging in issues relating to the policy, diplomacy and consular services aspects of the office, at both a UK and EU level. Ari and I were invited to attend meetings with the UK Overseas Territory Association [UKOTA] and the Overseas Countries and Territories Association [OCTA], being UK and EU bodies respectively.

“We also had the opportunity to spend time in both the Foreign Office and the international law firm of Stikeman and Elliott LLP. At the former we were lucky enough to meet with Lord Ahmad [Minister responsible for the Overseas Territories] and Ben Merrick [Director of the Overseas Territories Directorate], who have been strong advocates for Bermuda within the UK Government. They discussed with us the ways in which they engage with Bermuda and how they would very much like to strengthen the relationship between the Bermuda government and Whitehall.

“At Stikeman Elliott, we undertook research on the legal and policy aspects of economic substance. The London Office also provides consular assistance to Bermudians with issues arising abroad, such as those relating to passports, legal services, administrations located in Bermuda, and general queries relating to living as a Bermudian in the UK. Consular officer Mr Brandon Sousa taught Ari and myself how to deal with such enquiries and provide comprehensive assistance to those seeking it.

“This internship provided me with far greater awareness of pressing current issues, such as those relating to beneficial ownership and the EU blacklist, and how the London Office plays a central role in navigating these challenges, as well as managing the relationship between the UK and Bermuda governments. The Cabinet Office Internship program was my first experience working in the Bermuda government, and definitely sparked a desire to pursue a role in the civil service.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Barbie says:

    Go Ari, I wish you all the best on this new adventure.

  2. L. Liles says:

    Congratulations, Ari!

  3. Realist says:

    You go Ari I know mom and dad are proud of you