Harris & Sharpe Finish Internship In London

July 16, 2023 | 1 Comment

The Government of Bermuda London Office recognised Mr. Frankco Harris and Ms. Jessica Sharpe who have recently completed their internship placement in London.

A Government spokesperson said, “Both were successful applicants in the previous Internship Program and demonstrated a passion for public service and Bermuda’s engagement in international affairs.”

Kimberley Durrant, Director and UK Representative said, “We are extremely proud of both Jessica and Frankco. Their ambition and focus to Bermuda’s public sector shined as they represented Bermuda proudly in engagements across Westminster and Brussels. They are truly the future of our country, and we are honoured that they are part of the London Office’s Internship Program as part of their career journey.”

Mr. Frankco Harris and Ms. Jessica Sharpe London Office Internship Bermuda July 2023

Premier David Burt said, “This Government has been steadfast in its commitment to providing opportunities for our young people. Whether here at home or abroad, we have led the way in developing and training our young people so that they can succeed in any area or industry. This is evidenced by our Summer Employment Programme, our Fintech training opportunities, the Government’s Leadership Development Programme, the Department of Workforce Development’s Graduate Trainee Programme, and our Public Service Bursary Award Programme just to name a few. Just like the London Office Internship, each of these training initiatives are aimed at creating capacity in the Public Service developing well-trained candidates for employment in Bermuda’s workforce.”

The Premier continued, “The Bermuda Government’s London Office offers a wealth of access and opportunity, and we were extremely fortunate to have the calibre of Frankco Harris and Jessica Sharpe as part of the London Office team. Having engaged in such aspects of consular and Overseas Territory Government matters, UK Parliamentary proceedings, and European Union processes, these two bright and talented Bermudians are now equipped for the next phase of their career.

“I had the pleasure of working with them when I visited the London Office over the last year, and was extremely impressed with their level of knowledge, enthusiasm and professionalism. I want to thank the Director, Kimberley Durrant for the guidance she provided to Frankco and Jessica.”

The Government spokesperson said, “Frankco Harris is moving on to study a Dphil / PHD at the University of Oxford in Criminology, specialising in Gang Violence, and Jessica Sharpe is going on to pursue her Masters in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh.

“As a reminder, the London Office is currently seeking new Interns for the Office. Interested Bermudians are encouraged to register for the 2023 /2024 internship via www.govtcareers.gov.bm. The application deadline is 7.00 pm Tuesday August 2nd, 2023. To learn more about the Bermuda Government London Office visit https://bdalondonoffice.co.uk/. ”

Ms. Jessica Sharpe’s statement:

“Over the course of the past year and a half, I have had the opportunity to work first as an Intern and then as a Research & Consular Assistant in the Government of Bermuda’s London Office under the guidance of Ms Kimberley Durrant, the Government’s Representative to the UK. My time in these roles has allowed me to build upon previous experiences working locally in the Bermuda Public Service, and expand my mindset globally when promoting Bermuda’s position and reputation through diplomatic engagements. I have also gained a greater understanding of Bermuda’s relationship with the UK, and the importance of maintaining this partnership to ensure that Bermuda is best placed to engage in British and global affairs.

“The greatest joy of this work comes in the ever-changing nature of the role, responding to present and evolving global issues as they arise. During my time in the Office, we have witnessed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrating her 70 years on the British throne, the Queen’s unfortunate passing and ascension of King Charles III to the throne, and multiple changes to Ministerial leadership within the UK Government. For each of these occasions, the London Office was responsible for coordinating the official visits of Bermudian dignitaries, working with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) or other embassies, and acting as an intermediary for collaboration between UK and Bermuda Government departments.

“Moreover, I have been able to get exposure to and attend many diplomatic meetings, conferences and events on behalf of Bermuda. Bermuda’s participation in the UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) allows for regular engagement with the 13 other British Overseas Territories, to find areas for cooperation and collaboration on a range of issues affecting all Territories, and it has been great to get to know our colleagues from Territories scattered across the globe. The Joint Ministerial Council in May 2023 allowed me to get an in-depth look into discussions between UK and Overseas Territories’ Governments, and it was a unique opportunity to witness diplomacy first-hand.

“Furthermore, another important aspect of our work in the London Office was learning from Mr Brandon Sousa, the Consulate Officer, on how to best assist Bermudians from the diaspora currently residing or studying in the UK. The consular assistance that is required often changes day-to-day, from providing guidance to Bermudians relocating to the UK, liaising with Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) on passport applications or ensuring Bermudian students are able to access for university home status. Likewise, managing time-sensitive or vulnerable situations is vital to the work of the Office, and I grew in confidence in my own abilities to assist and respond to a range of queries and circumstances throughout the year.

“I would like to thank the London Office team for their support and guidance throughout this internship. I have greatly enjoyed my time here and it has confirmed my desire to continue my career in the public sector, working towards meaningful and rewarding outcomes for Bermuda through diplomatic channels. I will be leaving the London Office in September to pursue a postgraduate degree in MSc Public Policy, with the aim of returning to the Bermuda Public Service with new knowledge and greater skillsets that can benefit the Government and our country.”

Mr. Frankco Harris’s statement:

“I have had the pleasure of working as an Intern and Research and Consular Assistant at the Government of Bermuda London Office under the direction of the UK Representative, Ms Kimberley Durrant. The role has been an enriching experience that has provided me with invaluable practical skills and underscored the vital work that Public Servants do for Bermuda internationally. It has been fascinating to learn about the value of diplomacy and how this relates to Bermuda’s global reputation and agenda.

“The Government of Bermuda London Office plays a crucial role in promoting Bermuda’s interests by working closely with the UK Government, the EU, international stakeholders, and other British Overseas Territories (OTs) governments. My role involved fostering and sustaining a strong relationship between Bermuda and these entities, including attending a Sherpa meeting at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and collaborating with the UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA). I contributed insights from my social policy work during the Sherpa meeting, which subsequently influenced the discussions held in the Joint Ministerial Council. These meetings also provided valuable networking opportunities with UK officials and other OTs representatives.

“Mental Health is an issue that I am passionate about, particularly relating to Bermudians. I was pleased to facilitate the presence of Bermuda in the UKOTA Mental Health Working Group. This working group promotes mental health awareness and well-being in the OTs.

“I was entrusted with the responsibility of spearheading Bermuda’s representation in the UKOTA webinars, which involved securing the participation of Ms Tori Burgess from the Bermuda Employee Assistance Program, and from the Bermuda Hospitals Board, Dr Anna Neilson- Williams, Chief of Psychiatry and Ms Grant- Simmons, Clinical Director for Mental Health as speakers.

“Providing consular assistance to Bermudians studying and living in the UK is another vital role of the London Office and formed part of my role. Under the guidance of the Consular Officer, Mr Brandon Sousa, I assisted Bermudians with enquiries related to passport applications and renewals, emergency travel assistance, legal matters, and student issues. I also helped to organise logistics and prepare briefs for dignitaries on official visits from Bermuda. I supported the London Office with events like the Platinum Jubilee, the unprecedented occasion of the State Funeral for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and The King’s Coronation. I was also honoured to attend the Joint Ministerial Council and enjoyed visiting the Government’s Brussels office to see Bermuda’s work in the EU.

“Over the past years, various challenges, such as the ongoing effects of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and the cost-of-living crisis in the UK and Bermuda, have made life difficult. Amidst these difficulties, with an increasing number of Bermudians living in the UK, the work at the London Office has played a crucial role. It has provided me with a meaningful and fulfilling experience.

“Having spent an extended period in the UK, working at the London Office has allowed me to actively engage in work related to Bermuda, which has prepared me for my eventual return home following my PhD. I am particularly grateful for this opportunity as an older student, as internships geared toward mature students are often limited. The support I received from the Government in pursuing my goals has been invaluable. It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve my country in this capacity.”

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  1. Ladeej says:

    Congratulations to Jessica and Frankco! Bermuda certainly will be in good hands with young people such as yourselves. All the best as you pursue your Master’s and PhD respectively. Awesome!

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