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Students reap benefits from summer work

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education and Workforce Development, meets the first cohort of the Bermuda Government's summer interns (Photograph supplied)

The first round of summer interns for the Department of Workforce Development closed their work programme with a special breakfast with Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education and Workforce Development.

The programme, aimed at linking students with work connected with their areas of academic interest, got started in May with 95 interns.

They received a $5,000 stipend over the ten-week period to assist with their educational and living costs, a department spokeswoman said.

Mr Rabain noted that the summer programme had initially been budgeted for 80, but had been increased to provide work experience for more students.

Among them was Lance Brown II, a student at University of Plymouth in the UK, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Mr Brown, who has just finished his second year, said he had interned alongside principal engineers within the Ministry of Public Works, Works and Engineering,.

“My experience there has afforded me the opportunity to learn about the different software programs engineers use for completing daily tasks,” he said.

“These included AGI 32, AutoCAD, and ETAP. These programs are vital as they give engineers the ability to test and show the expected outcome of their work. One of the tasks I did last year in the programme was an island-wide crosswalk survey. This task involved conducting a survey on the condition of crosswalks and pedestrian beacons around the island and presenting those findings. The surveys then led to research into alternative pedestrian beacons, which are being used to this day.”

For Robyn Kelly, a student at Oakwood University in the United States, the programme afforded a chance to join clinical social workers at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

She helped coordinate patients’ overseas treatment, and assisted families with getting care for loved ones after they were discharged from the hospital.

Brandon Sousa, a graduate of Kings University College at University of Western Ontario, interned with the Ministry of National Security “working on Bermuda’s blockchain strategy”.

Mr Sousa said the experience had left him with fine prospects for employment after completing the programme.

Sara Bucci, a Biomedical Science student at Kings College, London, got summer work with Helix, Genetic and Scientific Solutions Bermuda.

She said: “This summer I had the opportunity to work in the lab at Helix, performing DNA and Paternity testing.

“The experience really helped me to identify my future career path. I did not realise that I would gain this level of experience or exposure in my chosen field in Bermuda. This summer has been an invaluable experience.”

Applications for next year’s programme are being taken from January 2019.

For more information, go to www.dwd.bm.