Grants help students have diverse work experience
Three Bermudian students are getting diverse work experience thanks to grants they received for their English studies.
Cree Dunn and Riley Jackson, both 19, were awarded grant from the English Speaking Union for the second year in a row. Madison Smith, 18, received an ESU grant for the first time.
The ESU offers awards every year to Bermudians studying for degrees in English and related subjects such as journalism.
Ms Jackson told The Royal Gazette that the scholarship, as well as other bursaries, helped her participate in several programmes – including volunteering in Tanzania as a teacher throughout June.
Ms Jackson, who is studying English literature and Drama at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, said that her writing had improved thanks to the scholarship.
She added that she hopes to take part in a production at the Curve Theatre, also in Leicester, through a performance course.
“My university has been very good and helping us move from being online to back in person. All of my classes are in person but we still have a few lectures that are pre-recorded.”
Ms Jackson said that she hoped to do a year of study abroad, with her most likely option being New York.
Ms Smith, who is studying English and Classical studies at Acadia University in Canada, said that she learnt of the ESU scholarship on the Bermuda scholarship website and was drawn in by its support of English literature students.
“I was especially excited because I feel like there isn’t as much support for people majoring in English compared to other areas.
“It is great to feel that I am being appreciated for what I have chosen to study.”
Ms Smith added: “This award will immensely lessen the financial burden of paying for university.
“I plan to go on to obtain a Master’s degree in English. This award will help me to save enough funds so that I can fulfil my goal.”
Ms Smith, who hopes to finish her studies in May 2024, encouraged others who were applying for scholarships not to be afraid to take risks.
Ms Dunn, who is studying at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, said that she recently completed an internship at Rein4ce, a PR firm that specialises in reinsurance and insurtech companies.
She added that some clients under Rein4ce were Bermuda-based companies, which made her feel at home.
“This was a great experience for me as I was able to learn more about communications and public relations from an agency standpoint compared to previous in-house comms work experiences.”
Ms Dunn, whose course load included classes around media, law and business, said that she looked forward to getting “the full university experience” next school year as all of her lectures will be in-person.
She added that she will spend her summer interning at PartnerRe in their legal, communications and underwriting departments.
Ms Dunn said: “I appreciate all of the support I have received from the ESU this past year. I am excited to have received an ESU bursary again this year.
“Mary Murry, Marijke Peterich and the ESU Committee continue to show that they are invested in me and my future and for that I am extremely grateful.”