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Students rise to the occasion through internship programme

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Participants and host business representatives of the SkillCraft internship programme (Photograph supplied)

A recently-launched internship programme reaped rewards not only for the participating high school students but also the businesses who hosted them.

Rise Marketing launched the six-week SkillCraft programme in April with this year’s cohort of ten given the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of marketing and social media management for businesses.

The participants and representatives of their host businesses attended a ceremony last month at the Bermuda Clarity Institute, where they shared their experiences of working within the programme.

Maya Proverbs, 16, a student at The Berkeley Institute, did her placement with the Bermuda Gymnastics Association and enjoyed her time so much that she is now rethinking her career path.

She said: “I originally wanted to be a forensic scientist but after doing the internship I want to be in brand management and digital marketing.

“I enjoyed getting feedback from the target audience and also promoting the company’s services and products. I liked working with the children to create video content and learning about different gymnastic skills — it’s is not as easy as it looks.”

SkillCraft participant Maya Proverbs, left, with Anna Balada, acting head coach for the Bermuda Gymnastics Association (Photograph supplied)

Anna Balada, acting head coach at the BGA, said the organisation was so impressed with her work they have asked her to continue to provide services going forward.

She said: “Maya was helping with marketing and creating content for our Facebook and Instagram pages as well as our website. She was taking pictures of the kids in the camp and in the training sessions. She organised the content and created flyers promoting the gym and gymnastics, and created a calendar for us to schedule posting throughout the year.

“It was very helpful. We don’t have the staff to dedicate the time to marketing so she took over that area and was putting ideas on the table. She was very proactive.

“We gave her a few hours so she could finish the summer camp with us and she will continue to do a few hours every week to keep up with content and also gym administration.”

Kionna Wade, a 16-year-old Berkeley Institute student, worked with anti-racism charity Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda and will also continue to provide her services beyond the internship programme.

SkillCraft participant Kionna Wade, right, with Stacey-Lee Williams, executive director for Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda (Photograph supplied)

During her placement, she came up with the idea to create a youth Instagram page for CURB to help the charity to reach a younger audience. The page included inspirational quotes, a word of the day and a word game themed around anti-racism and social issues.

She said: “I was also involved in event planning including for the Eva Hodgson award ceremony taking place in October and did a lot of research about her.

“I really enjoyed it. I liked the creativity and freedom of thought, and I learnt a lot about Bermuda’s history of anti-racism. It was a great learning experience.”

Stacey-Lee Williams, executive director for CURB, added: “Kionna is very easygoing, innovative and talented. We established a great working relationship which has led to her agreeing to continue working on CURB youth initiatives on an ongoing basis.

“She has a passion for social justice and racial equity and has contributed tremendously to our programming.”

Intern Taijae Davis, centre, pictured with Margot Shane, SkillCraft programme director, left, and Emilie Faulkner-Meek, SkillCraft’s marketing director (Photograph supplied)

Taijae Davis, 18, who is studying at the Bermuda College, helped with managing the social media and advertising content for the plant-based food service Cedarberry Foods.

She said: “I was tasked with finding out what the demographic audience was and tailoring the content around that.

“It helped me with my career because I will want to open my own company and this experience will help me to market my own products to people.”

Alyson Thompson, the company’s founder, said Ms Davis was a great asset. She said: “She was amazing, we did in-person events, we did a Christmas in July special where we sold plant-based nog through the Bermuda Hospitals Board and I couldn’t have done that without her. She also used her own skills in crochet and created three Cedarberry crochet mascots.

“It was a great opportunity to be able to give back and try to develop the next generation of talent.”

Emilie Faulkner-Meek is the SkillCraft’s marketing director and Margot Shane is programme director.

At the programme’s launch, Ms Shane said: “Emilie and I set out to build an experiential learning programme that matched the skills and interests that young people have with needs in small business and non-profit operations.”

For more information about the programme, visit https://www.rise.bm/skillcraft

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Published September 10, 2022 at 7:43 am (Updated September 10, 2022 at 7:43 am)

Students rise to the occasion through internship programme

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