Students focused on insurance career following BFIS internship
Twelve students bolstered their enthusiasm to pursue a career in the insurance industry after completing a three-location summer internship with the Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies (BFIS).The Royal Gazette.“The London market is completely different from Bermuda, and deals with many specialty risks. It’s a very fast-paced market. At Lloyd’s there was a line of brokers ready to do business with underwriters, so it’s a very fast and fluid market. It was wonderful to see it.
The BFIS Intro-to-Insurance Summer Internship, now in its tenth year, exposed three groups of four students to many different aspects of the industry.
One group focused on Bermuda, while another travelled to London and the third group visited Chicago. All students took part in visits to insurers and brokers to see how the industry works on a practical level and met industry participants, including senior executives.
The students gave a presentation on their experiences to about 40 guests at the Crown House offices of KPMG Bermuda on Friday.
Interns answered audience questions afterwards and networked over lunch with the guests, who included BFIS trustees, donors, intern-hosting company representatives and current BFIS scholars.
Three of the Bermudian students talked about their internship experiences with
Teniko Eve, 20, was one of the Bermuda interns and was inspired by the experience.
“In three weeks we visited 30 companies and met many different CEOs,” said Mr Eve, who is studying business and risk management at the St John’s University in New York. “It was amazing.
“I wanted to be a broker, but this experience opened me up to the possibility of underwriting.
“It was an excellent experience and the best part was the networking.” Lunch with Axis Capital chairman Michael Butt had been a highlight, he said, as well as meeting with Andre Perez, CEO of Horseshoe Group.
The other students in the Bermuda group were Ebony Brockington, Michael Coles and Jennifer Medeiros.
Robert Jardine, a third-year financial economics student at the University of St Andrew’s in Scotland, described his taste of the insurance industry in London as “a fantastic experience”.
“We visited 13 companies over about 12 days,” said Mr Jardine, who turned 21 last week.
“The London market is
“In London there are insurance companies and also brokers, managing agencies and Protection and Indemnity Clubs, all different sides of the same market.
“I would recommend this internship to any Bermudian looking to pursue a career in insurance.”
Victoria Borges, Sanae Russell and Antionay Tankard were the other three students who visited London.
Mr Jardine is working as an underwriting intern in Ace’s Bermuda offices for the second successive summer, having performed the same role at Flagstone Re in 2009.
In today’s tough job market for young people, Mr Jardine believes relevant qualifications are the key to maximising the chances of employment in the insurance industry.
“To really differentiate yourself, you need to get some kind of insurance qualification, like the CPCU, as quickly as possible,” he said. “You have to be enthusiastic about it, make it your life and not regard it as a nine-to-five job.”
Kiara Somner, a BFIS Bermuda College scholar, was enthusiastic about her experience as part of the Chicago group.
“We were there for two weeks and sat down with people from many companies and spoke about what they do,” Ms Somner said.
“We visited Zurich, Allied World, Ace, Chartis, Swiss Re, Aon and others. I’m an insurance major and this trip helped me to relate the courses to the actual experience.”
Ms Somner, who is studying risk management and insurance at Temple University in Philadelphia, will graduate in January next year.
Others who went to Chicago were Ashley Madeiros, Derek Pailing and Akira Robinson.
BFIS, which is funded by donor companies from the industry, paid travel and board costs for the students who went overseas. The internships are open to Bermudian students in their junior or senior undergraduate year at the time of application who have an interest in entering Bermuda’s insurance industry.
Useful website: http://bfis.bm/internships