India course proves the tonic for entrepreneur
Noreco Burgess was initially hesitant about flying halfway around the world to take part in an IT training programme in India.
But now business couldn't be better for the 25-year-old he successfully completed a three-month accelerated course with UTL Technologies Ltd in Bangalore.
Mr Burgess and Amaury Symonds were both selected by the Island's National Training Board to take part in a certificate course in networking this summer.
The ITEC programme was made available to Bermudian students as a direct result of former Premier Ewart Brown's trip to India in early 2010.
The Premier's four-day trip cost taxpayers $37,000 but at that time he believed the benefits would far outweigh the costs
The knowledge Mr Burgess gained in the technical programme has helped him improve his two-year-old business, Burtech Electronic Solutions.
He said: “The National Training Board told me there were some vacancies available [with the programme] and I was a bit reluctant at first because it was so far and the time frame I was going to be off the Island.
“I was wondering if it was going to be worth my while to be away from my business for so long.
“But I thought of it as free education and took the opportunity so I could hopefully expand the services I offered.”
Since being back on the Island, he has been able to do just that and “offer a better product to the client”.
Mr Burgess left the Island on June 17 and flew over 18 hours to get to his destination in Bangalore, Southwest India.
The area is the third most populous city in India and considered a hub for the country's information technology sector.
It was his first time travelling outside of the US and Caribbean, and he admitted it wasn't originally what he anticipated.
“I was expecting it to be more developed. It was very busy. The traffic was crazy. It was unbelievable to see people weaving out of traffic.
“On the way to the hotel I noticed it was still being developed and wasn't very modern [but] when I looked in, the hotel was immaculate.
“Outside it didn't look like much, but inside the rooms were very comfortable.”
On the way to UTL Technologies Ltd each day for the course, he said they would pass village children walking a distance to get to school.
He was also in regular contact with staff at the hotel and nearby store employees who befriended him and taught him about the customs and history of the area.
“It was a very rich cultural experience. I really enjoyed the course, but I think it was the mingling with the Indians, their hospitality, that I will remember most.”
Before leaving the country on September 11, he earned a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification.
“The course was very hands-on,” he said. “We were working on live equipment and got the chance to work in a laboratory environment where we could experiment, rather than a real situation where we probably wouldn't have been able to get much experience into different things that might go wrong.”
He described the 12-week trip as “one of those life-changing experiences”.