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Students who participated in the Government's Summer Employment Programme met with Senator Vic Ball to discuss their experiences.

Senator Vic Ball met with eight of the 2015 Summer Employment Programme students to discuss their experiences at a lunch hosted by the Department of Workforce Development.

Some 102 Bermudian college and university interns were placed throughout Government, the private sector and the Island’s local non-profit and charitable organisations during the summer. They learnt about leadership and decision-making skills and were given access to “real-world work experience, training and support”.

Students were selected to participate in the programme based on academic merit, full-time enrolment in a college or university, community involvement, a formal interview, and written essays detailing career goals and educational pursuits.

Mr Ball, who is also Junior Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, told the students: “You are all role models — not just here in Bermuda, but also when you represent Bermuda abroad. I encourage you to travel as much as you can; it really adds to your overall knowledge of the world and expands your horizons both personally and professionally.

“Another word of advice I would like to leave you with is to not spend all your money when you enter the workforce. It’s so easy, when you first begin to get a regular paycheque, to just spend it. Remember to pay yourself first. By that I mean put some money away into a savings account from every paycheque and don’t touch it. It will add up and before you know it you will have a good lump sum of savings in the bank.”

Student Kaela Boyles is attending Brock University where she is studying forensic psychology. She carried our her placement with Court Services.

She said: “It was a really good experience for me. I was at Court Services for ten weeks and it opened me up to so much. It was a chance to gain exposure to different programmes, interact with clients and conduct psychometric testing. It really made my passion for psychology grow and confirmed that this is what I want to do.”

Nikye Atherden is studying economics at the University of Western Ontario and was placed at the Bermuda Monetary Authority for his internship. Nikye said: “It’s been amazing. For me, wanting to go into insurance, it was a real eye-opener to how everything works. From claims to mergers and acquisitions — I was exposed to so many areas. It has really helped me decide what areas I would like to focus on for my career. I have an even greater respect now for what they do at the Bermuda Monetary Authority in terms of their regulatory function; their strict regulatory policies make foreign investors feel safe. This experience has taught me so much; it was a very structured internship, which was great. Every day it felt like I was trying something different. They would send someone over to teach me something and then the next day I would move on to learn something new.”

Training manager at the Department of Workforce Development Pandora Glasford thanked the students for their services adding “I hope you got an inch of a feeling about what the real world is all about. Remember that the decisions you make have consequences so try not to be influenced by others, know yourself and recognise that we are all made uniquely. As you leave I’d like to wish you all well.”

Students who participated in the Government's Summer Employment Programme met with Senator Vic Ball to discuss their experiences.