IT enthusiast inspired by older sister
After graduating from college in Orlando last summer, Michelle' Butterfield returned to Bermuda hoping to put her network engineering degree to good use.
However, the 24-year-old soon found that getting her foot in the door wasn't as straightforward as she had hoped.
“I definitely found it difficult finding work. Being a junior IT technician is very competitive,” said the Devonshire native.
“I picked up a bartending job at Southampton Rangers Sports Club to keep me afloat while I was applying to different places.”
After four months of searching, Michelle' landed a job at IT company Ascendant Group Limited, fixing employees' connectivity issues.
“I loved it there, it was very hands-on and I got to meet new people every day. That's actually where I met my current boss Peter Aldrich, when he was one of our customers,” she said.
On the advice of her older sister Ayanna Wolfe, Michelle' applied for an internship programme run by the Technology Leadership Forum — a registered charity which helps young Bermudians break into the IT industry.
Ayanna's accomplishments in IT — she now works as a senior analyst at RenaissanceRe — inspired Michelle' to follow in her footsteps.
“I didn't grow up with an interest in IT, but I saw how successful she has been. I thought I'd try it out and I'm enjoying it,” Michelle' said.
“My sister has been a mentor for me. She studied IT in Canada and did the same internship when she came back from college. She told me it was a great programme to get into and a good exposure to different companies.”
Having been accepted into the TLF's eighth annual programme alongside seven other applicants, she began her three-month paid internship on May 26 at IT consulting firm CCS, a gold sponsor of the initiative.
Working full-time Monday to Friday, Michelle' will undertake a series of small projects — such as identifying inactive connections within the CCS data room and creating a LinkedIn page for Bermuda Aviation Services Limited.
She will also have to tackle further reading in her free time and pass three summertime exams.
“It's not just about coming to work from 9 to 5 then knocking off.
“It's about further advancement and how much you want it,” Michelle' said.
“This internship is designed to show students what specifically companies are looking for, as well as helping you to specialise your skills.
“It also gets you out there, so your name starts ringing bells with people in the industry, and ultimately improves your career path.”