Young Bermudians selected for Ignite Bermuda’s inaugural internship programme have spoken about the positive takeaways from the initiative.
The six-week pilot programme, which wraps up Thursday, has provided an opportunity for 20 participants to learn what it takes to become an entrepreneur and to gain hands-on experience.
The programme began with a two-day boot camp where interns virtually joined Ignite’s core cohort of aspiring entrepreneurs to learn about the mindset and behaviours of a successful entrepreneur.
Thereafter, Ignite paired each intern with a host business or non-profit where they worked part-time alongside an established entrepreneur or non-profit director on a specific project designed to help better their host organisation.
Projects included marketing and branding, programme creation and implementation, developing pricing strategies/models, and more.
Interns have also attended a series of workshops to hear entrepreneurial and non-profit leaders speak about their experiences and to ask questions and seek advice.
Alvin-Ae Landy worked with Kim Caisey of KNC Media Group.
She said: “Ignite was an amazing learning opportunity about entrepreneurship. The strategies I’ve learnt will not only apply to my business but to my life as well.
“I am thankful for the experience as it has helped me grow and network with like-minded people. Overall, I look forward to watching my peers apply what we’ve learnt and blossom.”
Tomei Talbot was paired with Sean Reel, executive director of Ignite, and learnt a range of skills, including the art of writing press releases.
She said: “This programme has pushed me to new heights and made a remarkable impact on me. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and broadened my perspective of the world around me, and what I am capable of.
“Ignite has tremendously changed my mindset and I am especially thankful for everyone who made this amazing experience possible. What I have learnt from Ignite will stay with me for years to come and I am so grateful and honoured to have been chosen for this wonderful learning opportunity.”
Ignite said engagement was key as interns interacted in huddles where they discussed their passions, personal victories, and what they hoped to learn; these huddles helped them to better connect, the organisation said.
It added that Ignite was especially focused on diversity and inclusion so they encouraged interns to own their differences and respect and appreciate one another to be able to create a bond and learn from their peers.
Interns served as judges for a pitch competition involving members of the entrepreneurial accelerator’s fourth cohort.
Each intern also delivered a five-minute presentation about their host organisation, the projects they worked on and key things they learnt from the programme.
Five finalists – Aminah Simmons, Tinasia Paynter, Yasmeen Codrington-Edmead, Abby Brewer, and Ellis Cooper – will present for a second time at the programme’s celebratory wrap-up event tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.
Ignite said many of the interns feel better prepared to confidently take the next steps in their careers and studies, while a few have been extended job offers as a result of their internship.
Mr Reel said: “Bermuda can be proud of the young adults in the programme. They showed openness, drive, and desire for not just a better life, but for a better future for Bermuda.”
Interns in the programme, along with their host business and host: Abby Brewer, Clean Energy Storage Solutions Bermuda Ltd, Dwayne Trott; Al-Shae Landy, Two Four One, Laura Ann Bell; Alana Fischer, CAF Bermuda Art Therapy Services, Richelle Richards; Alvin-Ae Landy, KNC Media Group, Kim Caisey; Aminah Simmons, Royal Highness, Alicia Lister; Angel Seaman, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, Patrina O’Connor Paynter; Chaella Bradshaw-Douglas, Island Property News/Inspired Ltd, Jennifer Ward.
Davita Githinji, Rewards, Toriano Simmons; Ellis Cooper, Eliza DoLittle Society, Clare Mello; G’zai Dyer, Wavecrest Ltd, Jennifer Burland Adams; Hadleigh Tucker, The Harvest Market Bermuda, Tracy Astwood; Kanzi Emery, Solstice, Kelly Madeiros; Layla Kurt, Alexandra Mosher Studio Jewellery, Alexandra Mosher; Mya Furbert-Jacobs, Clear Coaching, Allison Lacoursiere.
Sofhia Pagsanjan, Bermuda Red Cross, Ann Spencer Arscott; Tinasia Paynter, Healthcare Solutions Ltd, Claire McDevitt; Tomei Talbot, Ignite Bermuda, Sean Reel; Xela Swan, Aina Curated, Akilah Swan; Yasmeen Codrington-Edmead, Bermuda Dental Studio, Anderica Gilbert; Zayne Sinclair, The AgraLiving Institute, Chris Faria.