On Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 the graduates of the Technology Leadership Forum (TLF) Internship Programme were celebrated at a ceremony at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The TLF encourages the further development of Bermudian students interested in Information Communication Technology (ICT) careers. This year 6 students: Ciera Fox, Colisha Smith, Daniel Walker, Dante Richardson, Mpumelelo Richards and Samuel Matthews completed the 12 week intensive summer internship.
During the 12 weeks of the programme the 2014 TLF interns acquired experience in the ICT industry through classroom learning, a team project in which they came up with a concept for a website, pitched it and then developed it, and fieldwork as interns at participating companies.
The TLF was founded because of an identified need for qualified Bermudian talent in the ICT field. The registered charity is run in partnership between private and public sector technology companies and organizations. The TLF’s prime objectives are to encourage dialogue, address issues, propose action steps, mentoring and to be a networking group amongst peers.
Addressing the interns Dr. the Hon. Grant Gibbons ,JP, MP Minister of Education and Economic Development said: “In today’s world, the use of technology is a critical factor in the success of any business, large or small. I congratulate our graduates who now join a cadre of TLF alumni who will be the next generation of local technology leaders. We can only imagine what technology advances will occur in the future, but no doubt our TLF talent will contribute in developing innovative solutions for business and other sectors.”
The 2014 programme culminated in the August 19th graduation, where the interns received a certificate of excellence, which allows industry partners to know the level of expertise they bring to the table because they successfully completed the curriculum designed by the TLF industry partners. During the classroom training sessions, students focused on modules such as Business Continuity, Project Management, Information Security, Data Warehousing, Programming, and Networking, to name a few. These modules were taught by industry professionals and were meant to provide the students with a basic overview of the topics. It is the hope of the TLF that these modules will encourage students to focus on areas of study which are of the greatest need in Bermuda businesses.
One of the benefits of this internship program is the networking opportunities available to the students and the local ICT partners. Additionally, the partners know that students graduating from the program can become beneficial members of the company’s workforce with experience and hands on training. The success of the programme is reflected in the hiring of TLF internship graduates by organizations such as the Bermuda Hospitals Board, Orbis, CCS, RenaissanceRe, Logic and the Ascendant Group.
Addressing the interns, Edgar Dill, VP of Sales & Marketing at LinkBermuda said, “To be a success in ICT requires a full acceptance and commitment to being a permanent student.”
Two special awards were also handed out. The Most Improved Student Award was given to the intern who had made great strides in the Programme, taking the instruction and opportunities provided to enhance their skill. While the intern’s performance was an important factor, change in the intern over the summer in their professionalism, networking skill and drive was recognized. This year’s winner was Dante Richardson.
The second award was the TLF Most Inspiring IT Professional Award. The success of the TLF Internship Programme rests with the participation of ICT professionals who give of their time and expertise through teaching, mentoring and networking with each year’s interns. In a programme where the interns are expected to go above and beyond, it is no surprise that the ICT professionals involved do so as well and more. The Most Inspiring IT Professional Award is the interns’ acknowledgment of an ICT professional who made an impact on the cohort by providing instruction, advice and counsel to enable them to move towards their career goals. This year the interns chose Dion Tucker.
Ending the evening the Chair of the TLF and Chief Information Officer of the Bermuda Hospitals Board, Dion Tucker, said, “The TLF Internship Programme, now in its sixth year, goes beyond traditional mentoring programs by offering students professional development in the form of meaningful mentoring relationships that will facilitate tangible networking and career connections. The goal of this program is to give technology students a viable and effective opportunity to develop a relationship with an alumni, potential employer, or technology professional who can support and guide them in preparing for their intended careers.
By providing these college and university students with a range of diverse and engaging learning opportunities, courses and programs, we feel they are better prepared to enter the working arena. We continue to see high caliber students with strong academic backgrounds, energetic and enthusiastic to learn and explore the opportunities available to them in the technology industry.”
Mr. Tucker thanked the TLF sponsors who he said “make this all possible, many of whom have been with us from the beginning. Thank you for believing in the TLF program, in the students and in Bermuda’s future.” The 2014 TLF sponsors include: Ascendant Group, Department of E-Commerce, Logic, CCS, Renaissance Re, ACT, Elbow Beach Bermuda, Catlin, and the Bermuda Hospitals Board. The companies who provided the training and training facilities were also recognised: CCS, Bermuda Hospitals Board, Ascendant Group, Digicel, Nova, Ernst & Young, First Atlantic Commerce, Department of Workforce Development, Jan Fraiser and the Bermuda College.
For more information on the Technology Leadership Forum Internship Programme, members of the public can visitwww.TLF.bm.