The Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC) Education Awards programme was founded in 1977 and is one of the largest and most broadly supported scholarship programmes for international business in Bermuda. The long-term goal of the programme is to help develop highly trained Bermudians who will return to to the island to help strengthen the sector and, therefore, the entire Bermuda economy.
The awards are supported by more than 50 ABIC member companies and a committee of 20 volunteers from donor companies and colleagues in the industry and the academic communitylooking to encourage young Bermudians to join the sector.
Over the past 41 years, the programme has supported over 630 Bermudian students pursuing full undergraduate or post-graduate degrees at accredited four-year colleges or universities abroad. Applications are invited from students in both the government and private sector schools as well as from students already enrolled in degree programmes.
The undergraduate award to each recipient is $15,000 per year for a two-year period while the post graduate award is valued at $20,000 for one year. Approximately 50-60 applications are received from students annually and up to 20 students are awarded each year.
Prior to interviewing, the shortlisted students attend an interview workshop given by PwC HR leaders and each awarded student is matched with a mentor who is an experienced professional who will provide one-on-one contact, support, knowledge sharing, perspective and wisdom that will help the scholars with their education and career.
Three additional grants are announced at the awards luncheon. The Michelle Outerbridge Memorial Award ($5,000) and sponsored by the ABIC membership. Michelle was a 2000 scholarship recipient and is remembered for her enthusiasm for life, academic ability and all round vitality which left a lasting impression an all who met her. The Stephen Edwards Memorial Award ($5,000) and sponsored by Lombard Odier Trust (Bermuda) Ltd. Stephen was a 2014 scholar and is remembered as a passionate and athletically gifted young man who was a role model to young and old, local and abroad in the sport of Rugby. The Shernelle Outerbridge Memorial Award ($15,000) is sponsored by Zurich. Mrs. Outerbridge, the late CEO of Zurich Investment Services Limited, was a recipient of a 1984 ABIC award. This special memorial award is a fitting tribute to Mrs. Outerbridge’s character and achievements and specifically her contribution to business in Bermuda.
In 2017, and in celebration of the 40thanniversary of the ABIC Education Awards programme, the alumni created an annual Alumni Award intended to support mature individuals who are interested in upgrading their skillsets to re-train for careers in IB or for those who have plans to pursue an undergraduate degree leading to a career in IB.
Antonia DeVent is the 2ndrecipient of the Alumni Award; she is an online student of Purdue University Global, pursuing a BSc in Finance with an Insurance concentration. Antonia had this to say:
“I feel humbled and privileged to have been selected to receive an ABIC Alumni Award this year. It means so much to have an organization of this standing invest in me in order to allow me to continue the fulfillment of my educational aspirations. I would like to express my gratitude for the financial and career support ABIC and the alumni are willing to provide and encourage any student with an interest in international business to, not only apply for these scholarship opportunities but also, to invest in themselves. Hard work pays off!”
The 2019 ABIC Education Awards deadline is April 5thand students can apply at www.bermudascholarships.com. All questions about the ABIC Education Awards programme can be directed to Greta Peters at 293-4600 or [email protected].
This article was originally published in the September 2018 edition of Rg Scholarships.