RG Scholarships

Balance Your Books

Accountants and actuaries in high demand and there are a number of scholarships available to support this career choice
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(In photo: Eusebio King Mills, the 2023 PwC ABIC Award winner)

Balance. It’s what accounting is all about. Bermuda is a renowned hub for international insurers, and they require balance at all times. That’s why accountants and actuaries are in high demand in Bermuda – and that, in turn, is why some of the very top scholarships, awards, and bursaries available for local students are aimed at those pursuing a degree in accounting.

A major provider of financial support for higher education in Bermuda is the Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC). Michelle Seymour Smith, chair of the ABIC Education Committee informed us that: “ABIC and its member companies donated a total of $650,000 in scholarships to 22 Bermudian students in 2023. The large number of scholarship opportunities supported by international businesses (IB) demonstrates the commitment of the sector to the development and advancement of Bermudian talent.

Travis Trott, parlayed an ABIC Education Award into a stellar career in Bermuda’s Insurance Industry

“This creates so many opportunities for Bermudians, even beyond the traditional professions of accountants and actuaries. For example, we have scholarship awardees that are pursuing careers in cyber security, technology, marketing and communications, project management and law.

“In 1977, we had four awards. Since 2016, we’ve averaged at least 20 awards valued at approximately $600,000 per year. IB is a strong industry and there are opportunities for Bermudians. ABIC is proud to be the facilitator of bringing great untapped local talent to the companies willing to support their education and careers.”

While ABIC offers scholarships to students studying a wide array of disciplines, the PwC ABIC awards focus on accounting and related areas of study.

“The ABIC PwC Award Scholarship is a key part of PwC’s HeadStart Programme and scholarships offering. The benefits of a scholarship from PwC go far beyond providing young Bermudians with financial assistance for university education. PwC also supports students in their career development through coaching and mentoring, and employment opportunities.

“PwC’s goal is to help develop qualified Bermudians who will return to the island to help sustain and strengthen the international business sector and contribute to the economy.”

The ABIC PwC Award is available to undergraduates and postgraduates alike. It is offered by PwC Bermuda to a student studying accounting at an accredited college or university. The award provides $15,000 a year for undergraduates, which is renewable, or a one-time $20,000 for post-graduate students.

Successful applicants can also look forward to exciting employment opportunities, which are attached to the ABIC PwC Award. These include an internship during studies, and a full-time employment contract upon graduation.

There are also ABIC PwC Awards on offer for students starting their journey at Bermuda College. These bursaries are worth $5,000 a year, are renewable, and provided for Bermudians undertaking the Associate’s Business Administration programme with the intention of completing a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and obtaining a Canadian or US CPA designation.

Applicants for any of the ABIC Educaction Awards must be 18 years-or-older at the time of application, they must have attended high school in Bermuda for at least 5 years, they must be Bermudian, a Permanent Resident’s Card holder, or able to obtain a PRC, they must demonstrate financial need, and they must maintain a 3.0 GPA in a discipline related to IB.

There are, of course, some intangibles that any scholarship selection committee will look for in applicants. An ABIC representative broke these down:

“The selection committee looks at grades, selflessness, persons of high moral character and integrity, involvement in something that is bigger than themselves and a spirit of giving back to the community such as involvement in church or a religious group, leadership activities, playing or coaching sports or music, teaching, community service, Bermuda Regiment, Duke of Edinburgh, candy stripers.

“For the PwC awards, the interest in becoming a qualified accountant is important but it is not everything. We look for candidates who are inquisitive, curious and are keen to learn. A strong work ethic and commitment to quality is also key, along with an alignment with PwC’s values: care, act with integrity, work together, make a difference, and reimagine the possible.”

Currently a Director of ABIC, and the senior finance manager of Wilton Re Bermuda, Travis Trott knows exactly how the ABIC Education Awards can provide a world of opportunities.

“When I received the ABIC Education Award in 2013, I was overcome with joy. Being able to afford university was definitely a great burden lifted off my shoulders, and this enabled me to focus all my attention towards my studies. I was able to graduate and land a job with one of the Big Four audit firms, and have gone on to successfully complete the US CPA programme. Since then, I have gained invaluable career experience with Chubb, Athene, and Wilton Re. I can 100 percent say that it is all down to being awarded one of the ABIC Education Awards, which helped me unlock my full potential.”

Having benefitted from his personal pursuit of higher education, Mr Trott actively advocates for the fostering and development of students trying to break into the industry. His advice is gold:

“Have a goal and a plan to get there. Develop good study habits, get good grades, ask teachers and successful students for help. Establish a healthy schoolwork and life balance but stay focused on your goal and your plan. Participate in extra-curricular activities, things you like and enjoy. It is important to give back to the community in some way. Network with people you meet who work in the industry in which you wish to work. Ask for help. Don’t give up. Pray. Have faith. Believe in yourself. Keep trying and eventually you will achieve your goals, hopes and dreams.”

The ABIC team encourages students to apply for scholarships every year, and apply for several scholarships. Other notable bursaries in the field of accounting are the EY Bermuda Ltd. Gil Tucker Scholarship, the Chubb: Robert Clements Scholarship, the PwC Peter Mitchell Scholarship, several Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies (BFIS) scholarships, the Deloitte Scholarship, and multiple awards offered by the Ministry of Education.

All of these scholarships can be found on bermudascholarships.com.

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