RG Scholarships

Interested in hospitality? BHA offers $25,000 scholarship

CEO would love to see rise in applicants
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For anyone interested in a career in hospitality the Bermuda Hotel Association (BHA) Adrian Hassell Memorial Scholarship is a $25,000 gift. An annual award, it can be given to one student or divided between several and is based on “academic excellence and financial need”.

In order to be considered, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students at an accredited college or university overseas. “They must have completed their first year of studies. One of the prerequisites is that you’re ineligible if you haven’t already met the minimum criteria as specified in the actual scholarship guidelines,” said Stephen Todd, the chief executive officer of the BHA. “The maximum value of the annual scholarship is $25,000 and we try to award as much as we can to as many of the students that qualify.”

The scholarship has been in place for several decades but was renamed five years ago to honour Adrian Hassell, a former recipient who died in a boating accident in 2019 at the age of 24. Adrian was awarded the scholarship in 2015, while a student at Brock University in Canada. He returned home and, for a short while worked with the Bermuda Tourism Authority before joining the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.

“He was doing extremely well and making excellent progress in his chosen career,” Mr Todd said. “He was really well respected among his peers and had an excellent relationship with the guests that he worked directly with. We were anticipating that he was going to have a very promising career in the hotel industry. His untimely passing was a shock to everyone and my board of directors felt it was more than appropriate to ask his parents if they would allow us to rename the scholarship in his honour, and they very graciously agreed to allow us to do that.”

The Covid-19 pandemic put the scholarship on hold until last year when it was awarded to Shaqcoy Fox, a student at Humber College in Canada, and the BHA would love to see a rise in applicants. The deadline is May 15.

“What we have done in the past is split the award. In the past we’ve also looked to reward any student that was pursuing their studies at the Bermuda College as well, but unfortunately, we’re not seeing the uptake that we would like. We were hoping that there’d be more individuals that were interested but we’re going to continue to try to get the message out there that the hospitality industry and the hotel industry specifically, is a worthy career path for an individual to pursue.”

Award recipients are determined by a scholarship committee made up of members of the Human Resources department at the BHA office. There is a need for waiters, servers, housekeepers, bartenders and front desk receptionists but there are many other opportunities hospitality offers, Mr Todd said.

“There are a number of career paths that you can pursue. Administratively you could go into hotel management, which takes several years of study. There are accounting and actuarial positions, there are trades – HVAC or air conditioning, plumbing, electrical engineering. So, what we want is to get that message out that the hotel industry is a very important industry and one that is not just specific to customer service; however, if you enjoy working with people then you should seriously consider a career in the hotel industry.”

As far as the Adrian Hassell Memorial Scholarship there are no age restrictions other than the person must have completed high school and at least their first year of college.“Once they’ve been awarded there’s nothing stopping them from reapplying in any subsequent year. They’re not restricted in being able to reapply if they have a financial need.

“The scholarship is available and if you are genuinely interested in pursuing a hotel industry career and you require financial assistance we welcome any and everyone to apply. We’re happy that we’ve been able to award the scholarship in 2023 and we look forward to doing so this year and in the future.”

For more details on the BHA Adrian Hassell Memorial Scholarship visit bermudascholarships.com.


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