Ari Minors: Summer Internship 2019
Ari Minors, Cabinet Office Intern 2019
Over the past three months I have had the opportunity to work as a Cabinet Office Intern for the Government of Bermuda’s London Office, under the UK Representative Ms Kimberley Durrant. This 13-week internship provided me with both knowledge and skills on how Bermuda’s civil service is represented on an international platform, and how the island has fostered and sustained a relationship with the United Kingdom.
The internship allowed both my colleague and I to attend important meetings with the United Kingdom and Territories Association (UKOTA), Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). These meetings gave us the opportunity to network with the representatives from the fellow BOTCs who worked alongside Her Majesty’s Government Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As well as taking part in the meetings, I was also afforded the opportunity to travel to Brussels to attend an annual Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) meeting held at the European Commission. The OCTA meeting gave a better insight on the EU and Overseas Territories relationship and how support is provided through programs and funding to assist the sustainable development of the OTs economies. As well as attending important meetings, my colleague and I had the opportunity to work shadow with two offices in London.
At the Foreign and Commonwealth Office we were given the opportunity to meet Ben Merrick, Director of the Overseas Territories Directorate, and Lord Ahmad, the Minister for Overseas Territories. They both discussed how the FCO is working on fostering a strong relationship with Bermuda. Work shadowing at Stikeman Elliot gave us the chance to work alongside lawyers Richard Hay and Oliver Cooper who are assisting the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories in developing the Economic Substance Regimes. Throughout my internships with the Bermuda Government, both locally and internationally, I have learned that an important responsibility of the public sector is the ability to aid and assist citizens within our jurisdictions. Due to this, one of the responsibilities of the office is dealing with consular affairs.
Throughout the internship I was able to better understand how the London office aids Bermudians with UK matters. Whilst working under the Consulate Officer, Mr Brandon Sousa, we assisted in dealing with matters that involved passport applications and renewals, travel enquiries, student assistance, and overall information and assistance for Bermudians living in the UK. This internship exceeded my expectations and gave me a greater understanding on the importance of the relationship between the Government of Bermuda and the United Kingdom. It allowed for me to see first-hand and better understand how the changes that occur within the UK can have significant impacts on Bermuda. I am now inspired to pursue a career in civil service with a focus on international relationships and consular affairs.