Bermudian students interested in a career in accountancy can get a headstart with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The firm’s Peter Mitchell Scholarship offers a $20,000-a-year renewable scholarship to support undergraduate or graduate students who have completed at least one year of study.
The award is part of the firm’s HeadStart initiative, which aims to equip future finance professionals with all the skills they need to forge a successful career on the island.
PwC states: “It’s a relationship building initiative that will provide support and assistance to you as you start out on your professional career — regardless of whether you’re in our Mentoring, Scholarship, Co-op, Summer Internship or Associate programme.”
HeadStart focuses on developing strong interpersonal skills and teamwork, helping you to progress in your career.
Core competencies include technical/professional knowledge, leadership skills, courage and integrity, relationship-building, project management and self-development.
The scholarship itself includes guidance and support from a PwC mentor and the opportunity to take part in the company’s Summer Intern programme and Associates programme upon graduation.
PwC states: “We are committed to developing dynamic and talented young Bermudians to their full potential.
“It’s not about just becoming an accountant or a tax advisor, for example, we want individuals who have the potential to develop into skilled professionals, team leaders and community activists.”
David Gibbons is a PwC director who manages the HeadStart programme.
Mr Gibbons said: “The Peter Mitchell Scholarship is a $20,000 renewable scholarship to support bright young Bermudians whom we see as future leaders in the finance profession.
“It has been awarded to one student each year but last year we had two exceptional candidates and we thought it would be remiss not to offer it to both of them.”
The 2011 recipients were Chelsea Terceira and Michael Lindsay-Bayley.
The scholarship is renewable based on continued excellent performance. As long as recipients continue to meet the eligibility requirements, they will receive $20,000 for the remaining years of their university education.
“In the current economic environment, one of the challenges for high school students is being able to afford to go overseas for further education,” said Mr Gibbons.
“We believe the financial aspect of this scholarship relieves that financial burden, and when you add in the coaching, guidance and experience we offer, it really is an exciting opportunity.
“The deserving recipient can expect to get a lot of coaching and mentoring from the firm’s leaders and their colleagues.”
The scholarship is not limited to accountancy students, but is open to all Bermudian university students.
“We look for candidates who not only have strong academic backgrounds, but possess strong leadership abilities and have been actively involved in their community,” said Mr Gibbons.
“We’re much more than just an accounting firm. We offer opportunities through a number of career paths including actuarial, business advisory and tax.
“Accounting majors certainly win the scholarship, but we’ve also had actuarial majors receive it as well over the years.
“HeadStart helps young Bermudians to attain their accounting designation and develop a tailored career path for them at the firm.
“But it takes much more than a designation and technical skills to truly succeed in the long-term, so we also focus on developing and challenging our people through interesting client work and experiences.”
In addition to the scholarship, PwC also offers Co-op and Summer Intern programmes though HeadStart.
“These programmes also give students a variety of work experience in various areas of the firm, giving them a taste of what it’s really like to work here. They get some real on-the-job experience,” said Mr Gibbons.
“It enables them to see that a career here goes beyond the numbers, and that it’s much more about working within a team.
“Mathematics is just one component of being an accountant.
“It is also about working in a team, being agile to change, having leadership skills and also, good people skills.
“Those are the qualities we look for in a professional and in our scholarship winners.
“We base our decision on good academic background and examples of people giving back to the community, as well as leadership and team-working skills.”
2011 scholarship winner Ms Terceira said: “I am extremely grateful for being awarded the PwC scholarship.
“In my experience so far I have been able to gain insight and experience into the accounting profession during my Co-op work term.
“My more experienced colleagues have given me valuable coaching and advice on my career development, which is something I’ve appreciated in the early days of my career.
“I look forward to a bright future with PwC.”
For more information on PwC’s Peter Mitchell Scholarship and the HeadStart programme, go to www.pwc.com/bm/en/careers/headstart