Goals: Jill Husbands, head of the Bermuda office for Marsh IAS, with Taliah Shakir. *Photo supplied
Goals: Jill Husbands, head of the Bermuda office for Marsh IAS, with Taliah Shakir. *Photo supplied

If there is one thing Bermudian Taliah Shakir can credit for her success in being awarded an education scholarship from Marsh, it’s her tenacity.

She doesn’t know the meaning of giving up. At 25 she took her time to figure out exactly what she wanted to do in life and how she was going to achieve it, before pursuing a university degree.

With the help of a $15,000 per year scholarship for two years from Marsh, Taliah is well on her way to making her dreams come true.

As Taliah is busy preparing for her freshman year at historic Durham University in the UK, she is most looking forward to studying various business courses that will provide the foundation she needs to reach her ultimate goal of one day becoming a chief executive officer.

Work ethic

Upon attaining her undergraduate degree in business and management, Taliah plans to continue her studies and to obtain a Master’s degree.

Taliah recognizes the special career niche the island offers in the insurance industry, particularly for qualified Bermudians.

She hopes to return to Bermuda and will be pursuing her professional designation for underwriting while overseas.

Taliah knows the next few years are going to be hard work but she credits her family with instilling in her a strong work ethic, as well as the importance of a good education.

After graduating from Warwick Academy — where she was first exposed to business through courses in marketing and entrepreneurship — Taliah entered the world of work.

She gained valuable real world experience as an administrative assistant at Bermuda Technology Education Collaborative, as well as being a front desk agent at Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa, a position she still holds today.

Her dream of attending university, however, was never far from her mind.

Taliah spent a lot of time researching different career options, universities and scholarship opportunities.

“I decided to apply to Durham University because of its high ranking and superb academic reputation,” she said.

“Also, I was very interested in gaining a broader international educational experience being based in the UK.”

With her excellent school transcripts Taliah was accepted to Durham, yet she still needed to figure out how she was going to fund her education.

She researched scholarship opportunities for Bermudians on the Internet and found the Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies (BFIS) website, which provides a database of various scholarships. She then applied for those that were the best fit, including the Marsh scholarship.

“I was ecstatic when I learned that I would be awarded the Marsh scholarship,” she said.

“The funds ($15,000 a year for two years) will cover all of my expenses so it really takes the financial pressure off and allows me to focus solely on my studies and my future.”

In addition to exceptional scholastic aptitude, criteria for the Marsh scholarship includes financial need and an interest in the insurance industry.

“We are always looking for ways to support the local community, especially young Bermudians interested in careers in accounting, insurance and broking,” said Jill Husbands, a managing director at Marsh and head of the Bermuda Office for Marsh IAS.

“We were delighted to award this scholarship to Taliah and we wish her the best of luck in her studies.”

For young Bermudians who may feel that a university education is out of reach, Taliah encourages them to take advantage of the research tools at our disposal to help uncover opportunities and, of course, to never give up.

For more information on the Marsh scholarship, go to www.bermudascholarships.com.

Scholarship Recipients 2012