* Photo supplied. Current recipients: Since 1996, 92 students have received scholarships from BFIS.
* Photo supplied. Current recipients: Since 1996, 92 students have received scholarships from BFIS.
What is BFIS?

BFIS, the Bermuda Foundation For Insurance Studies is the doorway into the insurance industry for students interested in careers in Bermuda's insurance industry.

Since 1996, BFIS has been providing scholarships to college students studying subjects relevant to the industry.

The Foundation was started by the insurance industry to encourage young Bermudians to get the right education and training necessary to start on their careers when they graduated.

BFIS scholarships

To date 92 students have received scholarships totalling $3.1 million; 67 of them have now graduated and are working in insurance as underwriters, brokers, catastrophe modellers and actuarial analysts. Twenty-one students are currently studying for their undergraduate degrees in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

What do BFIS scholars have to study?

BFIS scholarships are open to students planning careers in insurance but that doesn't mean they have to be actually studying insurance or risk management - they should be majoring in a subject relevant to the industry such as economics, finance, math, actuarial science, accounting, corporate law or computer science.

We have BFIS scholars who've studied commerce, strategic management and international business.

Who can apply for a BFIS scholarship?

Any student who wants to get into insurance and has a good GPA of 3.0 or above. Academic ability is a priority but financial need can also be taken into consideration. Students should be well rounded and involved in extracurricular activities. Students starting any academic year can apply - from freshmen to seniors.

How does a student apply for a BFIS scholarship?

Just visit the BFIS website at www.bfis.bm, download the application form at bfis@ibl.bm and fill it in and send it by email to BFIS.

All other documents such as grades and references have to be sent to the BFIS office by the deadline of April 30.

How much are BFIS Scholarships?

The BFIS Signature Scholarship is $30,000 a year for up to four years and the several other BFIS Scholarships range from $15,000 to $25,000 a year for up to two years.

What else does BFIS do?

BFIS has a mentor network designed to match young Bermudians, planning or starting a career in insurance with people already established in the industry.

Through mentoring students can receive individual advice, support and career guidance, and become familiar with what is expected in a working environment.

BFIS also offers a Summer Intern Programme for students in their junior or senior undergraduate year who are interested in entering Bermuda's insurance industry.

Each year 12 students divided into three teams spend up to three weeks in Bermuda, London or Chicago, finding out what the insurance markets are all about and what to expect in an insurance career.

Twenty-eight students have participated in the programme so far with another 12 due to start this summer.

What does BFIS do for high school students?

BFIS makes career presentations to students to show them all the opportunities waiting for them in the insurance industry.

We do this by using a careers video featuring young Bermudians, having those and other young Bermudians visit school to talk about their insurance jobs, and hosting lunch 'n learns.

BFIS also visits each of the high schools annually to talk about scholarships, what's available to all students as well as, of course, the BFIS scholarships, what the requirements are, how to apply for them, and what scholarship interviewers are looking for.

Anything else?

Yes! BFIS will help students - not just the BFIS scholarship recipients - find vacation jobs and help them with their resumes when they graduate and are looking for full-time positions.

To sum up BFIS!

A door into the insurance industry through which you'll find help with funding your education, making contacts, finding jobs and learning what you can do to carve out a career for yourself in Bermuda's number one industry.

CATHERINE C.R. LAPSLEY is executive director for the Bermuda Foundation For Insurance Studies.

Mailing address: Suite 197, 12 Church Street, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda.

Location address: Cedarpark Centre, 48 Cedar Avenue, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda.

Tel: (441) 295-1266; Fax: (441) 295-5876; E-mail: bfis@ibl.bm; Web site: www.bfis.bm