Who Am I?
Hello, I am Janelle! I was born and raised in Grand Cayman, and I am currently studying as a second-year pre-business student at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. I have always been a very creative person, as I thoroughly enjoyed (and still enjoy) things such as writing, art, graphic design, and music. Additionally, I am also very business oriented, and these two traits combined sparked my interest in marketing. When I first started thinking about what I wanted to do in university, marketing seemed really interesting to me, because it would enable me to create unique content, meet new people, and plan fun events. Marketing would also allow me to really make use of my strengths in writing and improve on my overall knowledge of the business world. As a matter of fact, I intend to officially declare marketing as my major next school year.
Every summer since the ninth grade, I have been determined to learn all that I could about marketing through internships. The most recent of which has been my internship experience at Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) this summer.
Cayman Enterprise City: Who are they? Why did I choose them as an Internship Opportunity?
For those who do not know, CEC has three special economic zones used to assist international businesses to move to the Caribbean which helps to diversify Cayman's economy. CEC hears from prospective clients every day with businesses in the US, Canada, UK and across the globe.
I chose to apply for and accept an internship with CEC, as they are quite possibly the only place on the island where I would be able to experience and learn about marketing in both a domestic and international setting. Additionally, I had formerly heard about the special economic zones, and all of the companies that CEC gets to work with from all around the world, and I wanted to be able to learn more about them. So, it was the perfect learning opportunity.
Currently, I am one of 14 interns who were placed in internships throughout CEC’s very competitive ‘Summer in the City’ internship programme. This has especially been an honour given that there was a total of 65 students who applied. All fourteen interns accepted into the programme were placed in internships with some of the companies within the special economic zones, such as NeuralStudio, Brave Software, Hercules, and Key Media. Myself? I received the wonderful opportunity to work within the CEC headquarters! I am presently wrapping up a five-week internship at CEC as their marketing intern.
What I’ve Learned: Targeted Writing
I feel as though the tasks assigned to me during my time at CEC have been both diverse and authentic, while still providing me with a broad understanding of marketing overall. For example, many of my assignments required me to write towards a specific audience. So, I had to subsequently learn how to change my writing style to cater to a target audience. For one assignment in particular, I was given two hypothetical personas, detailing the type of people that could potentially be reading my work, and I had to then refocus my writing to make it something that they would be intrigued to read. This is something that I had learned about previously in my communications classes in university and in high school, but through my internship I was better able to apply these skills and develop them within a professional setting. I found targeted writing to be very important, because all businesses have a product, and it is important to know who you are trying to reach. If done correctly, this will increase the chances of acquiring new clients.
Memorable Moments: Summer in the City Intern Brunch
Perhaps the biggest highlight of my internship experience has been the Intern Brunch that CEC hosted for all the placed interns working in the building. At the brunch, eight other interns and I were able to eat, mingle, and discuss the similarities and differences between both our respective internship experiences, as well as the companies we are interning at within the special economic zones. I was also able to hear about how their internship placements have not only allowed them to expand on their own skillsets, but also learn new skills that they could not have learned anywhere else.
In hearing their testimonies to the uniqueness and benefits of the ‘Summer in the City’ internship programme, I could not help but agree with them. One intern’s view of the programme in particular really struck me. Matthew Elphinstone, intern at NeuralStudio, said: “Being an intern at CEC has given me the chance to demonstrate my skills, and meet leading industry professionals that I wouldn’t normally have access too anywhere else in the world.” When hearing Elphinstone say this, I thought about how right he was. It is so important for us to get experience in the working world, but it is even more important that we, as interns, also receive a quality learning experience while we do so. I think that is what makes CEC so different. Like Elphinstone said, we would not have been able to find somewhere like this where we could work personally with some of the world’s biggest, leading professionals anywhere else in the world. What he said reminded me of what an honour being a part of this programme truly is.
Finally, at the end of the brunch, we were joined by Charlie Kirkconnell, the CEO of Cayman Enterprise City, with whom we were able to discuss and give feedback to the outreach tactics of the internship programme.
How This Experience Has Changed My Perspective
As my time with CEC comes to an end, I now see just important they are to Cayman’s economy and new generations of Caymanians preparing to enter the professional world. CEC is actively informing the island about the endless possibilities associated with the tech industry, something that not many local people know a lot about. This is why their internship programme is so important, because it teaches young people that they are not as limited professionally as they may have previously believed.
For instance, before my internship with CEC, I did not really know about the versatility of the tech industry and the strategy that comes with effective marketing. However, through my internship experience, I have not only been able to learn more about these things, but also develop new skills, create my own tangible content, and network with other interns and companies. Even if I do not end up going into the field of my internship, there are still many skills that I have acquired in my time with CEC that I know I will be able to apply to any field or area of my professional or academic life. This programme has opened windows for me that I did not even know existed, and I cannot wait to see where they will lead me in the future.
Bearing this in mind, if you ever have the opportunity to, I would highly recommend that you participate in an internship through the ‘Summer in the City’ internship programme, because not only will you learn about the ins and outs of business on both a global and local scale, but the skills you will learn and the connections you make will only serve to benefit you in the future.
What’s Next for Janelle?
I will be returning to Samford in the fall to continue my studies. If all goes according to plan, I will be graduating in three years with my Bachelor’s in Marketing and a concentration in Sports Marketing. After I graduate, I hope to gain international experience by working abroad for a year, and then I plan on returning to Cayman. Until then, I plan on spending as many summers as I can doing internships and getting work experience.
The “Summer in the City” internship programme is open to Caymanians and residents of the Cayman Islands between the ages of 18-25 and lasts for one to two months during the summer months. Areas of placement include: internet technology, media & video production, science & technology, commodities & derivatives, and maritime & aviation services. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.