After an internship at Cayman Enterprise City, 16-year-old Thalia Ramos and 20-year-old Neith Rheingold leave with a better understanding of how Cayman’s special economic zone works. Inspired by their experience at CEC, they are imagining the possibilities for their future.
“It was better than what I expected,” says Thalia. “The whole time was great - I just loved being there because it was very inspiring!”
“I learned a lot about how they actually bring companies to the island, and I watched the interaction between CEC staff and clients,” added Neith.
The interns started each day at 8:30 am with the rest of the CEC staff and during the day they were kept busy learning the work environment and doing things such as sitting in on client meetings and overseas client presentation calls. They also learned about the process of setting up a company in the zone and the steps clients have to go through to establish. During their internship they had a rare opportunity to spend time receiving social media training from CEC’s Territory Representative in Silicon Valley who is experienced in social media having recently graduated from Stanford University with a Master of Arts in Communications with a Media Market and Tech emphasis. CEC’s Twitter campaign gave them an understanding of newly emerging Silicon Valley business trends of social selling, as well as A/B testing and user outreach analytics. The interns also observed work on CEC’s newly redesigned website and say this was their first actual work experience, and they gleaned valuable information every day.
“The whole idea behind the internships is to get young people like Thalia and Neith to think about the possibilities for their future here at Cayman Enterprise City in the years to come,” says CEO Charlie Kirkconnell. “It’s only going to get better as CEC grows”.
The zone now has over 72 companies signed up and doing international business or in the licencing process, from the industries of Internet and technology, media and marketing, commodities & derivatives, biotechnology and academia. Another 180+ companies are currently in the sales pipeline.
The interns both say they especially enjoyed meeting with entrepreneurs who have started businesses
in Cayman Enterprise City, and hearing how they took good ideas and made them successful. One of CEC
clients they met with launched a global marketing company and another started a business in
“I’m interested in finance and accounting, so this was very interesting to me,” says Thalia, who adds that
talking to the new business owners taught her an important lesson. “If I work hard enough, I could be
where they are now.”
Neith agrees that these discussions with entrepreneurs who are making their dreams a reality were
inspiring. “There are many ideas that can be successful, so if you have a good idea, just go for it!” he
Thalia and Neith were the winners of a CEC-sponsored video contest and received internships in the
zone. Cayman Enterprise City has made a commitment to improve the future of young Caymanians by
attracting new technology-based companies to Cayman and providing opportunities to them. The young
people worked alongside CEC staff and also met top zone management, including Kirkconnell and CEC
Board Chair Cindy O’Hara. Thalia is inspired by O’Hara’s accomplishments as a Caymanian, female
entrepreneur and considers her a role model.
“She’s amazing!” says Thalia. “Ms. O’Hara actually managed to start up not just one, but several of her
own companies, and plays different roles in those companies.”
Both Thalia and Neith plan to attend college in the fall; Thalia will be attending college locally to begin
her education in accounting, and Neith is heading back to the UK to resume his studies in business at the
University of Westminster in London.
“I definitely think I'm on the right track,” said Neith Rheingold. “This experience gave me better insight
and showed me what I can get into, to move up and learn more.”
“It’s really been a pleasure to work at CEC, I’ve learned so much and I hope to do it again,” says Thalia