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Lexis Mayers: My internship experience at the High Commission

2018 intern Lexis Mayers blogs about her six-week internship at the British High Commission Bridgetown.

<img src="intern.png" alt="Lexis with Head of DFID Caribbean">
Lexis Mayers with Head of the Department for International Development (DFID) in the Caribbean

There’s a quote which goes, “the most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence,” and that was exactly what I intended on doing for my 6-week internship.

Being an engineer, I thought I would have been like a fish out of water, trying to battle the administrative and political side of the economy, but due to everyone’s charismatic demeanour and constant “checking-in” I felt like a member of staff before I knew it.

During my internship I was given the opportunity to work in 4 different departments. I acted as part of the Political team as I worked in Chancery for my first week. Here, I was given a chance to show off my organisational skills as I rearranged a section of the storeroom. My other tasks included updating of the alumni data, UN voting patterns and country facts sheets. Updating the country facts sheets gave me an advantage when I was seated in Department for International Development (DFID) for my second week. Having prior knowledge of DFID, I was excited to work with them, one of my tasks including a Donor Mapping project in the Caribbean. I also had the opportunity to read the overview of the geothermal energy project, currently being implemented in Caribbean islands, this information was insightful as I plan to do my masters in Renewable Energy.

During my third and half of my fourth week I was able to assist the Consular Department. The Consular Department is probably what the High Commission is known for, which is assisting British Nationals with emergency travel documents and representing the British nationals if any accidents or crimes occur. I really enjoyed working with Consular, because it was less computer work and more hands-on work. Calling persons from all over the region for updates and information sounds tedious, yes, but knowing that the information you collected could help save someone’s life or make it so much easier, is what made my tasks so worth it. I would say more but, in Consular, its confidential.

The remainder of my fourth and my fifth weeks were spent in Corporate Services. This is basically the backbone of the High Commission, literally nothing would get done without this department. Maintenance, IT, accounts, reception, security, everything is done here. One of the tasks I really enjoyed was creating a presentation for an Employee Request, and even though this department is full of energetic and vibrant souls who always get the job done, I’m rooting for that extra helping hand.

Sadly, my sixth week was here, but I must say it was indeed festive. As a regular event planner, I felt in my element when I was assigned to aid in the student briefing. Much more thought and consideration went into this event then just choosing guest speakers and a venue, although this wasn’t the typical “event” I was familiar with, I was elated to help. There was a tremendous turn out on the day of the briefing and everyone was satisfied, which was most important. On my last day of being a part of this esteemed establishment, I have to say I will dearly miss it, and to my successor, all the best next year.

Published 6 September 2018