Dart’s Minds Inspired scholars get guidance from company leaders

Lunch with the company’s senior leaders provides scholarship recipients with opportunities to receive guidance and advice on their future career paths.

Dart recently awarded its 2014 Minds Inspired high school and university scholarships, increasing the Minds Inspired family to an impressive eleven scholars.

Mark VanDevelde, CEO of Dart Enterprises, firmly advocates academic excellence in Cayman’s youth. “One of the best things I get to do every year is meet the high school and William A. Dart university Minds Inspired scholars and present them with their scholarships,” he says. “Their excitement and academic excellence strengthen my commitment to all of Minds Inspired’s educational initiatives and remind me that Cayman’s future is in good hands if Cayman’s companies do their part to support our young people.”

In what is likely to become an annual event, the scholars were invited to a casual luncheon with members of Dart’s senior leadership team last week, allowing both parties to get better acquainted. Vice President of Middle Office at Dart Management Services Ltd, Jenni Huys, enjoyed getting to know the scholarship recipients. “It was a great opportunity for me to meet the scholars – I found them to be keen, inspiring and ambitious.”

The lunch was some of the scholars’ first business luncheon – and they learned the value of networking first hand as they heard directly from professionals who have pursued career paths that mirror their own ambitions. Additionally, those students who are graduating soon took the opportunity to find out more about interviews and what it takes to be successful in your first full-time job. “The opportunity for us to meet and mingle with the students was valuable for all of us,” said Ward Sykes, Vice President of Legal & Corporate for Dart Enterprises.  2013 William A. Dart university scholar Julian Solomon also worked in the Legal Department this summer. “As a department we tried to give as much value to Julian’s experience as possible, giving him a meaningful role on an important project. We have been very impressed with Julian’s work and attitude, and I was equally impressed with the other young scholars I spoke with at the lunch.”

“It was nice to meet all of the Minds Inspired scholars, and to meet the leaders and hear about where they went to college and how they’ve worked their way up,” said 2010 Dart scholar Kelsie McLean. “I sat with David and Ethan and enjoyed hearing about their high-school experiences, and how they’ve enjoyed being in the Minds Inspired programme.”

2013 high-school scholar Daniel Nicholson-Gardner also appreciated the opportunities the lunch provided. “I didn’t even eat lunch, because I was so engrossed in a conversation with Mr. VanDevelde and [2014 William A. Dart scholar] Kirsten Ebanks on walkability and walkable cities. It was an extremely valuable experience and it gave me the ability to build a relationship on a professional level with the top decision makers at Dart.”

Minds Inspired scholars are given the option to work in Dart’s offices over summer break, and this year the scholars have joined departments ranging from on-site construction engineering to human resources. The company’s leaders continue to be impressed by the scholars’ acumen and initiative in both their positions at Dart and their social interactions.

The Minds Inspired programme has many exciting initiatives underway for the 2014-2015 school year including its annual Mathematics Challenge in the spring. To stay up to date with the programme’s events and happenings, visit mindsinspired.ky or follow Minds Inspired on Facebook or Twitter.

Dart Cayman Islands encompasses a number of businesses that operate in Grand Cayman and is also the developer of the Town of Camana Bay.