This entry is the last of the student blog entries, and as such is being written post-completion of our hedge fund program. It is difficult to put into words the experience we’ve had down here. One thing I can say for certain is that it has far exceeded any expectations I had before the commencement of this week. There are four major things I would like to express with regards to my experience on the island via this program (and omit the myriad of small benefits and wonders this island has to offer for the sake of brevity). First is the warm, welcoming, and encouraging attitude that has been expressed by everyone we’ve encountered. The University College of Cayman Islands students, faculty, industry members, locals, hospitality workers, and even other tourists have been nothing but welcoming, generous, happy, and have provided such amazing opportunities for us to learn that it is nearly overwhelming. Second is the atmosphere of the Island. I would never have imagined a place like this existed before I came here. It is extremely clean, safe, pragmatic in its infrastructure, natural beauty that rivaled by very few places I’ve been to, and has a rich history and culture that is complemented by a comfortable separation of leisure and high-professionalism. The third thing I’d like to touch on is the education we’ve received. I would never have fathomed the degree to which we’d be involved in the industry prior to coming here. We visited many different organizations who cater to many different areas of the hedge fund industry. Without fault, every single industry visit was complemented by professionals who were obvious experts in their respective fields, as was evidenced by the in depth presentations and eclectic variety of knowledge we were exposed to. The scope of the impact the hedge fund industry in the Cayman Islands has on the financial world was impressed upon us, and it is truly staggering. The fourth and last thing I would like to briefly express is the value of this program. It absolutely needs to be said that the facilitators of this program have gone above and beyond to create a professional, cultural, and educational learning experience that has been unlike anything I’ve ever personally experienced. The networking opportunities for everyone involved has been much more beneficial than anything I would have access to in Halifax. The exposure to the industry, and actually coming to understand the scope of the biggest financial vehicle on the planet, has broadened my mind to a degree that I couldn’t have imagined before this trip. I can attest to an absolute degree of certainty that this is a program that needs to be continued. I am generally one who tends to play devil’s advocacy, but I haven’t been able to find one contrarian thing to say about this program, which (for me at least) is a major statement about the program’s benefits. It isn’t just beneficial educationally, professionally, culturally, and personally for the NSCC students, but for the UCCI students as well. I can honestly envision that being expanded from a mutually beneficial college-to-college experience to a nation-wide opportunity for both countries. Thanks to the amazing work the facilitators of this trip have done, this program has personally and professionally impacted me on a level that I could never have imagined, and I will always be a voice of encouragement in favor of the relationship between Nova Scotia Community College and The University College of the Cayman Islands.
NSCC Ivany Campus