This tiny word takes up eighteen inches of column space in the Webster’s unabridged dictionary! More than half of the meanings apply to a very important concept inherent in picking the right college. Fit – “especial harmony” between student and potential institution of higher learning.
1/C Lauren DeNapoli, currently a Marine Transportation major, will serve as the Regimental Training and Retention Officer for the coming year. She graduated from Boston Latin Academy, Boston, MA, in 2009. As RTRO, DeNapoli will work closely with the Admissions Department, Academics and Student Services, monitoring cadet’s grades among other things. Although she was sure she wanted a career in commercial shipping, and sure the Academy was the right place to prepare for this, she noted, “I was horrified at the start of Orientation. I did not know what to expect and almost didn’t go! After those two weeks I knew without a doubt that I had made the right choice. Succeeding at Orientation was a precursor to the rest of my success. Orientation is one of my fondest memories to date. It proved the fit was the right one,” she concluded. This cadet already has two Sea Terms and one commercial shipping experience under her belt. This year, while on board the Maersk’s Alliance Charleston, she helped bring military equipment back from the Middle East, stopping in ports such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan and Egypt. Although she hasn’t graduated yet, this hands-on experience has allowed her to sample her career choice. And she’s smiling!
For 1/C Douglas Neal, a 2009 graduate of Hereford High School, Monkton MD, the word “fit” made all the difference. After talking to a college counselor, he decided on a career in the maritime industry. He toured four maritime academies. “My interest in MMA was cemented when I listened to Admiral Gurnon’s speech. And boy, what a speech… all about the simple concept of “fit” ”, he remembered. “By the end of that day I realized that MMA felt right, it was a perfect fit for me,” the cadet concluded. Today, Neal is a Marine Transportation major and this year’s Student Government Association President. Now in his fourth year, he remains convinced he made a great decision. “I quickly learned and loved that the cadets at MMA have no pension for failure, and once they wear the Ring, it is my belief that they will strive to be good parents, spouses, friends. Those around them will forever be attracted to the shining light in their lives,” he concluded. Neal loves to quote Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.”