Three International Maritime Business majors traveled over forty-five hundred miles to Constanta, Romania to attend the 14th Annual General Assembly of the International Association of Maritime Universities, 26th – 28th October 2013. A very generous grant from Banco Santander helped offset the cost of the trip for the students. It is a journey they will never forget. More importantly, no one who attended the event will ever forget them.
1/C Andrew Barbato who hails from Harwich, MA, a 2010 high school grad, 1/C Kelsie Brien, 2010 alum of Methuen High School (MA) and 1/C Diana Kurek, a 2011 grad of Stamford High School (CT) were recipients of the “Best Presentation Diploma”. The three won the top award out of a pool of at least thirty international submissions for their paper on transshipment stations! Anan Zhao, a Marine Safety and Environmental Protection major, native of Shanghai China and member of the MMA/Shanghai Maritime University 2 + 2 program, also attended the Conference. In addition, MMA Professors Dr. Qi Chen, Dr. Paul Szwed and Dr. Bani Ghosh also attended and presented individual papers at the conference.
Barbato plans to pursue a career in land-side Finance or Accounting after graduation, eventually pursuing an MBA. “I chose to attend MMA because of their job placement reputation. In addition to academics, I have learned a lot about time management and ‘details’, he noted. Cadet Brien is gearing up for a job in vessel chartering or logistics/supply chains. “I think MMA has provided me with more opportunities than I ever could have hoped for at another school. I’ve also gained coveted leadership training and discipline that is so important in today's job market,” Brien stated. Zhao will graduate with two degrees, one from MMA, the other from Shanghai Maritime University. “I am planning to find a job in the U.S. and work for two years. After that, I may go for a master’s degree,” she declared.
1/C Diana Kurek, who plans to pursue a career in ship brokerage, summed everything up nicely: The trip to Europe will remain a memorable one. Not only were we exposed to the Romanian culture, but to the culture of every international attendee of the conference. The connections that we made with all the international students will last a life time, as I am sure our paths with them will cross sometime soon in the future. After all, the world is smaller than you think”.
The trip was not all work and no play. One of the sightseeing excursions included a tour to see Count Dracula's Bran castle in Transylvania. It was an amazing experience.