Working on the Wild Side

1/C Hugh Largey and 1/C Nicholas Aghajanian at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

No co-op or internship associated with the International Maritime Business major should surprise anyone.  They are often a bit exotic.  Locations range from New York to Shanghai.  But the newest placement is pushing the boundaries and a bit on the wild side.

1/C Hugh Largey, 2012 graduate of Coyle Cassidy High School (Taunton, MA) and 1/C Nicholas Aghajanian, 2007 graduate of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School (Whitman, MA) are both International Maritime Business majors slated to graduate in 2016.  They just returned from Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a vast 9,000-acre wildlife area, located between the Abadares and majestic Mount Kenya. “Not exactly a maritime area,” noted Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Bani Ghosh, “About 50% of the IMB grads go into the maritime sector. The rest get into regular business and or international business - which requires a good understanding of business skills and international cultures. This (IMB) experiential learning program targets those elements when students are in a business environment immersed in a global culture doing something exceptionally interesting and appealing,” she explained.

Cadet Achajanian noted that, “From the first day, we were exposed to some amazing creatures.  It was a huge pleasure meeting Sudan, the sole remaining male, northern white rhinoceros in the world.  Every day during our three weeks, just moving from one area of the conservancy to another, was a safari. We were involved in a lion tracking expedition, a rendezvous with the Rhino Patrol Unit, an oryx relocation and a study on moving hartebeest to predator free zones.  This wasn’t a regular office job.”

“We were never in the office for too long,” said Cadet Largey. “Our days were filled with excursions out into the bush to assist the conservation department with their operations, helping the tourism and marketing departments develop inventory databases and other computer-related projects, and training the conservancy staff on advanced Excel techniques. It was also sobering to know that Ol Pejeta is home to three of the remaining four North White Rhinos in the world, including the only male of the species. These novel experiences, combined with viable work experience on the conservancy, made the Ol Pejeta Conservancy internship an amazing adventure,” he finished.

The IMB co-op program, true to their mission statement, not only continues to provide students with excellent opportunities to gather practical experience in their chosen field in keeping with the 'learn-do-learn' philosophy of the institution and develop future employment prospects, they continue to expand those parameters.