Jonathan White

As part of the first class to take part in MMA's very first exchange program, Jonathan White describes his experience, "As a third class IMB student, I was part of the first group of MMA students to host a SMU roommate. When our Chinese friends first arrived it was a quick learning experience for all the hosts and the Academy itself as we learned the best way to communicate, live with someone who grew up with a completely different set of cultural norms and ensure they got the most out of their American experience. We took the students on school sponsored adventures to Boston and Washington DC with many of the host students taking them to their hometowns or different weekend trips. For me this was the first experience with international students and I became good friends with many in the first group. That hosting period set the stage for my semester in China the following Spring. [] SMU were great hosts. We roomed with a different set of SMU students and traveled extensively throughout China both on sponsored trips and our own time.

Prior to the start of the SMU / MMA exchange program I began interning for CSL Americas, based in Beverly, Ma. They were interested in hearing more about the program as they had many years of experience building ships and China and were considering another program later on. I returned from my semester abroad with an appreciation of meeting people from across the world and fairly confident in the ability to go somewhere new and get by.

That thinking was put to the ultimate test when CSL hired me to work on their vessel newbuilding project in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province. After graduation, I left Mass in July of 2011 for China" At CSL, Jonathan shadowed the project manage and was involved in all building aspects from design, production and testing to the delivery process of nine dry bulk self-unloading vessels. "Before returning two years later, I enjoyed working and traveling as much as I could. After China I moved to CSL Europe's office in London, living, working and traveling throughout the UK and different parts of Europe.

A few months ago I relocated back to the East Coast, working in CSL Group headquarters in Montreal. I credit my Mass Maritime and specifically the SMU experiences with preparing me for a life abroad where arriving in a new country has become second nature. From a personal perspective, I learned a great deal about my self during the periods spent in China and am far better off from a career standpoint by taking a risk and moving around. I have been extremely fortunate to have a supporting and healthy family helping me along the way. 
If you go into anything with an open mind, willing to accept new challenges and opportunities than their are no limits to what you can do."

You can find more information about CSL at the company's website www.cslships.com