Just before your first months in school are over, the Co-op coordinator puts together a list of shipping companies to come and do interviews with the student. After a very helpful and professional workshop is taught on how to properly put together a resume and cover letter, they are then sent off to the shipping companies by the Co-op Co-coordinator. The fact that we as students at BCIT do not have to go out looking for a shipping company brings on a whole new value to the program. After talking with some of the other people on board, I learned that with their schools, they had to try to find a job. I say try because it can be a challenge to get a job when you don’t have the connections in the shipping industry. This is all set up for you at The BCIT Marine Campus.
Currently, I am on my third month with Royal Caribbean International for my sea phase. Words cannot describe how amazing of an experience it has been. Everything I have learned in school has now been seen in person on board. I have two months left on board Anthem of the Seas before I head back to school for another six months. Seeing as I have learned so much here, school will be alot easier. It’s so much different to just have someone explain something to you or even show you a picture and when you are physically doing a task. I have found that you learn much better this way.
When I first arrived on board, I was doing a lot of work with the bosun. This means, I got to learn how to do maintenance on the ship. Not only will your knowledge greatly increase, but you will also get to go to parts of a ship, that not many others get to go. That, and parts of a ship you didn’t even imagine existed. One of my favorite spots was up on the mast. At first I thought Anthem had only 16 decks. Nope, there is 18 as I discovered. I thought I was scared of heights until I was assigned the task to do chipping and painting on deck 18. “Deck 18 I said”, as my eyes grew big. I went with a couple of the deck hands, our tools, and of course a safety harness. When I got up there. All I could see was a breathtaking view of Bermuda. No more fear of heights. Anything you are scared of, I have found that you have to some how turn it into a positive thing. Chipping and painting on deck 18 did exactly this for me.
Along with the maintenance work, I had also started to do the arrivals and departures on the bridge. It’s very humbling to know that you are part of such an incredible team and helping manouvering such a powerful ship.
When I say I am on arrivals and Departures, this means that I set up the bridge. When the Captain, Staff Captain, and Chief arrive to maneuver the ship, it is all ready for them. For such a big ship, the check list too is big. But as I go through the list, I love every minute of it. When we begin the departure, my job is to speak up if I see any dangers around us. Also to monitor and report to the bridge team, our position on a regular basis.
Please note all thoughts and opinions are my own and do not in any way reflect those of Royal Caribbean.