Ocean Business also hosts the three-day event first Ocean Careers (09) event, initiated for students to hear about job opportunities and career advice in marine science and ocean technology. The event starting this morning set off with Alastair MacDonald (see interview), managing director of TMS International, and more important these days also the conference chair of tomorrow's starting Offshore Survey. In his keynote he perfectly sums up the main reasons to go hunt for a job in the ocean industry. "It's a very good industry to make money, to travel a lot or to do something for the environment". MacDonald gave the audience of 100 to 150 students some tips.
MacDonald advised the students to always bring their CV, and always carry a notebook and pen. Furthermore he suggested asking for business cards, and asking questions; since the people in the industry are very approachable. To conclude he mentioned that it's important to have interpersonal talent and teamwork skills.
After the keynote five other professionals from the industry gave 10 minute presentations, explaining the industry, giving tips, showing the worldwide working opportunities and job examples of the ocean industry in general and their companies in particular. Many of the companies are even in the worldwide crisis recruiting youngsters.
Johan Stam, managing director of Skilltrade (The Netherlands) mentioned the oil and gas industry will be here for another 20 to 30 years, while new energy resources are already looking around the corner.
Michael Colley, project manager of Gardline Environmental (UK), started with the company while it hosted eight people, now employing over 1800 personnel worldwide and still recruiting.
Mike Flaherty, regional business development manager of Veripos, part of Subsea7 mentioned the development in his career as follow: "In the old days we used to chart everything out on paper, now we have software helping us preparing for fieldwork".
Robert Moorsley of Fugro GEOS graduated from Southampton University only three years ago, fed the students by saying "it's like being an academia but you get paid". Furthermore he pointed to his educational background, starting with an undergraduate in geography and a masters in oceanography, that it's never too late to change paths.
Zoe Bond from Defra, department for Environmental and Rural Affairs completed today's list of speakers, saying that her job involves commissioning research to inform policy making. She heard the UK secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs use her briefing when he answered questions on the topic on BBC Breakfast News.
The features of the ocean industry are global, it's not all oil and gas (environmental is a good second), it's a feast of different careers and you can join in at different entry levels and chose defined career paths.