Why did I choose this course:
For a youth like me who has a strong spirit of adventure and vigor to explore new horizons, it is a profession that offers countless of opportunities. To travel the world for free and earn a salary more than what can be earned on land is a great way to support my family, create a business that will help many people and serve the Philippines through remittances that further bolster the country's economic growth and stability. Seeing places also offers golden memories, long-lasting friendship with other nationalities onboard and ashore and life-changing experiences that makes one a better and stronger person. Seafaring also opens up a universe of opportunities in other fields. It is also a chance for me as a Filipino to show our good values, culture and our great potential to achieve greater heights as a people.
About my college education:
Lessons were taught in clear, precise and applicable to life situation manner. The books we've used and modern equipment at the university, have given us a clear perspective on the life onboard the ship. Examinations were administered in an orderly, easy and computer-checked manner. The semi-military culture of the university have instilled positive core values to attain progress and uphold dignity at work considering the uniqueness of the maritime profession which requires the highest degree of leadership, resilience, discipline and integrity. In my case, I've became part of the Norwegian Shipowners Association - Philippines Cadet Program with a 2-1-1 scheme. When I've went onboard as a deck cadet, which many have said as the most difficult part of our course, I've greatly appreciated the importance of my lessons and the way we were trained at the university. It has prepared and trained me to be competent and responsible in performing the tasks assigned to me. I was able to apply most of my learnings and earned the trust of my colleagues.
My current job:
I am a seafarer with an Officer-in-Charge of Navigational Watch (OIC-NW) license which I have recently passed. On the previous years, I have worked as a Deck Cadet. As the first step towards becoming a ship officer, a deck cadet trains in the fields of navigation, ship-handling and cargo handling and maritime law as well as oceanography, meteorology and marine engineering.
Currently, I am taking all my trainings to complete my Certificate of Competency (COC) which is a prerequisite to act as a Third Officer onboard the ship. The Third Officer, aside from conducting the ship safely at sea and cargo operations at port during his 0800H - 1200H / 2000H - 2400H watch, is also designated as the Safety Officer and is responsible for the periodical maintenance of all life saving and fire fighting equipment. He is also sometimes given the tasks in updating statutory documents of the ship required by authorities of different countries. The third officer has special responsibilities to keep the ship, the people on board and the environment safe. This includes keeping the ship seaworthy during fire and loss of stability, and providing aid and maintaining safety during man overboard, abandoning ship, and medical emergencies. Understanding ship's stability, trim, stress, and the basics of ship's construction is a key to keeping a ship seaworthy.
The third officer must know what to do in cases of flooding and loss of buoyancy and must be expert in the use of survival craft and rescue boats, their launching appliances and arrangements, and their equipment including radio life-saving appliances, satellite Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRBs), Search and Rescue Radar Transponder (SARTs), immersion suits and thermal protective aids. In case it is necessary to abandon ship, it is important to be expert in the techniques for survival at sea techniques. He is also trained to perform medical tasks and to follow instructions given by Radio Medical Advice Center ashore or obtained from guides which includes what to do in case of common shipboard accidents and illnesses.
Am I using what I learned in college:
When I've went onboard as a deck cadet, which many have said as the most difficult part of our course, I've greatly appreciated the importance of my lessons and the way we were trained at the university. It has prepared and trained me to be competent and responsible in performing the tasks assigned to me. I was able to apply most of my learnings and earned the trust of my colleagues. With the lessons which has been taught to me and the good values, discipline, resilience and integrity, I've surpassed the challenges and exceeded the expectations. Until now, I continue to put all the lessons and values I have learned in my heart for I know that these will take me farther in this profession and to whatever I will venture tomorrow.
How long did it take to find a job after graduation:
It did not took me a difficult time finding an employment after graduation. With the strong linkages and outstanding performance of JBLFMU and increasing demand of maritime manpower, many shipping companies and organizations select their cadets before the start of freshmen classes. Taking a series of written and computer-based examinations and interviews, armed with robust commitment to enter the seafaring profession, I became a part of Norwegian Shipowners Association - Philippines Cadet Program with a 2-1-1 scheme (two years academic studies, one year cadetship onboard the ship and another year for academic studies).
I did not spend even a single centavo for my tuition and miscellaneous fees during my two years at the university, I was able to board a worldwide seagoing vessel during my third year to where I have saved enough for my senior year. After graduation, I've taken the examination for my license and the company continued to offer me employment.
For cadets who were not part of company programs, many of them were easily hired by companies after graduation. JBLFMU has linkages that include 165 shipping companies, both international and domestic that makes it a force in the maritime industry as a provider of excellent seafarers worldwide. With the growing demand of seafarers from foreign companies which prefers Filipinos for the quality and excellence in performing their duties and responsibilities, it is not really hard to obtain a job. They key is to invest well in learning their lessons, both theoretically and practical.
Do I recommend studying Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT), Major in Navigation and Seamanship:
I strongly recommend this course to the youth mainly because of employment opportunities and possibilities that it could offer. Filipino seafarers account for 30% of all seafarers deployed in the international shipping and it continues to grow as more foreign companies choose Filipinos to man their vessels.
The salary is competitive, higher than those of land-based jobs and at par or even higher with those of managerial jobs. Some companies even offer basic salaries to their officers when in vacation. Seeing the world for free, gaining friends, learning other cultures and showing to the world what Filipinos can do and achieve makes the profession even more rewarding.
The seafaring profession may be very difficult in the beginning, but because I have taken it romantically and I have been thoroughly honed and I know that God is always with me, there is no challenge that I can overcome. What makes me love and be proud of my profession is the fact that seafaring is very crucial in the existence of the global economy and it's continuous growth and accounts only for 3% of greenhouse gas emission. To serve our family, the Philippines and the global population, is more than enough for me to call this profession noble and fulfilling.
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