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Hands-on experience

The BSc (hons) maritime business is for you if you wish to pursue a highly international and multicultural career that few, perhaps no other, industries can offer. As shipping accounts for 90–95 per cent of total global trade, it is one of the most important industries in today’s society, driving financial markets, globalisation and development. In other words, if you want to contribute to an enhanced global trade, this is the right course for you.

How did university prepare you for your career?

The course consists of a comprehensive collection of units, introducing you to most segments of this wide industry. From weather routing to financial analysis, you are provided with crucial knowledge from various aspects which you can build upon. The University creates assignments similar to real industry situations and challenges, giving you a ‘hands-on’ experience within your studies, which definitely prepares you for a career within the maritime industry.

What is your favourite Solent memory?

One of my best Solent memories is our trip to Antwerp and Rotterdam, where we were able to visit the immensely large port facilities, which unveils the importance of seaborne trade. The trip also strengthened the relationships within our class, something I believe may be something you benefit from significantly further down the road in your career. Being awarded the degree classification I aimed for is also one of my greatest Solent memories.

Tell us about your career story 

Along with my studies, trying to get as much and as diverse industry insight as possible was my top priority. This allowed me to complete four internships in three years within various industry segments in countries such as Hong Kong, Cyprus and Norway. These internships not only provided me with knowledge and insight, but also enabled my CV to reflect that I was a young and eager student who demonstrated great interest in the industry. I do not believe I would have been called to interview at many of the companies I applied for if it was not for my internships and extra curricular activities at the University, such as the Solent Maritime Society. I believe all the above, combined with my academic background, is why I am employed by one of the largest dry bulk and tanker owners in the world.

I am currently employed as a trainee for a company called D/S NORDEN AS, located in Copenhagen. I work in the dry bulk department, but the company also operates tankers, resulting in a total fleet of about 270 ships. Being a trainee, I will be rotated around the various departments within the company. By doing so, one really learns how a shipping company is built from the inside. In addition to working full-time at NORDEN, we are put through a commercial shipping course established by the Danish Shipowners’ Association, with modules provided by organisations such as BIMCO. The working days are quite hectic, full of knowledge and learning. You are given a lot of responsibility, which makes you feel that the company really believes in you, something I greatly appreciate.

Tell us about your career highlight

I think it is hard to find a particular career highlight, but if I have to choose, I would say that receiving a job offer from my current employer is my highlight so far. It is a company with a great history and a formidable reputation, and being able to get a position there straight after graduation was beyond my expectations.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to start a career in your industry?

My top tip is to be hungry and show great motivation, while remaining humble. Show employers that you are willing and flexible, something that this industry greatly values due to its international nature. Continuously ask yourself ‘Why should they hire me?’, and then act in a way that can answer this question. On a final note, there is a saying that I think applies particularly to shipping, which one should always keep in mind:  ‘Be kind to the people you meet on your way up, because you will meet them on the way down'.

Henrik  Sollie Klokk

Solent University