[QUOTE=Aang;163093]Hi! I’m a 19-year-old college student and I’ve been going over potential careers for myself and this one has stood out to me a lot. Especially because of the time off and of course I’ve always loved the water. Lately I’ve been thinking of attending Great Lakes Maritime Academy for their deck officer program. I’ve done a lot of research on my own but I still have a few questions.
Are the GLMA students friendly? I have a mild case of social anxiety so I’m hoping it’ll be easy to make friends here.
What is it like working on the lakes? Average schedule/rotation? Pay? Can you give me a day in the life of a deck officer on the lakes?
I know GLMA isn’t regimented but how physically fit should I be to succeed at the academy and the career in general? I’m not the most fit person, sometimes I get winded going up a few flights of stairs haha. Can’t lift much either. Just want to know if I need to begin a rigorous workout routine or something
While not a HUGE concern it would be nice to be home for holidays and such. So would I be able to pick and choose which months I want to work?
For example: work: (feb, mar, apr) off: (may, june, july) work: (aug, sept, oct) off: (nov, dec, jan) Would this be possible? If not is there usually internet access available on the ships so I could at least skype my family?
Could I eventually be able to work half the year and still net six figures?
I don’t see many women in this career field. Would it be harder for me to find a job compared to a man? Is sexual harassment common? I’ve heard most women work on passenger ships, is this true?
If anyone currently goes to GLMA please message me so we can chat!
Sorry if these aren’t the best questions, I’m just really new to all of this and would love to hear from you all.[/QUOTE]
1- I have no idea I went to KP
2- I work mainly on deep sea. So, I don’t know for sure about the lakes. One of my friends does sail on the lakes, and she likes it. Generally you would stand watch for example from 08:00 till 12:00. Then do some overtime depending on your contract from 13:00 till say 15:00. Then you would have watch again from 20:00 till 00:00. But there are 2 other watch schedules that you could work say 04:00 to 08:00 or 00:00 to 04:00 but usually you start on the 08:00 to 12:00
3- You have to meet the physical requirements for the coast guard - it is not too strict, but you do have to be of a size that can pass through a standard manhole. Otherwise if you will be joining the navy reserve ROTC you will have to meet their requirements.
4- You both can and can’t arrange your holidays - it depends on if you are working union or what companies you work for or just luck. Same goes for the internet - more and more ships have it and with luck you could work for a company that does have internet.
5- Yes, I was by my second year out of school.
6- I am a woman, we are out there. I’ve been sailing now for ten years. I haven’t had too much trouble; I’ve never worked passenger ships. I have been working on mostly LNG tankers. I am currently sailing as Cheif Mate. I don’t think there are any more problems being a woman as there is being a man, or greater problems working at sea or ashore somewhere in an office. People are people. I’ve been on a lot of ships where I was the only woman, and I’ve been on ships where more than half of the officers and engineers were women - an LNG tanker not a passenger ship.
Don’t be afraid of choosing to go to sea or of going on a cargo ship because there aren’t many women - it doen’t matter. Choose what you want.
If you have questions you can contact me through my blog jepburton.com I would be happy to offer any advice I can.
best of luck.