Happy Thanksgiving everybody.
I have searched the forums and have read several informative threads discussing union/non-union pros and cons, as well as the differences between various unions and their specific roles in the industry. I’m not looking to get into a debate about anyone’s individual experiences. I have some questions about MM&P specifically. I am just beginning my maritime career and have some questions regarding my eligibility for membership, and the appropriate membership group for my particular situation.
I do currently hold a TWIC and an entry-level MMC, and am currently enrolled in classes for all 4 modules of STCW Basic Safety Training. I have no sea time and no work experience yet. I have applied to the Cal Maritime Academy MT program for Fall 2017, and am hoping to graduate with a USCG 3rd Mate license in the Spring of 2021. It is possible, however, that I may find entry level work in the next 9 months prior to starting school.
I am aware that I can join MM&P as an associate member in my second year at the academy to begin earning points towards becoming a full book offshore member.
I am wondering if it would be wise to try and join now as an associate member to earn even more points? Is this even possible?
I am also a bit confused as to who typically joins as an unlicensed applicant in the offshore membership group?
If my plan is to eventually become a licensed deck officer, wouldn’t it make the most sense to try and join now as an unlicensed applicant in the offshore membership group? Do applicants in the offshore membership group earn more points than cadets and associate members?
Is the purpose of the associate membership group to save money for cadets that are unsure if they will eventually join as applicants in the offshore membership group after graduating?
If there are any wise MM&P officers out there that may have some answers… Thanks!