I had the privilege of attending the annual CMA Conference this past Tuesday in Stamford, Connecticut with a large majority of seniors and a few juniors. We got to the conference after a 3 hour drive and I could not have been more excited to be there. We got our name badges, went upstairs and I quickly spread out to speak to companies. I have never seen such a large conference or so many maritime companies in a local area. The first company I went to was Trade Winds and told them all about how our class reads their paper almost daily and then went on to other companies. I spoke to companies that aid ships in navigation for pirates, those that do emergency response for disasters, registry companies, different training companies and the list goes on.
I was so happy to learn about different companies and I could not believe how many Mass. Maritime graduates were among the managers there. I made sure to speak with them for a while and talked to them about internships. I thought that the MMA grads were more apt to help fellow maritimers and I got well over 30 business cards. I have learned that when going into these conferences you have to go in with the right mindset. There were so many companies there interested in getting fresh new faces, and with maritime industry experience they wanted to speak about internships. I have only been able to email a few companies, because I have been so busy, but this weekend I am going to sit down and go through the business cards and thank them for speaking with me, and then talk to them a bit more about a potential internship. Since being at MMA I have started a business card collection and typically write a little about where I met them and if they were a grad or not on the back of the business card or something that we spoke about to help them distinguish myself or jog a memory. I am constantly learning about common practices in the workforce and because of the new age of technology, face to face contact means a lot to many of the Vice Presidents and managers of the companies rather than a email. I hope to get an internship somewhere outside of the United States! Overall this was such a great conference and I can not wait to go again next year too!