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Exotic Ports Call - Benefits Of MIT Education

Manukau Institute of Technology

Marc Grise spends his life sailing around the world.

No, Marc hasn’t struck it rich - he’s the skipper of a large pleasure boat which is currently on a leisurely world tour.

Europe, the United States, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific - think of an exotic port and Marc has probably been there.

Marc (32) is a graduate of MIT’s New Zealand Maritime School and recently returned to the school to complete his master foreign-going ticket.

With his master’s ticket in hand he will be able to skipper anything from an oil tanker to a cruise liner.

Marc comes from Auckland and has spent much of the past 15 years at sea working on large and small ships in the merchant navy, maintaining oil rigs off Singapore and Brunei and on a passenger sailing ship in the Carribean.

He changed his focus to the professional yachting industry and has been working for the same Bermudan company for three years.

“The owner of the yacht is on board for about half of the time and we look after all his requirements. It’s not like a working holiday - I’m on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we all work hard.

“But it’s a great lifestyle. I’ve seen a lot of the world through my career and financially, it’s very rewarding.”

Life at sea for Marc began after he left school at 16 and began working on board a commercial fishing boat. “We were out in the harbour one day and I saw the cargo ships in port and thought ‘That’s what I want to do’.”

Marc gained an apprenticeship with the New Zealand Shipping Corporation and began a sea-going career which has so far spanned 15 years.

During those years he has attended numerous programmes at MIT’s New Zealand Maritime School, initially gaining his second mate foreign-going ticket, then working for a range of shipping companies.

He returned to MIT in 1995 for nine months to complete his first mate’s foreign-going ticket and written work for his masters ticket.

“I was a few months shy of being able to gain my masters at the same time, so I went back to sea.”

Marc’s since been back at The New Zealand Maritime School to complete his masters.

“The standard at MIT’s New Zealand Maritime School is high and my qualifications are recognised around the world.”

The New Zealand Maritime School is based at downtown Auckland opposite the Port of Auckland wharves and the Waitemata Harbour.

The school offers a range of programmes from short courses for recreational boaties to the intensive diploma in nautical science.

The three year diploma programme began this year and combines on-shore learning with at-sea experience and is run in conjunction with Danish shipping company Maersk Line.

The school enrols 25 students on the diploma in nautical science programme a year, of which a minimum of 18 are sponsored by Maersk.

The sponsored students, who are selected after completing their first semester, spend the second half of their first year in training programmes on board a Maersk vessel.

New Zealand Maritime School director Tim Wilson says Maersk’s involvement and commitment offers a substantial opportunity to young New Zealanders.

“Maersk is one of the most progressive shipping companies in the world. This is the first time in years that New Zealanders have received assistance into international shipping careers, so this is a major breakthrough for the maritime industry.”

At the end of three years training, graduates from the diploma programme will receive their second mate foreign-going certificate and can find employment as deck officers on foreign going cargo and passenger vessels.

Mr Wilson says a world-wide shortage of ships’ officers has been predicted for the next decade.

“Officers are desperately required, which means diploma graduates will be assured of an exciting career and international travel.”

Entry requirements include sixth form certificate of 20 or less in the best four subjects including English.

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