Nautical Science student Nick Doherty was one of 60 nautical students worldwide selected to attend the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) Student Forum this year.

Focused on the topic of “Connecting Ships, Ports and People,” the students met at IMO Headquarters in London, UK.

Learning Abroad

“It was an incredible opportunity to represent MI on the international stage,” said Mr. Doherty. “This was my chance to make a difference and voice my opinion on a topic that is near and dear to my heart – quality training onboard for the first license.”

Mr. Doherty was nominated to attend the forum by his instructor, Captain John Ennis, Chair of the Nautical Science Program at MI.

“Nick is a very strong cadet who will no doubt become a leader in marine navigation,” said Captain Ennis. “I was so pleased to nominate him to attend the IAMU Student Forum where he was able to experience and impact conversations at an international level.”

Session Elements

During the three-day forum, the students spent time discussing topics important to maritime navigation and got to explore London.

“We covered a number of topics during the discussion sessions,” said Mr. Doherty. “It was interesting to hear so many different opinions and how, despite having certain measures in place which have been implemented around the world, things are still so different.”

At the end of the second day, each group presented their findings to the other students and IAMU leaders. Mr. Doherty was elected as his group’s speaker, so he delivered the presentation.

“The most memorable part was standing at the IMO podium and delivering the discussion results to the audience – that was my highlight,” said Mr. Doherty “Our group suggested the implementation of an audit system which could be incorporated into Port State and Flag State inspections in order to ensure proper, effective, and homogenous standards of training on board.”

Lessons Learned

“Attending the forum was a great learning experience because I got to discuss topics with 59 of the greatest maritime student minds in the world,” said Mr. Doherty. “Everyone had a different experience, each had their own opinion and logic to back it up. It was unique to get a first-hand look at how other countries perceive the maritime industry and their schooling compared to ours.”

As for what stood out most – it was listening to the facilitators speak.

“Their wisdom was so fascinating to listen to,” continued Mr. Doherty. “It opened my eyes to a whole new perspective and has given me more questions to find answers to.”

As for what’s next, Mr. Doherty is striving to be the best he can be.

“I plan on doing the Bachelor of Maritime Studies, and then obtaining a job at sea, where I’d like to become a captain,” he said. “Once I’ve spent my time at sea, I may take a shore job to make use of my degree. Perhaps I’ll become a Superintendent or Director of Operations – may I’ll even be part of the IMO someday.”

Mr. Doherty feels that attending the IAMU Student forum will be a feather in his cap going forward and may even open some doors in terms of potential jobs outside of Canada.

“I’ve made a lot of friends from around the world thanks to the forum. It’s a network of people that could help my career move forward,” said Doherty. “This experience has certainly spurred me to want to succeed that much more and I hope that one day, I’ll get the chance to work with some of the people I met again.”

To learn more, check out this short video featuring forum participants.