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Professional Development & Career Services


The Department of Professional Development and Career Services is located on the second deck of Furuseth Hall. The primary focus is to provide a sea year training platforms that will enable the midshipmen to acquire requisite training experience to quality for their USCG license. The department also provides a range of Career Counseling services ranging from information regarding the midshipman’s obligation, to resume assistance, to internship opportunities to graduate employment options. The department has resources to assist midshipmen in communicating with organizations, learning about opportunities available with them, and in applying for positions. The department works with the alumni association to maintain a data base of organizations participating in the internship program and employment of graduates.


The Department of Professional Development and Career Services consists of: 

The Shipboard Training Program

All midshipmen, as an integral part of their professional training, participate in a cooperative educational program during the two periods of their sea year. Training aboard ship is designed to give the midshipman practical knowledge of the performance and operating characteristics of various classes of vessels, the operating requirements in different trade routes, and labor relations in the ocean shipping industry.

The first sea period lasts approximately 135 days. During this period, the midshipman is assigned to different types of dry cargo vessels. The midshipman then returns to the Academy to build on his/her experiences at sea. The second sea period is longer, roughly 265 days. During this period, the midshipman finishes his/her sea service requirement of 300 days aboard ocean going vessels and completes an internship with a company or organization with involvement in the transportation industry.

Academy Training Representatives assign midshipmen to vessels, monitor and guide their progress, and maintain liaison between the midshipmen, the shipping companies, and the Department of Shipboard Training.

The shipboard training program provides midshipmen with the opportunity to use a ship as a seagoing laboratory. Midshipmen are given a number of courses called the "Sea Project" which, in addition to their shipboard duties, they are required to complete and submit for evaluation and grading. The assignments are carefully designed to ensure that midshipmen, while aboard ship, apply the knowledge and skills learned in the Academy classrooms and acquire a firm foundation for advanced study when they return to the Academy. In addition to written assignments, midshipmen take oral and written examinations after returning from sea.

Aboard ship, marine transportation majors are assigned to the vessel's Deck Department, and engineering majors to the Engineering Department. Sea project courses concentrate on subject matter appropriate to the midshipman's specialty. Should a midshipman, prior to the second sailing period, acquire a definite maritime career goal, the department may arrange a program of shipboard assignments to provide opportunities for specialized experience in the last sailing period. During the second sailing period, midshipmen with a strong interest in a career with the sea services of the U.S. Armed Forces may request a 30-day sailing assignment aboard a U.S. Navy or a U.S. Coast Guard vessel.

The second sea period includes either a two-week or six-week internship assignment ashore to provide the midshipmen with opportunities to observe and participate in the management operations of a maritime, transportation, or engineering related organization. This will enable the midshipman to acquire concepts of organization, decision making, operating procedures and proper work ethic. The midshipman makes his/her own decision regarding where to do the internship and whether the assignment will be for two or six weeks. Depending upon a midshipman's field of specialty and interest, the midshipman may be assigned to a shipping company, shipyard, ship repair facility, ship brokerage and chartering firm, stevedoring firm, marine surveyor's office, towing company, port and terminal facility, or a similar enterprise. Optional internship assignments are also available with shore-based commands of the U.S. Armed Forces. Midshipmen are required to complete a written report on their experience, which is submitted to their designated Academy Training Representative for evaluation and grading.

The Career Services Program

The Career Services Office has two functions. The first is to assist midshipmen with career development. This starts when they are plebe candidates and continues until they graduate. A series of lectures by department personnel and outside experts is given during the four-year period to help each midshipman to understand the mandatory service obligation (listed elsewhere in this catalog) and to determine the field of interest in meeting the service obligation after graduation.

The second function of the department is to assist midshipmen in obtaining internships and employment in the maritime, transportation, and engineering industry. The department arranges campus visits by representatives from industry for presentations and interviews. The department also conducts lectures on resume preparation and interview techniques, and maintains a library of books, periodicals and videotapes related to seeking employment. In addition, the department is equipped with computers, telephones, printers, fax machines and a full database of companies that hire graduates. Career counseling is also provided on an individual basis by the department head and staff.

Last updated: Monday, December 16, 2019

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