The NMI Summer At Sea Co-op Program: Blending Both Experience & Academics

Full Color International Marine Tanker

One of the hallmarks of NMI’s College of Maritime Science is the co-op program, also known as Summer at Sea, which is included as an integral part of the degree program for Applied Science in Nautical Science. This unique experience consists of two 90 day co-ops, usually taking place in the summer, in which students are able to gain hands-on experience in the maritime industry working on commercial vessels, while also completing required credits for their degree. Taking part in co-ops provides students the opportunity to become familiar with the inner workings of a vessel’s crew, as well as accumulate necessary sea time required for professional licensing. In addition, co-ops also continue to foster students’ academic careers, earning 3 credits per co-op for completing the courses of Sea Journaling I and II, and STCW Navigational Watch I and II.

While taking part in classroom learning is important to any degree, the added tactical exposure and experience co-ops provide is invaluable. Students will ultimately learn more practicing maritime skills on board a ship than inside a classroom, making NMI’s Summer at Sea a special opportunity for aspiring mariners. Doing two summers of co-ops means that students can learn how diverse the maritime industry is, having the opportunity to explore different aspects of the industry, such as tugging, tankering, or ferrying. Every student’s summer will look unique, and having those different experiences will translate into the classroom, as they share and trade tips and skills. In the past, students have done their co-ops at companies such as Polar Tankers, Harley Marine, Blount Sea Adventures, and many more. Gaining that real world experience and sea time during the summer months vastly increases employability, as future employers are able to see that experience and skill have already been acquired. This also opens the door for more senior roles and responsibility earlier in your career.

Beyond NMI, the benefits of co-ops are vast. There is the opportunity to cultivate and build professional relationships within an industry, which in turn helps with employability. Often, students who participate in co-ops are hired by the same company after graduation to continue working. In addition, a direct link is established between the classroom and employment, as students can really begin to understand what a particular industry is all about, while also continuing their degree credits. Students are able to come back to the classroom more knowledgeable, and with plenty of new skills. Finally, there is also the benefit for the employer, as they are able to see who will be coming into the industry soon. This is also an advantage for co-op participants, who will already be familiar with a company, its employees, and its practices, and can use this to their advantage in promoting their employability.

NMI’s College of Maritime Science’s Summer at Sea co-op program is an exceptional opportunity for future mariners to really understand and experience their future industry first hand, while also furthering their academics. With dozens of opportunities available each summer, students are able to curate unique experiences that will aid them not only in their immediate prospective employment, but throughout their career as a mariner.

Below are some additional links that you might find helpful when making your decision to attend the College of Maritime Science.