Aiming at the future
Last Thursday, the career fair ZMART was held at Chalmers. According to Lighthouse coordinator Caroline Ferning it was successful event for Lighthouse and shipping. Above all, many bachelor's students had their eyes opened to the fact that they can be involved in developing the shipping of the future.
Caroline Ferning remembers what was attractive at career fairs when she herself was a student. Therefore, she set up a bullet board at the Lighthouse exhibition site. The idea was that whoever managed to shoot a top five finish with a Nerf gun would receive a goodie bag as a prize. But of course it was difficult not to give others who made valiant attempts. Already after just under two hours, the 40 goodie bags with various nautical gadgets were gone.
“Many also came back and wanted to try again. It became more of a hang out, which made for a fairly relaxed atmosphere, which was good for the conversations”, says Caroline Ferning.
She was there together with the former Lighthouse trainee Erik Blackert, who is now employed at Wallenius Marine - not only to promote the Lighthouse trainee program but also to strike a blow for maritime education in general.
“After all, there are only a handful who study naval architecture at Chalmers, so it is partly about getting students from other master's programs to open their eyes to our trainee program, and partly about getting bachelor's students onto the naval architecture track”, says Caroline Ferning.
It went beyond expectations. More than a hundred students were interested. Many who study machinery or automation and mechatronics, for example, came to Caroline and wanted to know more.
“I asked if there was any particular industry or focus that attracted: No, they answered. They were simply interested in cool technology that could be applied to anything. Many had not thought that shipping existed as a possibility, but when they were told what technological challenges the industry is facing, they thought it sounded super fun.
However, Caroline Ferning does not think that this means that many people will now suddenly choose a future in shipping.
“When I asked where they think they will work, they answered "it will probably be in one of the old regular companies". That's how I think it is, it's in the companies that have established themselves for a long time at fairs like this that the students end up. Therefore, we must continue with this. It is necessary to grind and howl.”