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Spring 2017 uses voyage to help build on careers
As the Spring 2017 Voyage draws to a close, many students are looking towards a future after Semester at Sea. While voyagers can expect to finish the journey with new friends and incredible stories, sailing with Semester at Sea has a tremendous impact on their professional careers as well.
According to Audra Brickner, Vice President of Advancement with Semester at Sea, students sail have a leg up on their peers when entering the workforce.
“We believe students who complete our study abroad program have more C-suite connections on LinkedIn, obtain employment at a higher rate, and tend to advance in their careers more quickly than students who did not participate in a study abroad experience,” Brickner said. “One of the greatest advantages in participating in Semester at Sea is the network of friends and connections that an individual makes while voyaging the world.”
Greg Chapman—Area President of Chapman Insurance, Semester at Sea Board of Trustees member, alumni of Fall 1990 and Summer 2014 Voyages, and current Lifelong Learner on the Spring 2017 Voyage—offered his thoughts on how Semester at Sea can enhance professional careers.
“Where it is great to go and dive deep into one country for several months, the ability that we get to see as much as we get to see, being so proximate to your professors and having those interactions with your students is so unique,” Chapman said. “When I look at people that I am interviewing, the unique thing about Semester at Sea as opposed to other programs is seeing different cultural aspects across the spectrum of countries.”
Chapman suggests that the obstacles a student faces when in port can help distinguish him or her from the other recent graduates.
“When I am hiring someone, I want someone who has a diverse background who can critically think,” he said. “When you go just into one country for an extended amount of time it becomes kind of cookie cutter and you can figure out how to get around in a day or two. Semester at Sea is different every single day; you are not going to do the same thing twice. It forces you to be creative, to think critically, and to figure out how to get around an obstacle, which is really important.”
Chapman claims that today’s employers are looking for problem solvers, and navigating foreign countries and unusual situations is a unique opportunity afforded to Semester at Sea voyagers. While it may seem difficult to incorporate the SAS experience into a job application, Chapman recommends that students list the countries they visited in their resumes and in their interviews.
“I would have a couple stories in my head of an obstacle that you overcame, whether it was a challenging situation or you met someone and they helped you,” he said. “When you are interviewing that is one way that you are able to differentiate yourself. Sharing this story that shows that you can think critically, can overcome obstacles, or whatever it may be.”