V.Group offers an industry leading graduate programme for university leavers with a maritime related degree.
Stan He, one of V.Group’s current cohort of graduates, shares his experiences in the programme so far.
Briefly tell us about your background – what did you study at university, where and when?
I am from Singapore originally but went to university in Glasgow. I attended the University of Strathclyde, where I graduated with a B.Eng in naval architecture and marine engineering in 2018.
What attracted you to the V.Group grad programme?
I was drawn to the fact that the grad programme offers graduates the opportunity to work across four offices in different countries during the program, giving me the chance to work with people from different backgrounds at such an early point in my career.
Besides the exposure to different cultures, I also appreciated working with different business units across the Group which allowed me to see how we complement each other to deliver an excellent service to the customer.
What were the initial few weeks like? What were the easy parts and what was difficult?
The first two weeks consisted of an induction to the Group. During these two weeks we had an excellent introduction to V.Group from the executive team and the opportunity to network with other graduates from past cohorts. We also had a week of basic safety training to prepare us for spending time at sea.
The easy parts here were the safety theory lessons. The difficult bit was doing the actual firefighting training. It was particularly challenging to search for and rescue casualties from a room that was completely dark to simulate an actual situation. Of course, there was bit of fun involved as well, we learned to handle different firefighting equipment and also had the chance to put out a live fire as a team.
What was your most memorable experience during your time on the grad programme?
Representing V.Group at Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific in Shanghai [a major maritime industry event]. Seatrade proved to be an excellent opportunity to network with stakeholders across the cruise industry in Asia.
At that point of time we had also just delivered Piano Land to Astro Ocean Cruises, which is the first wholly owned Chinese cruise line, hence it was also a topic of interest. As I was working on that project as well, it was interesting to talk about the challenges we faced.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the state of the industry conference which was chaired by senior management personnel from the major cruise lines and got an insight into their thoughts on how the industry would develop in the years to come.
What is the single most important thing you have learned during your time in the grad programme?
The single most important thing that I’ve learned is to apply a positive learning attitude at work. As a graduate with no seafaring experience, it is intimidating to step into the world of ship management where your colleagues have a wealth of technical experience. There are times when I felt out of my depth but our group colleagues and external stakeholders have always been patient and willing to share their knowledge with me, which I am grateful for. The graduate program proved to be an invaluable opportunity to upskill and learn about the ship management business to prepare for a future role within the group.
What would you say to anyone considering applying for V.Group’s graduate programme in 2021?
That V.Group’s graduate programme is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the business of ship management and its complementary functions whilst living and working in four different cities across the world.