A career at sea can be very demanding. The most attractive feature that draws mariners at a very young age to the industry is – the attractive tax free salary package. However beyond a certain stage, it’s not so much about the hard-earned crores stashed away in the banks, but about tackling the other problems that start popping up.
Many sailors look for a more stable career and better work-life balance after saying good-bye to their merchant navy jobs.
But unlike many other industries where you could build a range of skills and expertise, the highly specialised experience in shipping can become a stumbling block in the quest for new jobs after leaving merchant navy.
A few shippies who feel they’ve reached the zenith of what a shipping career has to offer start looking at ways to re-skill themselves and embark on a new career path. An international MBA after merchant navy can offer good career change opportunities.
At MBA Crystal Ball, we’ve worked with shipping and merchant navy officers and got them into good business schools globally (including the Top 10 MBA programs). And we have to admit, it’s among the more trickier ones to handle, for several reasons.
The good part is that shipping professionals have unique profiles, making it easier for them to stand out in the MBA application pool.
But it also creates new challenges while working on the MBA application.
Their career starts earlier than what the regular corporate world is used to. The crises they have to deal with are wide and varied – many months away from home, tough climatic and working environments, a rather non-existent social life (unless the ship docks or the sailor returns home), serious safety hazards (throw in pirates for good measure).
Captain Rakesh Renganathan had been there done that in the world of shipping and was looking forward to a new career. For the benefit of other merchant navy engineers, officers and captains, he lays out the roadmap – from planning to execution – that got him into one of the best MBA programs in Europe (IMD) inspite of a relatively low GMAT score.