The Merchant Navy can be a great profession to be in. Not only does one travel to different parts of the world, visiting cities that would not be humanly possible for non-Merchant Navy people to visit in a lifetime, but one also gains handy professionals skills such as leadership and people management that may take much longer to imbibe in corporate roles. However, life in the Merchant Navy can also be challenging after a few years spent in the profession. Long months away at sea, the repetitive nature of the job, and lack of career progress beyond a point can lead many Merchant Navy officers to consider a career beyond the Merchant Navy. While on-shore jobs in the Merchant Navy itself as well as associated shipping positions are alternatives, some choose to look at the MBA for career growth as well as change. This can be a great option to consider, and one that is increasingly aware of the unique needs of Merchant Navy professionals.
The MBA for Merchant Navy Officers: what does it offer?
To begin with, the MBA offers not only advanced instruction in business, but also across many areas that would be very relevant to Merchant Navy professionals. These are not just the traditional operations or supply chain aspects but also other vistas such as leadership and strategy roles which value the experience that Merchant Navy professionals bring in, working in a very global environment.
We have seen GyanOne clients successfully transition to careers in Executive Leadership, Retail Management, Operations Leaderships, Shipping Management, Technology Management, and even Sales Management. The variety of choices available to Merchant Navy officers looking at an MBA is therefore quite large.
What MBA programs can Merchant Navy professionals target?
We have had clients make it to top MBA programs around the world, including MIT Sloan, Tepper, McCombs, Tuck, LBS, INSEAD, IMD, HKUST, NUS, and ISB. At each one of these programs, we have former Merchant Navy professionals being valued for their skills and the perspectives that they bring into the program.
What are the important factors to keep in mind as a Merchant Navy MBA professional?
Some professionals from the Merchant Navy come in with a lot of work experience and may be older applicants at their target schools. Some others do not really understand the MBA and look upon it as a general management program that can help them transition to any career they wish to (including CEO positions!).
This is not true, and every profile needs to be evaluated separately for the possibilities. These are just some of the factors to keep in mind, and there are many other similar ones. Merchant Navy professionals come in from non-traditional (non-corporate) backgrounds, and understanding the particular opportunities available to them is very important.
For example, the opportunities for someone who has worked as Surveyor might be quite different from someone else who has worked as 2nd officer on large crude oil tankers.
Looking for MBA Admissions Consulting as a Merchant Navy officer?
GyanOne has worked with many Merchant Navy professionals across different profiles, and helped them make it to top MBA programs such as MIT, INSEAD, IMD, and ISB. Contact us today! to know how we can help you too, or just for a free profile evaluation!
AM’s story: making it to the INSEAD MBA
AM is a senior Merchant Navy professional. He has worked for more than a decade in the profession, and has now reached the pinnacle. A thorough professional, he felt that he now has more to offer and was therefore looking for avenues that could help him grow further in his career. He got in touch with GyanOne to discuss further prospects and consider the schools he could look at.
– AM was initially unsure of the schools he could target, given the fact that he is an older applicant and wanted to only consider top options. He was keen on looking at INSEAD, and had read another GyanOne Merchant Navy MBA success story of Balaji, who had made it to INSEAD. Narrowing down to INSEAD as one of his schools, he began working with GyanOne.
– For an experienced Merchant Navy professional, it can be difficult to understand all professional opportunities available post-MBA. How can his career ambitions be translated to what INSEAD valued? Also, what if he could not achieve plan A? One of GyanOne’s top consultants worked with AM to help him understand the landscape.
– Coming from a Merchant Navy background, AM brought in unique global exposure, which GyanOne helped translate into stories that could help enhance AM’s candidature at INSEAD.
When finally submitting his applications, AM noted that he was ‘extremely satisfied’ with the way his application had shaped up, and that he believed it gave him the best shot he could have at a very selective school like INSEAD.
– Merchant Navy professionals are natural leaders. Many speak multiple languages, and are fluent communicators. AM fits this description well. Practicing with GyanOne across multiple mock interviews, AM understood how he could express himself and the entire power of his profile very well in the interview.
This was not about making up templatized responses, but helping AM to realize and highlight the very aspects which would be valued.
– In August 2014, AM got the good news from INSEAD. He was IN, adding another feather to his distinguished cap.