Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900
Summer 2010 Site ReviewPosition: Intern
Student: Economics Sophomore
When I first showed interest in interning at Rickmer Linie (America) they were very upfront about the whole situation. They had never really had an intern there before, and they knew that I had only recently even learned that their industry existed. The point of my internship was not for me to gain any particular skills associated with the company, but to become familiar with the industry and for me to find a place that I could fit in in. I was there for a strictly learning purpose.
So, in that sense, I never really did much work. I never had a paper to due or deadline to meet, I was simply following people around. I was transferred from department to department with the intention of me being able to see the whole picture by the end of my term here. About ¾ the way through my internship, I was beginning to feel I was not getting out of it what I had originally wanted to. I still wasn't able to put the whole picture in my head. I knew what people did and how they would do it, but I was not able to visualize how it coordinated. It was at this point that I began to realize that I could not wait to be told what to do, I had to take it into my own hands.
In the last ¼ of my summer at Rickmers, it really all came together for me. I began to ask people in every department simple questions. Such as where did they get started, why is Rickmers better than other people, and how is we try to make the most money? I really got a lot out of these questions. It also happened that the information that I had previously learned that I thought was a waste because I did not know how to apply it, came in handy. Through my questioning of people, I was able to piece together the big picture.
I have learned that what makes Rickmers money is not the heaviest materials, not filling up the ship to the bring, and not by putting just two huge paying pieces on board. It is a huge jiggsaw puzzle. You want the right amount of steel on board to stabilize the ship, you want the right amount of machinery on board for big paying cargo, and you also want the little things in there to fill up empty space. Then you want to fill in the deck space with water proof materials. On top of all that, it then becomes of the utmost importance to strategically take on cargo that will not have to moved around a lot, because moving around a 200 ton piece is not only costly, but takes a considerable amount of extra time, and these ships are chartered for $30,000 a day. So any extra time is money.
In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at Rickmers, and through my questioning and realization that it was not all going to be given to me, I was able to take a lot out of this experience and I hope to someday pursue a future in the maritime industry.