Project Connect’s Women’s Day event

Anniversaries, Charity, Events, Jobs, Maritime Education and Training, People and Places — By on March 26, 2018 at 8:33 PM

l to r: Amanda Birca and Vivi Notias – internship winners, Mary Arvaniti, George Tsavliris, Nikos Marmatsouris, Irene Notias, Yara Alnajjar (volunteer) and  Naomi Cortez – shipping students

Friends of Project Connect and the Greek shipping community gathered after work on Thursday, March 8th International Women’s Day at Casanova Restaurant to unwind from the daily pressures and express a shared passion for the shipping industry.  A passion they express by supporting shipping students’ work experience via Project Connect’s programmes.

Shipping undergrads and recent grads participated in a lottery-type drawing of paid internships offered by Greek shipping companies, while at the same time learning about Project Connect’s current role in Greek shipping sustainability.  Nick Efthimiadis, Lotus Shipping, Captain Iakinthi Tzanakaki, Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement and Dorothea Ioannou from the American P&I Club offered to host the Internships at their companies during the months ahead.

Peter Economides with Lefteris Pantazis

Special guests from outside of the shipping industry like Peter Economides and Lefteris Pantazis, who inspire lots of young people, joined the event and shared their views.

Mr Economides, who has been encouraging change and growth in Greece through his well-received lectures,  spoke to the lucky winners, Paraskevi Notias, Anastasis Kantis (two-month internships), Amanda Birca, Maria Bouldi, Stella Katsoulieri and Alexandra Martaki (four office visits) about the importance of shipping to the world and that a GINETAI (= it happens, title of a popular song) attitude is essential to sustaining it.  He also emphasised the importance of Project Connect’s work for the young professionals-in-the-making.

Dorothea Ioannou (fourth from the left) – The American Club and friends

Another highlight of the night was the first public announcement of Project Connect’s latest initiative to help implement the Adopt a Ship Programme that will run in Greece’s elementary schools; this program runs successfully in many places of the world including Cyprus and it connects the elementary school students with a vessel’s crew, exposing them from ages 9-12 to the sea, ports, history and seafaring.  In this interactive way it influences students about seafaring careers.

standing: Christina Zervos, Nikos Marmatsouris and Sara Economou; seated: Theno Kalapotharakou and Ioanna Topaloglou

Project Connect is a movement which began around 2012 out of necessity in crisis-affected Greece.  It raised awareness to the shipping network of the relevance for work experience in the form of internships that would enhance students’ chances of employment in Greece. It soon became a facilitator that connected some students to shipping offices by encouraging its network of shipping companies and maritime cluster to host apprenticeships and internships in an organised way where the future employee gains a skillset that would make him or her more employable.  Project Connect helps young Greek shipping students that seek help to jump start careers in the global shipping industry, focusing initially on the Greek-based shipping companies’ operations departments.

Anna Bakas and students

Project Connect would like to thank all the guests; special thanks to Katerina Nomikou, an awesome photographer, for the photo memoirs, Katerina Panoussi and Xanthi Kaliva from ALL ABOUT EVENTS for organising the event, the volunteers and prize givers that all together helped make this happen! Raffle prizes were sponsored by KEFI Tours, Kallichoron Hotel Astypalaia, Salt Spa Glyfada and Savvas Design Jewelry.

l to r: Maria Bouldi, Yara Alnajjar, Stella Katsoulieri, Irene Notias, Despoina Tourtoglou, and Apostolos Tsatsoulis,

Despoina Tourtoglou, the project’s one-year volunteer and recent shipping graduate from the University of Piraeus comments:  “We help young people achieve their career aspirations by pointing out the importance of admin and soft skills whether at sea-going level or at shore jobs. On the other side, we work closely with the industry’s owners, operators, charterers, masters, chief engineers to provide internships and guidance; in so doing developing and improving the quality of the talent pool.

Irene Notias says:  “We aim to be a key partner to the shipping community and provide genuine opportunity to young aspiring Greek talent.”

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