For ’08 LHS graduate and 2012 Community College and 2014 Undergraduate Pedrozzi Scholar, William Shill, “importance of perspective” is the biggest lesson learned during his 77-day summer internship aboard the Florida Voyager, a Chevron crude carrier/tanker stationed in the Gulf of Mexico.
As a student at the California Maritime Academy, William’s internship “rank” as an Engineering Cadet required 12-hour days, 7 days/week on the 14000 hp turbocharged diesel vessel where temperatures could reach 105 degrees in the “cooler spots” of the ship’s engine room. Eight engineers maintain the status of the entire ship. William shared, “We have all the utilities a small city would have, and the engineers are in charge of most of it.”
“I would really like people to understand that there are so many opportunities for fulfilling employment with paths not starting at graduation from a (traditional) university” states William. His long term goal is to sail as an engineer for a few years, then continue his education in Automation and Controls, ultimately returning to the Maritime industry as a Design Engineer.
Experiencing ship-shaking thunder and spectacular lightening storms, water spouts (small twister at sea), and working in excessive heat all while maintaining a vessel transporting 300,000 barrels of oil has shaped William’s perspective. “When you are in a storm at sea and you are trying to maintain a running ship as large as the Voyager, getting stuck in (city) traffic for a few hours doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore”.