WNTI Student Sponsorship 2020

Candice Latoya Gomez became the 9th student sponsored by WNTI to graduate from the World Maritime University. Read her story below.

Candice Latoya Gomez

World Maritime University Student
Studying at the World Maritime University has truly been an enlightening experience. Embarking on this journey allowed me the opportunity to explore the complexities of the maritime industry in a multicultural setting.

Through the many seminars, lecture sessions and discussions I have gained invaluable knowledge that is not only theoretical in nature but also practically enabling. Teachings and experiences shared by industry experts, professors, and other students will be remembered profoundly.

There have been many thought-provoking moments; one of them came when my specialization colleagues and I visited Greece. A CEO of a renowned shipping company shared a real-life business experience with us. The CEO was talking about the dynamism of shipping when he responded to a question on decision-making.

He said shipping and the decisions he makes were in his blood. His response resounded in me because it demonstrated connectedness to the real thing; passion, courage, charisma, and legacy all of which I have come to know are needed in shipping. Prior to enrolling at the WMU, there was a time when I felt insufficient in my career. I was required to meet the demands of two roles: one as the chairperson for ports on the executive council of the Shipping Association of Trinidad and Tobago and the other as head of marketing at the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. Embracing the vitality and scope of the maritime sector seemed overwhelming and I felt as I was speeding ahead in my career, but in the dark. The urge and willingness to be impactful was there, but the scope of my knowledge was limited.

“With the support of the WNTI, I was thus able to achieve one of my professional goals for 2019; to enrol in a postgraduate programme compatible with my career path and develop my leadership skills. ”

This insightful programme has equipped me with the tools and competencies which I can build upon to be successful in my career. But life at the WMU was not without its challenges. My first class was maritime environmental science, where we were taught about the ocean’s ecosystems. This field was new to me. I struggled with the terminologies and the assessment, a 3000-word essay on the subject. I naively contemplated how an ocean science course was relevant to a degree in maritime affairs. I was ready to give up until I remembered the sacrifices others had made to get me to this far and beautiful land for self-improvement. I determined the best currency to repay with was decided and diligent effort. I was going to give it my best shot which I did.

Then the coronavirus pandemic happened, and everything became uncertain. All field trips were postponed and eventually cancelled. We resorted to classes via zoom sessions at the same level of intensity which felt exhausting and somewhat isolated. I was disenthralled once again, but my three-year-old son saved the day. One lonesome afternoon after video chatting with him, he left me with these simple but reprimanding, sharp but uplifting words, “mummy don’t forget to do your work well.” These words became my compass whenever I seemed to lose courage. Family is everything and I am so grateful for mine. Without their love and support I could not have achieved this prestigious MSc award. This brings me to the high regard I have for the WNTI. They treat the people they work with like family. The WNTI and its members demonstrated caring concern for the next generation of maritime leaders when they decided to fully fund my expenses in pursuing an MSc program at the WMU. The numerous attempts to have me visit the WNTI and the emails from Simon which always ended with “we remain hopeful” provided reassurance and comfort in the uncertain times. I previously knew little about the nuclear industry but with this nurturing relationship I now have with the WNTI; nuclear power has become a fascination. It holds wonderful prospects for humans and the planet earth as a renewable energy source with the inherent advantage of reducing carbon emissions.

The dynamic structural changes in areas such as technological advancement, increased regulatory pressure and volatile trading patterns present many uncertainties for the global maritime industry. It is my endeavour to contribute positively to a sustainable maritime sector in my country and, by extension, the Caribbean through sound strategies and smart performance indicators and policy initiatives. In the Caribbean, regional accurate performance indicators are needed throughout the maritime sector to identify hindrances to efficient trade facilitation. Incorporating these within robust frameworks driven by relevant policy initiatives would be my general intention.

“I am extremely grateful for the support and encouragement provided by the team. My hope is that I can continue to learn about the WNTI and the initiatives it continues to drive within the nuclear industry. Maybe one day I can even be a voice for its members on my side of the world; advocating for support of the safe transport of nuclear material. ”

Candice's research paper on " Can capacity building influence port state control enforcement levels of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention? A study on the Caribbean " can be downloaded here.

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Can capacity building influence port state control enforcement levels of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention?: a study on the Caribbean

14MB, 9 Apr 2021