Alumni are great resources to learn about the myriad of career paths that one can pursue with their Cal Maritime degree. Some alums take more traditional career paths while others embark on journeys that are more unique.

Konnecting Keelhaulers is a Career Services venture that will bring the many different career paths alumni take into one spot. Representatives from Career Services will interview alums about their career paths, what they learned from Cal Maritime that has helped them in the professional world, and what advice they can pass along to current cadets.

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Justin Meyer '02 | Deputy Director of Acquisition Programs, U.S. Coast Guard

Jacob Lassila '18 | Senior Utility Plant Operator, Genentech

Brent Morency '17 | Area Manager, General Dynamics NASSCO

Michael Torreano '19 | AB Tankerman, Kirby

Annie Chan '18 | Service Operations Supervisor, Siemens

Benjamin Potter '17 | Underwriter, Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions

Brian Triggs '13 | Surveyor, American Bureau of Shipping

Kellen Parrish '13 | Senior Program Officer, Partner of the Americas

Jamie Mattos '16 | Fmr. Chief Purser, American Queen Steamboat Company

Patrick Dackins '17 | Assitant Superintendent Central Plant, UC Davis Medical Center

Elijah Jackowitz '16 | Surface Warfare Officer, U.S. Navy

Nicole Light Densberger '21 | Staff Air Pollution Specialist, California Air Resources Board

Alejandro Salgado '17 | Associate Editor, Supply Chain Dive

Darlene Conolly '18 | Mechanical Engineer, Amber Kinetics

Max Rosenberg '03 & '15 | Port Engineer, The Vane Brothers Company

Erika Duarte '18 | Regional Recruiter, ABF Freight

Ryan Mack '19 | Operational Specialist, Curtin Maritime

Brad Westlund '12 & '21 | Director of New Business Development, Stabbert Maritime

Logan Smith '04 & Brian Agosta '03 | Founders & Principal, CriticalArc

Justin Meyer Official PhotoJustin Meyer '02, Mechanical Engineering

Deputy Director of Acquisition Programs | United States Coast Guard

Justin is the Deputy Director of Acquisition Programs for the United States Coast Guard, a job he began in May 2020 after 18 years serving in the United States Navy. Justin's career in the Navy included managing ship building production, maintenance, and weapons systems, participating in the Department of Defense Legislative Fellowship program with Maine's Senator Collins, and deployment to the Persian Gulf.  He also received his Master of Science in Engineering Management from The Catholic University of America.  Justin encourages any cadets wishing to learn more about internship and job opportunities with the United States Coast Guard to reach out to him via email at

What do you do in your role as Deputy Director of Acquisition Programs with the Coast Guard and what is the path you've taken to get there? 0:48

What got you interested in Mechanical Engineering, and then what interested you pursuing this specific career path you have taken? 5:06

What did you learn from Cal Maritime that you were able to take into enlisted service that helped you out in the Navy? 6:58

What do you feel like are the more relevant technical skills that you’ve seen in your role now that have carried through since Cal Maritime? 9:05

Any other transferable skills that you feel like you learned from Cal Maritime that you took into the professional world that set you up for success? 10:44

What would be some advice you would give to students looking into career paths in the Coast Guard and Navy? 12:20

What advice could you give to cadets preparing to go through the application and/or interview process? 14:55

Jacob Profile picJacob Lassila '18, Facilities Engineering Technology

Senior Utility Plant Operator | Genentech

Jacob is a Senior Utility Plant Operator at Genentech in San Francisco. He began at Genentech as a Utility Plant Operator about a week after graduating from Cal Maritime in 2018 and has worked his way up to Lead Operator on his shift since then. Jacob encourages any cadet interested in learning more about Genentech or work as a utility plant operator to reach out to him via email at

You’ve been at Genentech since graduating, tell us about your path within the company as you’ve risen to Senior Utility Plant Operator and Lead Operator and what your role entails there. 0:35

What would you say is the difference between being a Utility Plant Operator and now being in a more senior role? 3:13

You mentioned not knowing everything about your job, even now, so can you talk a little bit about your internship with Genentech and how much of that was a learning process. 7:45

You were at Genentech for two years interning, what was the process for transitioning to full time? Did they approach you and say, “Hey Jacob apply for this opening we are going to have?” What was that process for you? 12:52

Thinking back now a little bit to Cal Maritime, how do you feel the overall Cal Maritime education prepared you for your internship with Genentech and then your transition, and the FET program specifically? What were the things, class wise or whatever that really prepared you? 15:35

Thinking back to your time at Cal Maritime, what is something you wish you had done differently in preparation for your career? Or what did you stress about in college when it came to career that seems trivial now? 24:38/28:52

What is your favorite part of your job at Genentech? What is the most challenging aspect? 32:20

What advice do you have for students interested in being a Utility Operator? 37:52

Closing thoughts. 43:33

Brent Morency profileBrent Morency '17, International Business and Logistics

Area Manager | General Dynamics NASSCO

Brent is an Area Manager at General Dynamics NASSCO, where he is tasked with overseeing a particular part of the ship building process. Brent was able to secure an internship with NASSCO while at Cal Maritime through networking, and he was able to convert that into a role in the Professional Development Program they offer and, finally, full time employment. As a former transfer, Brent highlights how important it is to get involved quickly and begin the networking process almost the moment you step on campus. If you are interested in learning more about what Brent has done at NASSCO, he encourages you to reach out to him on LinkedIn.

What was your progression up to Area Manager and what do you do in that role? 0:33

How did you secure an internship with NASSCO and what were some takeaways from the internship? 1:44

Tell us about the rotations in the Professional Ddevelopment Program that you went through and how they work to transition you from intern into the PDP and then into full time. 2:34

When you transitioned out of the PDP, did you get to pick where you wanted to go or did they assign you to your current position? 4:03

How did you pick Cal Maritime and the IBL program and then how did you begin figuring out where you wanted your career path to go? 4:45

Was NASSCO always a place you had your eye on or did learn more about them when you transferred to Cal Maritime and went to Career Fair? 6:20

Where do you think the IBL program really prepared you for your internship and job at NASSCO and where did you find yourself having to do a little learning on your own to augment the education? 7:30

What were NASSCO's expectations of an intern coming in? Were they expecting a lot of technical skills or was it more people skills and attitude? 9:06

Did you see benefits from being in the Corps as you entered the professional world and kind of preparing you for that? 10:09

What are some of your favorite things you like about the job and what are most challenging parts aspects that you found? 11:20

What advice would you give to cadets looking to get in with NASSCO? 12:43

Closing thoughts. 13:42

Michael Torreano '19, Marine Transportation

AB Tankerman | Kirby

Michael is an AB Tankerman at Kirby where he’s been since graduating. For license track students who aren’t looking to join a union, Michael stressed that making connections with recruiters through company presentations and career fairs are the best way to secure employment post-graduation, as well as developing your network to aid in summer employment in the industry outside of cruise time. He also highlighted how important Microsoft Excel skills are on the ship, encouraging any cadet to take the time to practice their skills there, whether through a class or on your own. Michael encourages any cadet interested in learning more about Kirby or life as a deckie in general to reach via LinkedIn.

Now that you’ve been with Kirby for over a year, what have you learned in the role? How have things changed in the last year in dealing with the pandemic? 0:33

As an AB Tankerman, what are some things that you are doing, maybe not a day in the life, but typical things you are doing on the vessel? 3:10

What got you interested in the maritime industry and inspired you to pursue this path? 5:00

How did you go about deciding what type of vessel and what company/companies you wanted to sail with for commercial cruise? What factors were you considering? What experiences were you looking to gain? 6:21

What were the differences you saw in working inland waters and being out at sea? 8:38

How did you go about getting work on a tug in the summer after your freshman cruise? 10:48

What are somethings you might have done differently in college now that you have experience in the professional world? 12:55

What are some ways outside of the MT program that Cal Maritime prepared you for the professional world? 15:40

How did get your job with Kirby? What are some things a senior might do? Walk us through the steps in your search process and somethings you learned from that. 17:27

What advice would you give to cadets in the application/interview process? 20:24

What are length of your hitches at sea and how long do you have your time off? As a mariner, how do you balance long times at sea and at home? What was that adjustment like? 22:07

Closing thoughts. 25:15

Annie smilingAnnie Chan '18, Facilities Engineering Technology

Service Operations Supervisor | Siemens

Annie and Ryan have a freewheeling conversation where Annie continually stresses how important networking has been for her, whether it has helped her gain opportunities or setting her up with conversations to learn from experienced people in her field. She also touches on how failure should not be seen reflexively as a bad thing, as she weaves in her story about how she came to wanting to pursue a career in automation. Annie encourages any student who wants to learn more about Siemens and automation to reach out to her via email at

What are the different roles you’ve had at Siemens, and what you are doing now as a Service Operations Supervisor? 0:38

What did you have to go through to get your job at Siemens? How long did you search process take until you got your offer? 8:17

What were some of the similarities and differences of your two internships with Vigor and Trinchero Family Estates Winery? How did these different experiences help you when you started looking for jobs? 11:07

What did you do for the wind engergy company you worked with before you attended Cal Maritime? 15:15

What got you interested in Facilities Engineering after doing some more mechanical based engineering? 16:25

What are some things you found you had to go above and beyond the curriculum at Cal Maritime to prepare you for internships and jobs? 18:23

How did your freshman training cruise help build your engineering skills, especially to the various positions you have worked in following the cruise? 22:25

Do you know what kind of master’s programs you are looking for or just looking overall still? 28:04

What are some certifications or professional groups FETs should be looking into that can help them build their skills and connect to other industry professionals? 28:56

Any advice for cadets in their internship and/or job search? 34:15

Closing thoughts. 37:04

Benjamin Potter profileBenjamin Potter '17, Global Studies and Maritime Affairs

Underwriter | Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions

Benjamin discusses how he got started in marine underwriting, a chance happening he says is common in the industry. He was able to take the critical thinking skills and ability to develop an argument from writing many papers for his GMSA degree into his work where he is arguing positions on why and how much they will ensure a ship, it’s crew, and cargo for. Benjamin says a great way to begin to dive deeper into the industry is looking into obtaining designations for underwriting which will give one needed cache when getting started. He encourages any cadet wishing to learn more about what he does and the various avenues within the industry to reach out to him on LinkedIn.

What do you do as an underwriter? What are they type of clients you service? 0:35

You joined Intact right out of college, describe what you did in your underwriter trainee program and the benefits of from getting started in the industry through this route. 2:32

When did you start to see marine underwriting as a career you wanted to pursue? How did Cal Maritime prepare you for this position? 4:07

You interned with the Coast Guard and California State Lands Commission, neither working with marine underwriting. What did you learn from those positions that you have taken into your career? 6:12

What do you wish you had done differently in college? What did you stress about in college that seems trivial now? 10:15

How has your GSMA degree been beneficial for your career? 12:21

What advice do you have students interested in marine underwriting? Are there internships and things of that nature that current students could look into? 19:00

What does a path forward in underwriting look like for you from this point? 22:33

What is your favorite part of the job? What is your most challenging? 25:02

What benefits did being a member of the Corps give you as you entered the professional world? 27:08

Closing Thoughts 28:50

Brian at WorkBrian Triggs '13, Marine Engineering Technology

Surveyor | American Bureau of Shipping

Brian currently works at the American Bureau of Shipping as a Surveyor where he is currently the project lead for the first vessel of the John Lewis class vessels for Military Sealift Command. Prior to this, he worked at General Dynamics NASSCO for 6 years, where he was in the Professional Development Program before working in the shipyard. He was a transfer student who credits his advisor for helping him complete his Cal Maritime education in 3 years while being active with on campus jobs and in the Corps of Cadets. Brian encourages any cadet who wishes to learn more about what he does to reach out to him at

How long have you been at ABS, what do you do in your role as a surveyor, and what projects are you currently overseeing? 0:37

What was your role with NASSCO and what were some of the similarities and/or differences compared to your current job? 1:42

What made you pursue employment shoreside instead of sailing? How did you see your commercial cruise with MSC prepare you for work in the shipyard? 3:35

When did you do your internship with the Coast Guard and what did it entail? 4:50

You were a transfer from Cal Poly Pomona into the MET program, which is not a common path for cadets at Cal Maritime. How did you integrate yourself into the Cal Maritime community and the rigorous academic path here? 5:56

Discuss how your various on campus jobs, leadership roles, and club involvement gave you skills that you have used at NASSCO and ABS. 7:20

Thinking to your role at NASSCO and now as a surveyor for ABS, what advice would you have for current cadets interested in pursing these types of positions? 9:26

What are your favorite and most challenging parts of your job now as Surveyor? 10:45

Closing thoughts. 11:34

Kellen at workKellen Parrish '13, International Business and Logistics

Senior Program Officer for Economic Development and Health | Partner for the Americas

Kellen currently works with the country of Myanmar, as well as countries in the Caribbean and Latin America to secure grant funding to update and improve their agricultural and farming infrastructure. Before joining Partners for the Americas, he received his Master's in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis and worked in the Peace Corps in Guatemala post-graduation, where he also taught several classes. He has also worked with fish farming and companies committed to sustainable fishing. Kellen encourages any cadet at Cal Maritime interested in international work to take advantage of the international focus of the curriculum on campus, especially learning another language. Any cadet who would like to learn more about NGOs, forging a path to work abroad, or has any other questions for Kellen can reach him at

Take us through your journey career journey and how you ended up with Partners of Americas. 0:52

What do you do as a Senior Program Officer with Partners of the Americas? 11:33

How do work out your schedule of living on the West Coast with East Coast office hours, and do you have any tips for people working from home? 14:35

What drew you to pursuing such an international focus in school and work? 20:00

How have you seen Cal Maritime prepare you for your career path and in the various jobs you’ve held? 24:25

What made you return to school to get a Master’s after a couple years of work? 29:30

What have been some skills that you have utilized in all or most of your jobs? Those transferable skills we always hear about. 33:35

How did you go about getting jobs with NGOs such as Clean Fish, Research Innovation Fellowship for Agriculture, and Partners of the Americas? 36:00

Closing thoughts and advice. 39:20

Jamie at work on a vesselJamie Mattos '16, Global Studies and Maritime Affairs

Fmr. Chief Purser | American Queen Steamboat Company

Jamie Mattos had worked in the inland cruise industry until the pandemic hit in March 2020. She candidly discusses being laid off in September and how it has spurred her on to look for a transition out of the cruise industry. Jamie details how she got interest in sailing as a GSMA major, completing her Co-Op as the manager of Pirate's Cove on the TSGB before interning with Alcatraz Cruises and then working with AQSC. Jamie also highlights how she felt the Corps of Cadets greatly helped her be ready to enter the professional world. She encourages you to reach out to her via email with any questions you might have about her time in the cruise industry or to chat about building your own professional network at

How was your lay off handled during the pandemic and how has your job search been going since? 0:38

What have you found different about the job search during an economic recession compared to when you graduated from Cal Maritime? Any things you would advise during this time for students looking for jobs? 5:57

You held various roles at American Queen Steamboat company, including Onboard Human Resources Coordinator and Purser before being the Chief Purser. Tell us about what drew you to non-licensed sailing, the company and what you did in these roles. 7:57

On taking an internship or job you didn’t feel prepared for or taking a small step back to prepare for a bigger step forward. 16:40

What would you say is the difference between being a purser and a chief purser? 19:23

What made you leave the West Coast for an internship, how did you go about finding housing, and what did you do for the Canal Barge Company in New Orleans? 23:15

How did the Cal Maritime curriculum, both GSMA and overall, prepare you for your internships and jobs, and how did you have to go above and beyond the curriculum? What benefits did being a member of the Corps give you as you entered the professional world? 30:50

What advice would you give cadets looking to become a purser? 37:30

Closing thoughts. 40:36

Patrick in an engine roomPatrick Dackins'17, Marine Engineering Technology

Assistant Superintendent Central Plant | UC Davis Medical Center

Patrick Dackins has now worked at the UC Davis Medical Center for 2.5 years, first as a co-gen operator and currently as the Assistant Superintendent for the Central Plant. Before working at the UC Davis Medical Center, he sailed for one year with SeaRiver Maritime when it was a subsidiary of Exxon Mobile. Patrick touches on his time at Cal Maritime as a non traditional student, as well as his career path that has brought him to his current position. One thing he stresses as he does hiring for plant engineers at UC Davis Medical Center is to be very thorough on your resume, if something might be relevant, put it on. If you would like to reach out to Patrick and discuss his role or any other career related questions, he is available on LinkedIn.

Now that you are a couple months into your role as Assistant Superintendent of the Plant at the Hospital, what has the transition been like and what new responsibilities have you gained? 0:42

As a Co-Gen operator, what was your typical work like and what was the schedule you kept? 1:50

Before working at the hospital, you sailed for about a year. What type of vessel did you sail on, what was your route, and what were your roles on the ship? 3:12

What made to transition shoreside and how did you get connected with UC Davis Medical Center? What was your process in looking for a new job? 4:50

What have you found in your current role that is particularly relevant from your time sailing and what should engineers transitioning from sea to shoreside be highlighting on their resumes? 9:50

Did you see your license as a requirement or preferred qualification on job postings? Did you see that helping you out in your job search process? 11:42

Beyond commercial cruise, how did you leverage your years at Cal Maritime through jobs and on campus involvement to set yourself up post-graduation? 13:04

You came to Cal Maritime at a later age, what made you get interested in Marine Engineering Technology and decide to go back to school? What advice would you give to non-traditional age cadets as they go through their career at Cal Maritime? 17:35

What is one thing you miss about sailing? 19:45

From a mental wellbeing standpoint, how did you and your wife handle missing the birth of your first born? 21:39

What is one thing you love about your job now? 23:12

Does UC Davis Medical Center offer any internships or are they looking for new grads to hire? 25:10

Closing thoughts. 29:33

Elijah at seaElijah Jackowitz '16, Global Studies and Maritime Affairs

Surface Warfare Officer | U. S. Navy

Elijah Jackowitz has been with the United States Navy since October 2018, following a brief stint working as a Shipping Agent with Norton Lilly in Los Angeles. He is currently stationed in the Hawaiian Islands. Elijah touches on his path in the Navy, where he has used it to get back in touch with his love for being on the water as well as challenge himself mentally, physically, and professionally. He also discusses his unique path at Cal Maritime as both a transfer student and a December graduate, as well as how he traversed the shaky landscape of graduating without a job already lined up. He encourages any cadet who wishes to speak with him about his experiences at Cal Maritime, his job search post graduation, or his roles with Norton Lilly and the Navy to reach out to his email at

You had a few years and some work in between graduation and enlisting in the Navy, so what made you enlist and what do you do as a Surface Warfare Officer? 0:48

How did you get hired by Norton Lilly and what were you doing for them as a ship agent? Is there any difference between serving the Port of LA and the Port of Long Beach? 5:20

How did you deal with not having a job lined up upon graduating from Cal Maritime? 7:55

What led you to major in GSMA and how have you seen the benefits of your Cal Maritime education at both Norton Lilly and in the Navy? 10:03

Who did you intern with while at Cal Maritime and why? How did this help with your professional development? 12:24

You studied colloquial Arabic in Egypt and received a certificate for it. Why did you pursue this and how has it helped you in your career? 13:50

What is something or somethings you found yourself worrying about at Cal Maritime that you have found to be largely inconsequential in your career? What is something or somethings you wish you had paid more attention to at Cal Maritime? 15:22

What is one thing you liked about Norton Lilly and enjoy in your work with the Navy? 18:07

What was something you found challenging about Norton Lilly? What is something you have found challenging in the Navy? 20:25

What advice would you have for cadets looking into career paths with either Norton Lilly through the shipping agent route or through the Navy? 22:30

Closing Thoughts. 26:41

Nicole at port over containersNicole Light Densberger '21, Transporation and Engineering Management

Staff Air Pollution Specialist | California Air Resources Board

Nicole Light Densberger is a graduate of Cal Maritime's Master's in Transportation and Engineering Management program. She currently works for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) where she has been since 2016. At CARB, she is able to combine her love of the maritime industry with her newfound interests in transportation and leadership. Nicole touches on the differences working for the private and public sector, what has driven her to pursue challenges both personally and professionally, and how she has pursued her passion while finding new ones. If anyone wants to reach out to Nicole to discuss her path the the master's program or her professional work, you can email her at

What factors played a role in you deciding to pursue your masters here at Cal Maritime and how did you choose your focus in the program? Also, how did you juggle school and work? 0:48

How did your undergrad studies in Meteorology at Oklahoma and your work with Weathernews and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) prepare you for the master program and what new things did you have to learn in the program? 4:40

What were the personal challenges of moving from Oklahoma to California and what were the professional challenges of changing from Weathernews to CARB? 8:42

Talk about the two roles you’ve had at CARB and what is a typical day or week like for you? What do typical projects look like? 11:19

What are the most relevant, technical and/or transferable, skills you use in your current role as a Staff Air Pollution Specialist? What have been the most relevant transferable skills that have endured throughout your career? 14:02

In what ways has the master’s program at Cal Maritime enhanced your career whether in the present or looking towards the future? 15:54

What are your favorite and most challenging parts of your job with CARB? 17:57

How have your priorities changed as your career progressed? 20:37

What advice do you have for undergrads or master’s students starting out in the workforce or changing roles? 24:40

Do you feel like you’ve found your passion and what has your process been? 28:06

Closing thoughts. 31:12

Alejandra at workAlejandra Salgado '17, International Business and Logistics

Associate Editor | Supply Chain Dive

Alejandra Salgado is an IBL grad whose career journey has taken her from working in maritime operations to journalism covering the U.S. supply chain. She touches on some of the fears she had making a career change, but what helped her push through and chase her journalism dream while incorporating her schooling and the connections she had made in the maritime industry. Alejandra connects how Cal Maritime helped prepare her for the professional world through her studies and internships, developing both technical and transferable skills that have helped her suceed. Some lasting advice she gives include: don't be afraid to try something new,  don't compare yourself with others, join professional associations in your field, and to show belief in yourself during the interview process. If you would like to connect with Alejandra to speak more about her journey or for any advice, especially first generation college students, you can reach out to her via LinkedIn or her email, If you are in the maritime industry and think you might be able to help Alejandra in a story on supply chain, reach out here.

Take us through how you went from an IBL major to working as an Associate Editor for Supply Chain Dive. 0:38

What initially drew you to Cal Maritime and the IBL program? 3:25

How did your internships while at Cal Maritime prepare you for the professional world upon graduation? 4:54

After graduation, you worked in various roles. What were some of the technical skills you used as an Operations Coordinator for Hamburg Sud and an Associate Manager for APL? 6:59

What transferable skills have endured through your internships and jobs? How did the IBL program and Cal Maritime at large help you develop these skills? How do you connect your major to journalism and, specifically, working for Supply Chain Dive? 8:11

What kind of stories are you working on now at Supply Chain Dive? What's a typical day or week like for you? 10:10

In your reporting, what have you seen as the main issues with our current supply chain issues? 12:25

How did you make decisions to move from one job and company to another? 14:18

What advice could you give to cadets preparing to go through the application/interview process? What advice do you have for cadets starting out in a new job? 18:00

How have mentors played a role in your career? How can a mentee seek a mentor? 19:52

How have your priorities changed as your career progressed? 22:15

What have been your favorite and most challenging parts of transitioning to journalism? 24:26

Closing thoughts/advice. 27:00

Darlene Conolly '18, Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineer | Amber Kinetics

When Darlene Conolly wanted to return to school, she found Cal Maritime to be one of three public universities that would take her as a post baccalaureate. Discover a newfound love for math, she enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering, license track program and graduated in three years. She found the orgranization of Cal Maritime help her excel in her transition from journalism to engineering, while learning much through her participation in the Collegiate Wind Competition (which Cal Maritime won) and her assistance with a CSU COAST grant. Darlene took these skills with her to Amber Kinetics, where she helped the small company in the energy storage field, helping lead a team of engineers and becoming a bearings "expert." She stresses continual learning and perseverance when faced with challenges at work. Darlene will being a new position with the Pillar Point Harbor Patrol in the new year so she can get back around the water. If you'd like to connect with Darlene, you can reach out to her via LinkedIn.

Tell us a little about your background and career profession. 0:58

How did your mindset at Cal Maritime differ from your first degree? What skills and experiences from your gap in schooling helped you succeed at Cal Maritime? What was difficult about transitioning back to school? 7:22

In addition to the required Commercial Cruise, you also worked on the wind team and had a grant with CSU Coast. What made you get involved with both of those? How did they enhance your engineering skills? 12:03

Put yourself back a few years to when you were in your undergrad program- what did you do (or would have done) then that you would you advise students do now? Thinking with some specifics for cadets who return to school. 17:10

As a license track ME, how did you make the decision to stay shoreside over sailing? What factors played a role? 19:43

What made you decide to go license track over unlicensed? 22:10

What do you do at Amber Kinetics? How has your role progressed since you started almost 3 years ago? 24:58

What skills did Cal Maritime teach you that you have taken into this role? What skills through your total work history has transferred to mechanical engineering? 29:15

What advice do you have for cadets in the interview process? Specifically for cadets who switched careers and returned to school? 30:50

One skill, technical or transferable, if someone wanted to get into similar work in energy storage? 34:38

What is the next step you are transitioning to in your career? 38:00

Closing thoughts/advice. 42:34

Max on a tug with sonMax Rosenberg '03 Mechanical Engineering and '15 Transportation and Engineering Management

Port Engineer | The Vane Brothers Company

Max Rosenberg is a double graduate of Cal Maritime, both the BS Mechanical Engineering licensed program and the MS Transportation and Engineering Management program. He currently works as a port engineer with Vane Brothers after an 8 year career on Crowley tugs and other stops with Alcatraz Cruises, Harley Marine, and The GBS Group. Max hits on a wide range of topic such as various work roles as a port engineer, what it was like heading back to school and the differences between external motivation as an undergrad and external motivation as a master's student, and the mentality it takes to continue growing in your profession. Some other highlights are how to project confidence but not cockiness in interviews, the importance for systems tracing and English classes in undergrad, and entry points into working on tugs for recent grads. With only 1 engineer aboard, you probably will start out as an AB. Hope you enjoy and if you have any questions for Max or want to connect further, you can reach him at

What led you to transfer to Cal Maritime as an undergrad? What led you to return for your master’s degree? 0:56

Even though you stayed in the same industry, could you see a change in mindset and interests when you went back to school for your master’s? 6:05

What were some highlights from your 8 years with Crowley? How did you progress through the company? What advice would you give licensed engineers on getting started in the industry? Were you a member of a union? 7:21

What factors contributed to you transitioning out of Crowley to port engineering? 15:35

How’d you decide when it was time for a change from one company to the next? How’d you make decisions once you received offer(s)? 17:20

Talk a little about the different work you did with these companies, specifically thinking about the port engineer positions compared to your time as a project manager with The GBS group. 20:53

While working towards your master’s degree, how did you balance work, family life, and school? 28:30

Through your various roles as an engineer, what are some skills that have endured? What are skills that you’ve had to pick up along the way, whether due to new roles or advancing technology and new practices? 30:42

Besides learning an academic major, what do you as an employed alumnus recommend cadets do to be attractive to employers for internships and full-time jobs? 34:40

What bottom line tip can you give cadets about their career development? 37:28

Closing thoughts. 38:04

Erika Duarte, '18 Global Studies and Maritime Affairs

Regional Recruiter | ABF Freight

Erika Duarte sits down with Career Sevices to discuss  what drew her to the GSMA major, how networking with upperclassmen really helped her understand career options, and how she ultimately decided to pursue a career with ABF Freight. She emphasizes how to utilize transferable skills learned at Cal Maritime in her career endeavors and working to find you rplace within a company and how it matches with your core values. In her role as operations manager, she used her problem solving, communication, and leadership skills eveloped both at Cal Maritime and throught ABF's management trainee program. Now, Erika looks to identify new talent to bring into ABF in her role as regional recruiter and is always interested to hear from Cal Maritime cadets and alums looking for a start with ABF. You can reach out to her with any questions at or 209-792-1362.

Tell us how you got your start at ABF Freight and what you’re doing now in your new role as Regional Recruiter? 1:18

What led you to selecting Cal Maritime and the GSMA major? 9:09

As a transfer student, you have a unique experience, including obtaining your for-credit internship the summer after you finished classes then completing your thesis in the fall. How did Cal Maritime prepare you for that internship with Marriott and what did you do for them? 12:00

For both Marriott and ABF, how did Cal Maritime, the Corps of Cadets, and the GSMA program prepare you? 16:28

As an operational supervisor for ABF, describe your role and what a typical day or week was like? 18:45

What are the most relevant skills you have used in your roles with ABF? What have you been able to take from Cal Maritime and what have you learned since leaving? 25:33

What got you interested in operations? What advice do you have for cadets interested in operations? 29:20

What do you wish you had done differently in college? What did you stress about in college that seems trivial now? 30:42

What advice could you give to students preparing to go through the application/interview process? What advice do you have for cadets starting out in a new job? 32:24

Closing thoughts/advice. 35:48

Ryan at workRyan Mack, '19 Global Studies and Maritime Affairs

Operational Specialist | Curtin Maritime

Ryan Mack sits down with Career Services to discuss how he's combined his love of hands on work in the maritime industry, policy and regulations into an operational role with Curtin Martime. He highlights how his internship on the TSGB as manager of Pirate's Cove reinforced his love for sailing, getting started at Curtin doing a months work of needlegunning, and his work with his policy focused think tank on the side. He wants cadets to know how valuable it is to chase your passions and find your inner curiosity so that they can manifest themselves in work. If interested in a job at Curtin Maritime go to their jobs page and/or reach out to Ryan at his email.

What brought you to Cal Maritime and how did you decide on the Global Studies and Maritime Affairs major? 0:49

What did you do for your internship and how did it help you as you figured out what you wanted to do post-graduation? 1:32

Explain more about your job as an operations specialist such as a typical day and your responsibilities. How did you land with Curtin? 3:22

How’d you get into writing policy papers? 5:53

Being that you are on an atypical route for a GSMA grad, how did your degree help prepare you for your work with Curtin? What made you decide to sail? 8:09

You’re doing think tank work on the side, what are you specifically working with that? 10:55

Talk about the process you have gone through in obtaining your MMC. 13:25

What are the most relevant technical and transferable skills you use in your role? 15:01

What are your favorite and most challenging parts of your job? 16:57

What advice could you give to current cadets preparing to go through the application/interview process? What advice do you have for cadets starting out in a new job? 18:18

How did you find what you were interested in to pursue in your career? 20:40

Last remarks 24:27

Brad Westlund headshotBrad Westlund, '12 Marine Transporation & '21 Transporation and Engineering Management

Director of New Business Development | Stabbert Maritime

Brad Westlund chats with Career Services about his career with Amnav, his time at Cal Maritime, and what led him to start his recent position with Stabbert Maritime. He stresses thinking outside the box in new roles or when working cross discipline to help build professional skills. He has experience both sailing and shoreside, discussing how finding his passions within the maritime industry have led him to a fulfilling career. Brad wants all cadets to know they should be confident in their skills, but also to be open about what they don't know, never overstating your ability, as companies will take the time to teach the finer points. Lastly, he hightlights how the Cal Maritime network has great reach with tons of people willing to give advice and help get your career started. If you want to reach out to Brad, you can shoot him an email at

Before we dive into your career path, what made you choose Cal Maritime for undergrad and master’s? 0:57

How have your degrees been beneficial for your career? 3:02

Take us through all your various roles at Amnav. How’d you decide to look for new opportunities within the company? How’d you handle having multiple roles? 4:23

Through your time at Amnav, what were particular skills that stood out that were consistent through your various roles? 7:10

What were your favorite and most challenging parts of working at Amnav? 9:38

After those 14 years, what made you decide to jump to Stabbert Maritime? What do you do in your role as Director of New Business Development? 11:22

In either Amnav or at Stabbert, what types of roles do you see for new Cal Maritime grads? 13:00

What types of certifications have you obtained that have been particularly beneficial for your roles? 16:32

What did you worry about in college that seems trivial since you’ve been in your career? What did you wish you had known in college? 19:15

Beyond academic knowledge, what do you think can make a cadet attractive for internships and full-time employment? 21:37

Closing thoughts. 25:22

Critical Arc GroupLogan Smith, '04 & Brian Agosta,  '03 Mechanical Engineering

Founders & Principal | CriticalArc

Alums Logan Smith and Brian Agosta sit down with Career Services to discuss what brought them to Cal Maritime, their divergant career paths once leaving, and how they ended up starting their commissioning engineering firm, CriticalArc. They highlight how skills in classes such as systems and schematics have been both beneficial in engineering as well as starting a company, namely how to break down processes to smaller portions and refining problem solving skills. Both stress the confidence the education and experiences here gave them as they started their professional careers. At CriticalArc, they have been very proud of the work they did for Tesla's first gigafactory in Sparks, NV, what they enjoy about commissioing work, and the skills it takes to succeed in the field. If you are interested in connecting with Logan and Brian, they can be reached at and

Critical Arc logo

Take us through your career path up to now. 1:08

What specifically the license track mechanical engineering program? 10:36

How did you feel the hands-on nature of the education through commercial cruse, the training ship, and the curriculum prepared you for your professional career? 14:14

What gave you the confidence to take the leap with commissioning engineering when you didn’t really know what it was or what appealed to you without having a full understanding when starting out? 19:00

How did everything up to that point prepare you to start CriticalArc? What were some things you had to learn through the process? 23:35

What have been some of your favorite projects or contracts to work on at CriticalArc? 31:55

What do you look for in when hiring new employees? What skills are critical to being a strong commissioning engineer? 36:42

Closing thoughts. 39:50