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In Focus | First Officer Liam Schembri

It’s a long and challenging journey but worth it in the end.
15th March 2021
The University’s BSc (Hons) Maritime Science degree is a challenging, yet rewarding programme that will prepare you for a Maritime related career. We have spoken to Liam, whose studies in this field have helped him reach the career he is in today.

What is your current role and duties?

My current role is First Officer for Disney Cruise Line.  As a senior watchkeeper my main priority is the safe navigation of the vessel while also overseeing all the daily operations necessary to keep the vessel running.  I am part of a bridge team which works together to keep everything in ship shape and show ready.
I completed a BSc Marine Studies (Hons) Degree.  It was a four year course which included one year at sea as a cadet onboard several different types of ships.
The skills and knowledge gained at University have been instrumental.  There is obviously no substitution for hands on experience, but having a good backbone of theory knowledge and training is key to being able to understand and apply it to real life scenarios.

What was your favourite aspect of that course and why?

The course was very interesting and challenging as the shipping world includes an extremely wide syllabus.  From navigation, maritime law, logistics, ship stability, ship simulator sessions, propulsion systems, crew management, meteorology, to fire fighting and first aid (just to name a few).  My favourite aspect was having the opportunity to learn something new every single day.

What was it that encouraged you to pursue a Maritime career?

My parents had owned boats since I was a very young age.  Spending most of my time with my dad fishing around the harbour or helping him fix and maintain the boats got me interested in shipping.  Pursuing a maritime career seemed like the perfect fit, so I explored the available career opportunities in Gibraltar and decided to pursue it to the highest level which is Master Mariner in order to give me the best possible chance at being successful.

“If you are looking for a career filled with challenges and adventure, this is a good one. And if I had the chance to start over again I would choose the same career path.”

– First Officer, Liam Schembri

Is the aspect of being out at sea something you have enjoyed throughout your career?

It is a fantastic feeling to be sailing out in the open ocean, there are no two days the same and you can really appreciate a clear starry night and power of the sea.

Do you think Gibraltar is a great location for a course in Maritime?

Absolutely! It is a perfect location with having one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world at our door step.  The bay is in constant movement with ships of all types into and out of port making it possible to apply skills learned in the classroom by observing real events.
  • BSc (Hons) & Cadetship

    BSc (Hons) Maritime Science with Cadetship programme

    Our BSc (Hons) Maritime Science programmes are aligned to the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) standards.[...]

    3 Years

    Yes Placement option

    Full Time

    View Course