Assembling The Maritime Picture Through Internships

Author picture
MaritimeONE scholar Christal Zhuang’s interest in the maritime industry was ignited when she undertook a Maritime Business diploma at Singapore Polytechnic. Yearning to develop a stronger grasp of the industry, she is now furthering her education in Maritime Studies with the Nanyang Technological University. Having completed a few internships, she speaks on how they have deepened her understanding of maritime, especially in her role as a ship operations intern with “K” Line Pte Ltd.
What was your role in the “K” Line?
I was attached to “K” Line’s bulk division for 10 weeks. This allowed me to take on the role of a ship operator where I had the opportunity to control and monitor vessel operations. Through my internship, I witnessed the different charters and how operations work.
Prior to my stint with ‘K’ Line, I had completed another maritime related internship back in polytechnic. In that role, I had to ensure that vessels were on schedule and travelling on the right route. This is important because delays in schedule will incur heavy costs.
Christal’s past travels
What were some of the difficulties you faced and how did you overcome them?
Communicating effectively was a struggle as I had to work with the different functions of ship management. Some of these stakeholders are based overseas and there were times when I needed a speedy response but experienced delays due to time zone differences. As a link bridge between charterers and shipowners, I had to fully understand their intent to deliver a clear message.
I am fortunate to have an extremely helpful mentor to guide me through this journey. For example, my mentor suggested using Teams to overcome the communication barrier that I faced. Despite the remote working arrangement, he would frequently set up zoom calls to teach me how to use various softwares that I struggled with. I also had a supportive team that I could contact when my mentor was busy.
What are some of the key learning points of your internship?
I really loved how I could experience ship operating in a real-life setting. Having taken ship chartering modules in school, the internship helped to paint a bigger picture of the industry and how the various functions are intertwined.
Christal enjoys crafting in her free time
Has your internship experience broadened your perspective of maritime?
Definitely. I was able to apply theory into practice and added to my knowledge of maritime. In schools, the curriculum is often focused on theoretical knowledge and hypothetical situations. I was able to learn a lot of what happens at the backend only through my internship. The internship also solidified my desire to build a career in ship operating.
What other areas of maritime are you keen on exploring?
Having experienced what ship operations is like, I am interested in exploring roles in other areas such as maritime law and insurance.
Past works created by Christal
Do you think that internships provide undergraduates with a competitive advantage?
I believe that internships are a great learning experience as they give you a sneak peak of the working world and strengthen your career prospects. There is always something that one can take away from internships and you will have the opportunity to meet a diverse range of people. In a collegial industry such as maritime, the relationships forged are extremely precious.
We are always dealing with change in maritime. As my professors like to say, adaptation is key to thriving in this industry. It is important for undergraduates to adopt a positive mindset and be adaptable to different corporate cultures when interning.
Indeed, as Christal says, maritime is undergoing rapid transformation ranging from digitalisation to decarbonisation. There are plenty of opportunities in this dynamic industry and you can experience roles that span across functions such as ship operating to financial management.
Ready to explore the seas of maritime? Apply for the MaritimeONE internships here:


Inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge Grand Finals Prize Presentation

Over 129 tertiary students across 35 teams took part in the inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge that seeks to plug Singapore students with a passion for technology into the maritime industry.
Students from the Singapore Management University and Nanyang Polytechnic were announced as winners of the challenges posed by Eastport Maritime, Kanda and Torvald Klaveness at the Prize Presentation held on 13 November 2021.

MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Three challenge statements, 35 teams, 129 students and 12 finalist teams from 4 universities & 3 polytechnics. Catch behind-the-scene highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021.

Singapore Maritime Foundation | MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Catch highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021. We thank Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport Mr. Chee Hong Tat for being our Guest-of-Honour at the event.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Year-in-Perspective Video

The past two years of learning to live with Covid-19 has been challenging, but Maritime Singapore has remained resilient. What are the fundamental tenets that attract companies to anchor their business in Singapore and grow their operations here? And what more can be done to leverage on Singapore’s strengths to enhance its attractiveness as a global business hub for maritime companies? How will the Singapore Maritime Foundation organize its work around Connectivity, Innovation and Talent to strengthen the maritime ecosystem? Find out in this Year-in-Perspective video.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Opportunities Amid Disruptions

The 2022 SMF New Year Conversations that took place on 13 January 2022 was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport & Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. Over 250 industry leaders across the breadth of maritime attended physically and virtually.
Singapore was announced to have secured the overall top spot as an international maritime centre for the fifth consecutive time in the DNV-Menon Leading Maritime Cities 2022 report.
Thank you to our industry partners for your strong support.

Mr. Lars Kastrup


Mr. Lars Kastrup is the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (PIL).

Prior to joining PIL, Mr. Kastrup was CEO of NOL/APL, and subsequently assumed the role of Executive Vice President, Strategy and M&A at CMA CGM Group. A veteran in the global shipping industry with over 30 years of experience, Mr Kastrup’s other roles include Executive Vice President of Assets at CMA CGM Group heading up CMA Terminals, CMA Ships, Container Logistics as well as regional carriers such as MacAndrews, OPDR and Mercosul; as well as Vice President at AP Moller-Maersk.
Mr. Kastrup complemented his tertiary education with leadership and management training at Penn State University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Angeline Teo


Ms. Angeline Teo is the Managing Director and Head of Global Transportation and Offshore, Global Corporate Banking at OCBC Bank which focuses on the maritime, aviation, land & port ecosystems.
Ms. Teo has spent over three decades in maritime finance. Prior to OCBC, Ms. Teo was working at ING Bank, ABN Amro and DnB in Singapore focusing on maritime and offshore.
Ms. Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Business Administration.

Mr. John Martin


Mr. John Martin began his career in London in 1989 with Richards Hogg Lindley Average Adjusters, and qualified as a Fellow of the UK Association of Average Adjusters in 2000.
At RHL he worked in their offices in Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2003 he joined Gard Hong Kong, as a claims handler. Mr. Martin also worked in Gard Japan, and in 2014 he moved to Singapore to set up the Gard Singapore office.
Besides running Gard Singapore, Mr. Martin also heads the P&I and H&M claims units and is the Senior Claims Representative for Gard in Asia.

Mr. Cyril Ducau


Mr. Cyril Ducau is the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd, a leading shipping company headquartered in Singapore for the past 30 years.

He is also currently the Chairman of Kenon Holdings Ltd and a member of the board of directors of Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd. and of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation Limited, which was established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. He was previously Head of Business Development of Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited in London from 2008 to 2012 and acted as Director and Chairman of Pacific Drilling SA between 2011 and 2018.
Prior to joining Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited, Mr. Ducau was Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Ltd. in London between 2000 and 2008.
Mr. Ducau graduated from ESCP Europe Business School (Paris, Oxford, Berlin) and holds a Master of Science in business administration and a Diplom Kaufmann.