The link between training and the labour market is one of the major issues facing the modern era, especially given the increased demands of the contemporary business environment. In particular, training new entrants to the labour market is not only an obligation of state bodies, but also businesses.
In this context and focusing on the new generation of professionals of shipping and port services sector, DP World Limassol participated in an internship programme in cooperation with the Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK), giving the opportunity to two senior-year students of the Department of Commerce, Finance and Shipping to get to experience the port’s everyday operations over the course of five weeks.
During their five-week internship, the summer interns worked side-by-side with the people of DP World Limassol, contributing on real projects as they learned about trade and logistics. They had opportunities to connect with senior leaders and they were mentored and supported by the DP World Limassol team, gaining the opportunity to work across a broad range of projects.
The internship mainly aimed at providing students with the opportunity to experience a real work environment, preparing them to join the field of their choice, after they have completed their studies.
From theory to practice
Speaking about their experience at DP World Limassol, Nearchos Nearchou and Christos Anastasiou, expressed their excitement, since they were given the opportunity to fully comprehend about port operation while improving their skills and broadening their knowledge.
“Through the internship programme I was given the opportunity to fully understand how a port operates. Specifically, I understood how the various types of vessels are serviced at the port, from the moment they enter the port, until they depart, as well as how each type of cargo is handled”, said Nearchos Nearchou.
He added, “I now also understand how other departments work such as the finance and the commercial departments, while I was also given the opportunity to obtain useful information from the health and safety, communication and HR departments. I strongly believe that the knowledge I gained from this experience will be very significant for my professional growth”.
At the same time, Christos Anastasiou said: “Our participation in the training sessions on health & safety and Human Resources – that every DP World Limassol staff member is required to attend – was especially significant. Without a doubt, my experience in DP World Limassol was constructive and useful as it comes to my professional growth as well as in terms of the knowledge I gained and the prospects that are opening up”.
“Every student should participate in an internship programme”
Asked if they would encourage more students to do an internship, they both unanimously said that they would.
“Like I said, it was an amazing experience. I believe that each student should do an internship, since they get the opportunity to put theory to practice”, Nearchos said. Christos concurred that “through an internship you can see a different side of the shipping industry from up-close, such as for example, the operation of the port and procedures that are followed.”
Positive outlook for the shipping industry
Aiming to have a successful career in shipping, the two young men expressed optimism for the future of the sector in Cyprus. “Considering that the shipping sector is constantly growing in Cyprus and given the country’s advantageous geographic location as well as the various initiatives taken to promote the sector, I strongly believe that the prospects that are opening up, are very promising”, said Nearchos.
Christos, who had experience in the cruise sector during his internship, shared a similar opinion: “I would say that the shipping and port industry is very promising, filled with opportunities. The cruise sector in particular, is especially interesting. In the framework of my internship, I spent most of my time at the New Passenger Terminal and worked on the DP World Limassol’s 2019 outlook on cruises”, he noted.
Aiming for a long-term collaboration
Referring to the organisation’s collaboration with DP World Limassol, the coordinator of TEPAK’s internship programme, Nicolas Asimenos, thanked the company on behalf of the Department of Commerce, Finance, and Shipping, highlighting that “we would like to express our gratitude to DP World Limassol for giving our students the opportunity to gain practical experience and put their academic knowledge to work, developing necessary skills, while also networking in professional fields related to their future career”.
“We feel both honored and privileged to have been given the opportunity to work with one of the largest port operators in the world and we are looking forward to extending our collaboration in the coming years,” he stated.
On the part of DP World Limassol, Human Resource Manager, Marina Christofi, stressed that investing in continued education is an integral part of the philosophy of the DP World Group.
“DP World Limassol aims to play an active role in the communities in which it operates, and the youth are a key pillar in any prosperous community. Thus, we will continue to support similar initiatives, creating long-term collaborations with qualified organisations”.
“At DP World Limassol, we’re firm believers in the insights, inspiration and sheer hard work that interns can bring, which is why they are such valued members of the team from day one. Every intern offers a fresh set of ideas and is able to contribute something new. We pride ourselves on ensuring each and every intern gets to experience every element of our business, making it an equally rewarding experience for them and us.”