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Get on the Right Path Early – Peter Lowen’s Reflection on Interning at Latitude

June 24, 2017

At a young age I knew that life was better on a boat. Whether it be hanging out with family, digging for quahogs, or fishing for striped bass. Much like the striped bass I was hooked. Having the opportunity to grow up on an island and the opportunity of having a boat was a luxury that my family took full advantage of whenever we could. Growing up I always knew I wanted to do something in the marine industry, which led me to my first real job at a marina as a dockhand. Seeing that aspect of the marine industry was new for me assisting others with docking and having to care for others boats like they were my own. It was a fun and rewarding experience making tons of new connections and friends along the way. Then advancing into my junior year of college I decided to try and find something a little more professional and applicable to my future.

One day I came across a for sale sign on a 62’ Oyster at the marina I had been working for and was instantly hooked on the idea of selling yachts for a career. Through a mutual connection I was lucky enough to get an interview at Latitude Yacht Brokerage and was hired. Get involved as much as you can! Any real world experience is extremely helpful and is even more helpful when handing in resumes.

Starting out in the summer time was the perfect time for this internship to begin, I was able to go on sea-trials of vessels, attend showings of luxury 80’ sailing yachts, and experience my first Newport International Boat Show. Being the “all knowing” twenty year old that I am I came into this internship with what I believed to be a plethora of knowledge on boats. Boy was I shocked when I went on my first survey of an older 40’ sailboat. To my keen eye everything seemed to be fine and in order, nothing special but a well kept old boat with some character. I was shocked to find out that the deck of the boat was soaked; the coring had been completely saturated. Water had been seeping in through the gaps in the old caulking around the stanchions and had soaked the decks. Seeing this happen on my first showing of a boat was a bit of a treat and a little discouraging. Another thing that it happened to be was very insightful. I always knew what sailboats were but what were these cutter rigs? There’s a difference between a Ketch, and a Yawl? Bottom line: Anything I had already known was the fourth grade equivalent to what my employers know.

This wasn’t discouraging it was enticing and intriguing for me, to be able to learn so much more about a lifestyle that I love. My best advice for anyone looking to get into the marine industry is to get your foot in the door. I’m 20 years old and I realize that most people are not going to want to list their boat with a 20-year-old kid who hasn’t graduated college yet. What I do have though is the know-how and the experience that I wouldn’t have had until I had graduated and got involved in the business. Getting involved so early allowed me to gain knowledge in the brokerage area and the marine industry overall. Meeting with all these clients and people in the industry has given me a plethora of knowledge that I had not been exposed to before. The face-to-face contact alone was hands down the most important and helpful part of the internship. They can teach you all you want in school about terms and techniques but they can’t teach you how to interact with others in a professional setting. Only experience can do that. Get out there, get an internship, get some experience, and you’ll be on the road to getting a good job and a good career.