David Stone

Senior Induction Fleet Trainer

Shell Oil International

Why did Dave choose this career area?

Dave was in sea cadets as a teenager and became an officer with the naval reserves. At the time, he had no idea that the Nautical Science program even existed. When he learned about it, the program seemed a great fit for his background.

The amazing time off and the excellent salary confirmed his career choice. Dave says, “I don’t know how people who work from nine to five with only the weekends off and two weeks’ vacation per year do it.”

What’s Dave’s educational background?

Dave graduated from Nautical Science at the Marine Institute. High school physics, math, and English prepared him for the program. Since graduating, he has taken every course available to him in order to have the best possible skills.

What’s Dave’s job all about?

Dave works for Shell, a huge multinational company. Shell adds 30 vessels a year to its fleet and hires 30 people a month, worldwide.

Dave has taken advantage of working for Shell, moving to more senior jobs every two or three years. Two years ago, he came on shore to take a training position. In this role, Dave teaches a nine-day course to new nautical staff. He flies out to teach them in a hotel meeting room, which could be located anywhere in the world. He says, “It’s exciting to work with culturally diverse people and a sweet gig if you can get it!”

When he was working as a ship’s officer on a Shell vessel, every day was different. He led a crew of up to seven different nationalities. On a typical voyage, he visited three or four continents, five or six countries, and six or seven ports.

What are Dave’s working conditions like?

Dave’s company flies him to training sites around the world. He packs a bag and gets on the plane; when he arrives at the other end, he looks for a person with a sign saying ‘Captain Stone.’ Dave is taken to a hotel and starts teaching the next day.

When he was a ship’s officer, he arrived in port the same way. After a 10-hour hand over, and not knowing a soul onboard, he would take command of the vessel. He would take it out of port and sail to the next port, likely on the other side of the globe.

Dave enjoyed life at sea. As captain, he felt it was important to have a social function at least once a week. Events included ping pong, X-box games, and Texas Hold’em tournaments, as well as barbeques and darts. Since today’s climate is all about a work/life balance, the crew’s wellbeing comes first. As such, a ‘Safety First’ attitude is essential. The crew measures the risk of every job and puts controls in place to execute the job safety.

Dave notes that living conditions vary from ship to ship. A typical cabin for a junior officer contains a bed, closet, desk, couch, and private bathroom. As officers move up the ranks, the comfort level of their accommodation increases.

What benefits are associated with Dave’s job?

Since graduating, Dave has travelled the world many times over and completed training in the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Philippines, India, and Scotland. He estimates the salary range is between $120,000 and $180,000.

What’s exciting or cool about Dave’s career area?

Through work-related travel, Dave has climbed Mount Fuji and visited the Pyramids, London, New Orleans, St. Lucia, St. Eustatius, Columbia, Venezuela, Porto Rico, Honduras, France, Germany, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, India, Croatia, Bosnia, Iraq, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Korea, Philippines, Egypt, Japan, Spain, and Nigeria.

Dave works six months of the year, with three months on and three months off. He could live anywhere in the world. Due to family and the high standard of living, NL is home. When he is not working, every day feels like Saturday.

What advice would Dave give to people considering a marine transportation career?

Dave recommends this career to people who love travel, learning, and adventure. He thinks the world is an amazing place, and this career offers an outstanding way to see it.