The International Superyacht Society (ISS) has today announced that, with the support of Wright Maritime Group (WMG), it will be providing students that are currently engaged in a yachting relevant curriculum with a one-year free membership to the ISS. SuperyachtNews speaks exclusively with AJ Anderson, managing director of WMG and member of the ISS board of directors, about the motives behind the student initiative.
“The industry is served by mentoring our young professionals to be the next generation of leaders,” starts Anderson. “WMG is honoured to underwrite the ISS’s innovative approach to building sustainability in our most important resource – the human factor.”
Free membership for a year will provide participating students with access to the ISS’s networking calendar, mentoring opportunities, rights to use the society membership logo, voting privileges for ISS leaders, awards and distinctions, as well as discounted Gala tickets.
There are a lot of fantastic young people that are moving through the industry right now that no one is paying attention to - unless they need something.
“Importantly, young people will have the opportunity to build relationships with the ISS’s high level board members and executives,” continues Anderson. “We have shipyard executives, management executives, major publications, events executives, brokerage, designers, naval architects and more.”
According to Anderson, the relationship building will not only give students a chance to further their own educational and career goals, but, it will also provide a tangible opportunity to alter the direction of the superyacht industry by conversing with those individuals that have an active role in the decision-making process. But, the benefit is not one directional.
“I think these kinds of initiatives always need to be sold upstream, as well as downstream,” Anderson explains. “It is equally important for the executives to listen to the students in order for us to make the right adjustments to our own thinking, account for the emerging talent and ensure the health of the superyacht industries future.”
Equally, there is a selfish element to the initiative; quite simply, the superyacht industry is far better off with young talented individuals engaged, mentored and acknowledged than it is if it fails to attract fresh blood and ideas.
“That’s why we’re involved,” Anderson says. “We want the young folks to not only be as good as we are, we want them to better and lift the industry to new heights. There are a lot of fantastic young people that are moving through the industry right now that no one is paying attention to - unless they need something. But, these individuals are so important.”