Shipping and Trade Employability Initiatives and Results
Employability has always been a priority for the School of Law at Swansea. We recognise that LLM students need more than just academic learning to prepare them for their professional futures and to that end, we provide numerous initiatives tailored specially to ensure our students are ready to meet their career challenges head on. These include:
- Offering an optional non-credit bearing module (Employability Skills in the Commercial and Maritime Industry). This module provides practical guidance in the necessary written and oral communication skills required for successful careers post LLM degree. Students will be introduced to the world of job applications and will be taught what they might need to help them to grow and move forward in a career path, including how to recognise and make the most of experience, learning, and knowledge and how to promote themselves effectively, including ways of qualifying as a practicing lawyer.
- Specialised employability advice offered by our dedicated Employability Officers, who also run regular training courses throughout the year.
- A series of guest lectures delivered by distinguished visiting scholars and practitioners intended to offer our students insight into practice, as well as sharing their industry expertise and means to career success.
- The unique opportunity to get involved in mooting, which aims at developing our LLM students’ vital transferable skills by allowing them to apply, practically, the subjects they learn during the course.
- Close links with legal practice and various elements of the shipping and business sectors. Several of our lecturers (Mr Andrew Beale OBE, Dr George Leloudas and Professors Richard Williams, Andrew Tettenborn and Barış Soyer) either have worked in international law firms or have worked closely with them. Members of the postgraduate teaching team also regularly deliver professional development training seminars and lectures for a consortium of city law firms, BIMCO, BP and IATA.
- CV & Cover Letter review sessions offered throughout the year and our Interviewing Skills clinic provide students with the necessary feedback and critical advice to ensure they apply to jobs with their best foot forward.
- Networking events and visits to leading enterprises within the City of London with a view to enhancing our students’ practical understanding of shipping and insurance markets.
Want to learn more about our students’ successes? Visit the 'LLM Students' Destinations' section for more information.
Please see below the testimonials of some of our LLM students who undertook internships in the course of their LLM degree:
Ince & Co
Ince & Co is an international commercial law firm that serves its global client base from offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The School of Law enjoys close links with Ince & Co and the firm provides internship opportunities to our students (especially those enrolled on our LLM degrees in maritime, trade, IP, commercial and oil and gas) on an annual basis. Recently, two of our students have spent part of their summer holiday working at the Ince & Co London office, under the supervision of Ted Graham (Partner).
Hao WU (China)
Hao, who studied her LLB degree at Shanghai Maritime University, was an intern at Ince & Co in 2018 and found the experience to be very useful. She decided to come to Swansea as she heard positive feedback from various employers in China and is of the opinion that our LLM degree is very practical, preparing students in the best possible manner for the job market.
Saghun Sudhir (India)
“I thoroughly enjoyed my amazing work experience at Ince & Co. Working closely with Ted Graham, Partner at Ince & Co., I got an invaluable exposure of how a top law firm functions. During my time at Ince & Co, I assisted the dry shipping team with an advice concerning a cargo claim and possibility of recovering it under the Inter-Club Agreement. I also got an opportunity to attend the Young Maritime Professionals event ‘Sunshine & Shipping Seminar: An update on Shipping and International trade law’ at 20, Essex Street. It was a fantastic networking opportunity to meet professionals from different sectors of shipping. I am grateful to the Shipping and Trade Team at Swansea for providing me with this opportunity. I shall certainly take back fond memories, high-profile contacts and important lessons which will help me in my development as a practitioner”.
Standard P&I Club
Each year, several of our students are given an opportunity to work as interns in insurance companies and P&I clubs. Standard Club is one of the latter and we are proud to be associated with it, especially since they have offered summer internships to several of our students.
Félix Cahagne (France-LLM in International Maritime Law)
The internship at Standard P&I Club has been an outstanding experience for Félix in many respects. In only one week, this opportunity made him appreciate what working in a P&I Club entails. The internship involved a wide range of activities, such as attendance to a number of presentations on different P&I matters, workshops as well as shadowing underwriters and claims managers. Félix particularly enjoyed the time spent at Standard P&I Club as he gained first-hand experience of day-to-day underwriting and claims work. Félix had the chance to meet many interesting people and chat with them about the shipping and insurance market over lunches organized for that purpose.
Theodora Kostara (Greece-LLM in International Maritime Law)
Theodora also found this internship opportunity an extremely valuable experience. The intern week was very well organized by Standard P & I Club to ensure that the interns had hands-on experience of how a P&I Club (and Marine Insurance in general) operates in practice. To that end, Theodora attended presentations from all the departments of the Club (Claims Handling, Underwriting, Syndicates), mentoring sessions, as well as the tour of the Lloyd’s Building and participated in interesting workshops. Moreover, on the last day of the internship, she was invited to make a presentation on a P&I related topic. This opportunity worked as both a motivation for her and as a way for the P&I Club to assess how she has progressed through the internship. Theodora noted that her experience in the internship made her more appreciative of how studying an LLM in a reputable University like Swansea builds up your professional career.
Benthe Menzfeld (Germany-LLM in International Maritime Law)
Benthe attended an internship with Standard P&I Club/Charles Taylor in the Club's offices in London. The internship, which was organised by the Department of Shipping and Trade Law, gave Benthe a practical insight into the P&I business through several presentations on different aspects of the P&I work, workshops and mentoring hours with employees from the Underwriting and Claims Departments. Benthe made very good use of the modules she studied during her LLM degree, i.e. marine insurance, admiralty law and carriage of goods. Furthermore, the excellent working environment and the opportunity offered to her to make her own presentation made the internship a highly challenging, but especially valuable experience. This opportunity has certainly helped her appreciate the complexities of the P&I work and understand what lies ahead.
Min Shen (China-LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law)
During this internship, Min enhanced her understanding of P&I Clubs and how they engage with the legal world. The internship included a number of activities such as lectures and workshops which furthered the existing knowledge that Min has gathered throughout the LLM course on a wide range of topics relating to underwriting, claims and so on. All sessions were very practical and useful. In addition, the P&I Club organised a number of social events with employees from different syndicates; who were all happy to share their experiences and give advice on her future career. Also, Min attended mentoring sessions with mentors from different syndicates. In these sessions, she gained invaluable insight into the daily work of each department.
World Food Programme
Attracted by the reputation of Swansea in the field, in 2015 the Legal Department of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger around the world, established a three-month internship with us which enables one Swansea LLM student to spend 3 months as an intern in Rome. So far, 3 of our students have benefitted from this opportunity, which takes place annually:
Francisco Camps Bas (Spain) (2016)
“During my internship, I had the chance to apply what I learnt at my LLM by carrying out research into legal matters relating to chartering, shipping, aviation, land transport, insurance, procurement, commercial and contracting law. I also assisted in the drafting of a variety of legal documents, including manuals, agreements, contracts and study legal questions. Finally, I was involved in the preparation, pursuit and negotiation of claims. I would like to express my gratitude to the School for organising this invaluable internship opportunity for me.”
Aikaterini Bali (Greece) (2017)
This internship enabled Aikaterini to be involved in a wide range of legal issues relating to WFP’s supply chain: buying large quantities of food (grains, cereals, commodities, sugar, vegetable oil, specialist nutrition) from international trading houses or through regional markets, chartering vessels (or booking containers on liners) to carry it to the countries where it was to be distributed vessels, arranging its overland transport, and arranging for stowage, distribution, and internal transport. Commenting on her experience Ms Bali said: “The internship at the World Food Programme is a unique experience; it is indeed a great opportunity to undertake some valuable legal experience in the humanitarian field while applying my theoretical knowledge of maritime law.”
Katerina Kokkala (2018)
My 3-month internship at WFP has been an amazing experience! I have had the chance to join the Maritime Transport and Insurance Law Branch and work closely with a team of interesting, helpful and hardworking colleagues. During my internship, I was given the opportunity to get involved with the different stages of the supply chain, from the contract of sale to the transportation and the delivery of goods and realise how my theoretical knowledge applies in real life. On top of all however, I have had the pleasure, through my work, to assist people in need and promote WFP's good cause. The idea that your work can improve the everyday life of thousands of people is a great incentive to do your best."
International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
Mr Qi with the Secretary General of the IMO Mr Kitack Lim
Two of our Maritime Law LLM students, Jiancuo Qi from China and Capt Philip Corsano from the United States of America, were accepted as interns by the IMO after a rigorous selection process, and spent several weeks at the organisation's headquarters in London. Both students got the opportunity to observe the meetings of the 7th session of the Maritime Environment Protection Committee and the 67th session of the Technical Cooperation Committee. Commenting on his experience at the IMO, Mr Qi said: “Undertaking an internship at IMO has been a very good experience and has benefitted me in many aspects, including some ways that I did not foresee. I am really grateful for the help, encouragement and kind support the staff have provided me during my studies at Swansea University.”
Captain Corsano continued in a similar fashion: “I attended the technical sessions of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) plenum, and was struck by the deep levels of industry expertise within IMO and its consultants. I was particularly impressed with the head of the MSC, Mrs Sandra Allnutt, who is one of the few women in the industry to achieve senior status.”