Drawing to a Close – Meet MI’s 2017 Graduation Student Speaker
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chad Mayo has always loved to draw and now he gets to do it for a living – applying engineering and architectural principles to design engineering systems that operate ships and drilling platforms.

The Marystown native will graduate from the Fisheries and Marine Institute’s (MI) Marine Engineering Systems Design (MESD) program today – during which time he will share his experiences with fellow graduates as this year’s Student Speaker.

Educational Crossroads

Mr. Mayo first learned of the MESD program through a family friend as he was completing his first degree.

“I had finished my Bachelor of Science in Biology from Memorial University and was between searching for employment and exploring other educational opportunities,” said Mr. Mayo. “What peaked my interest most about the MESD program was that I always enjoyed drawing and designing things, and the coursework would provide me with a good platform to do it on a professional level.”

At the time, it just felt right and he decided it give it a try. He has never looked back and says, “It’s one of the most rewarding things I have done so far.”

Memorable Experiences

MESD students are trained to work in a number of areas and focus on systems such as bilge, ballast, firefighting, heating, ventilation and numerous other system components. Once they have completed the MESD program and honed their skills, they’re able to choose among many exciting careers, at home or around the world.

During the three-year program, students study ship auxiliary systems, ship power/propulsion systems, electrotechnology, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.

Mr. Mayo describes his final term test in ship design as one of his most memorable times during the program.

“It’s an eight hour exam that forces you to recall all the important things you learned over the previous three years,” he said. “Once completed, it was a realization of how much I actually learned since coming here.”

Celebrating Success

Being selected as the 2017 Student Speaker is not the only accolade that Mr. Mayo has received during this time at MI. Over the past three years, he has received the Ocean Ranger Scholarship, the Donald W. K. Dawe, Marine Institute Student Union Scholarship, the Flight 491 Legacy Fund Scholarship, the Centenary for Responsible Government Scholarship, the Friends of India Scholarship, and the Oil and Gas Week Scholarship.

“I’ve been very lucky to have the chances I’ve had,” he said. “It continues today, as I was able to gain employment in my field immediately after finishing my program, which is fantastic.”

Mr. Mayo recently began a new job with Fleetway Inc., a design and contract company under J.D. Irving.

“As part of my new role, I’ve done design work, engineering changes, data entry, survey work plus much more,” he said. “Most recently I’ve been doing survey work on the new Navy vessels. I get the opportunity to see the vessel first hand which is pretty amazing.”

Actionable Advice

So, what’s the secret to his success? For students just starting out, his advice is to familiarize themselves with their environment.

“Get to know your teachers and classmates early on,” he said. “These people will surround you for the next few years, so it’s extremely important to be able to go to them for advice or help.”

He also says to never give up.

“The MESD program has been extremely demanding at times but it’s meant to test your adaptability and endurance,” he said. “At the end of this program I felt I had reached a higher level of maturity. It allowed me to grow and develop a better work ethic.”

Career Goals

Long term, Mr. Mayo wants to continue working in an area he loves, while doing it well. He is looking forward to seeing where his career with Fleetway takes him.

“If you have a passion for what you do, I feel progression will come naturally,” he said. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity the Marine Institute has given me.”