Why has London been consistently considered a well-known financial and shipping hub for so many years? The answer can be found in its central location, the large number of financial and banking firms, multicultural population and the big chunk of wealth created from the global trade of products and services. You have to experience it yourself to feel and understand the extent of business sophistication and culture of this city.
Before applying for the MBA in Shipping course at Alba back in September 2018 and although I have visited London quite a few times in the past, I was very interested in understanding the impact of a trip to London for a business professional or a student who wants to pursue a career in the Shipping sector. So, a few months after my MBA courses started, without much thinking, I decided to join the Alba London trip and to live the experience of visiting famous shipping organizations, universities and businesses.
London has a long history and tradition in the shipping sector and I understood from day one that it would be beneficial to get a taste of it. The purpose of the trip was to give us the chance to know part of the city’s history by visiting important organizations such as the London P&I Club, the Baltic Exchange and the IMO which have created a great impact in the shipping industry all these years.
By visiting these three places, you get a real taste of the mechanisms, benefits, rules and history of the whole sector and start becoming part of this world. Another great experience was our visit to the Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee lodged in the same building as the Baltic Exchange. Being in this place, you feel the power of Greek shipping companies and the global impact of the Greek shipping activity, while at the same time you learn about the mechanisms, partnerships and history of the shipping sector in London and Greece.
Finally, the Alba London trip didn’t fail to meet the expectations of those who love broking firms and the magic world of chartering and S&P. We had the great chance of visiting the central premises of Clarkson's, feeling the real vibes of chartering and broking services in the city of London and discussing with senior professionals potential job opportunities in the broking sector.
On top of all those interesting visits, the London trip with the Alba team gave me the chance of networking with students from affiliated universities and people from shipping and finance companies who joined few networking events where we participated as a group. During these events, we all had discussions about the new trends in shipping, the challenges of the labor environment and the importance of being a global business professional these days.
Almost one month after the trip, I can frankly admit that visiting the shipping world of London offered me more experiences than I was expecting back in September 2018. My London experience gave me an important perspective of the shipping sector, the chance to meet new people and senior professionals from the industry as well as the ability to see for myself that London is a real financial and shipping hub which has helped in the past Greek and international shipping companies to prosper and become strong players in the market.