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Intelligence Hunt – Exceeding the Comfort Zones, Learning by Sharing and Promoting the Maritime Industry to the Next Generations

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Intelligence Hunt is a concept created by SeaFocus just over a year ago to serve the two important challenge areas of the maritime businesses. Shipping industry especially is continuously lacking talents and interests of the future generations as job seekers, and on the other hand, students are lacking direct connections from the industry to differentiate themselves in the job market. Intelligence Hunt aims to support the maritime industry to be seen as the most attractive industry in the world, where the top students compete to get into great positions and where the industry utilises the modern technologies and top-level intelligence and thus become even more competitive mode of transportation for the shippers.

SeaFocus is a unique business platform, a fully independent and neutral privately run company, which seeks to work for the benefit of the maritime industry. The company is run by ‘waterproof’ entrepreneurs, with backgrounds as shippers, top-level management consultants and industry lobbyists, with a wide and global network. Thus, SeaFocus can react quickly to changes or needs of its partners and stakeholders.

Global teams compete to shape the future of the maritime industry

How does the concept work in practice? The Intelligence Hunt brings together companies and universities to work on real cases and to aim to technically and commercially viable out-of-the box concepts. The roughly two and half months lasting project culminates to the finals twice a year, one in November and the other in May-June. International individual university students are welcomed to apply as candidates, to challenge themselves, their universities, even ultimately the national and international further education systems and structures, as well as cooperating with the industries and the future employers. The cases cover a variety of maritime business areas and current development interests, up to the core logistics challenges or e.g. expansion strategies of the shippers.

The students are chosen to work on a case do not necessarily know each other in advance. They are all from different universities and faculties, and from different countries and cultures. They receive mentorship from a top management advisor with a background in international trade and global supply chain management, and report to the company key person, who sometimes even has a position in a company’s management team. This way Intelligence Hunt wants to simulate the future work environment in the global companies, and prepare the students to be more ready to the global corporate working environments.

What do the students gain? They experience the real life timetable and midterm reporting pressure, learn to lead a team formed by different kind of personalities with different kinds of working methods, and be responsible for a case company of the quality of their work. The students in the best case get an internship or a Master’s Thesis theme from their case company, or employed by another company seeing them live on the stage in the finals.

The #IntelligenceHunt3 project finals was on 12th June in Gothenburg. Total of 77 students finished the project and 4 teams were awarded. The winning team of students from Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Åbo Akademi Turku, Finland and Tampere University of Technology will travel to Lisbon in the autumn to a two-day tour hosted by Executive Director of EMSA. The team has received a 2000 € stipend from the Finnish Maritime Foundation and a one year coaching and mentoring programme as individuals or as a team, by a leading expert of terminal operations Mr Frank Kho, Senior Advisor at Kho Management B.V. The Winners will also be sitting in the jury of the #IntelligenceHunt4.

In just 13 months, there has been already three Intelligence Hunt projects, in which altogether 27 case companies have been challenging themselves, the students, the jury and even the audience. A total of 200 students from more than 30 different countries and over 30 different universities so far have gone through the experience of such a new way of project work. From testimonials, one can study the very positive experiences of both the companies and the students.

How can students get involved in the Intelligence Hunt competition?

The #IntelligenceHunt4 student registration has started in June and will finish on the 10th of August. The Finals will take place on the 14th Nov 2018 in Helsinki Onboard M/S Silja Symphony in the Port of Helsinki. SeaFocus again expects to have over 100 students as applicants. From those candidates maximum 60 will be selected to work on maximum 12 different company cases as IntelligenceHunt4 Finalists. The registration form is available for students who are interested in participating in the project.

Also taking a challenge itself, SeaFocus will make a real-life scalability test in 2019, when the #IntelligenceHunt5 Finals take place in conjunction with the Nor-Shipping 2019 in Oslo. Nor-Shipping is on a mission to be the world’s best international maritime meeting place, to be the integral enabler for technology-driven and sustainable business development and the connector between business and academia. SeaFocus plays an important role here, by hosting the Intelligence Hunt at Nor-Shipping on the 4-7th of June 2019, to connect industry with new talents, and exploring new #oceansolutions.

We would like to welcome the future looking companies and students to join us to this great journey to the future on board M/S SeaFocus and its Intelligence Hunt and also thank UIIN for our great partnership for the benefit of the future generations.

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Ulla Keino is the Chairman of the SeaFocus Executive Maritime Business Platform