A purser is as ‘an officer on a ship who keeps accounts and attends to the passengers’ welfare.’
Speaking to Samantha Morris, Maritime Training Academy have discovered why the life of a purser offers so much more.
Samantha, how long have you been working as a purser? What did you do before?
I have been working as a Purser for 4.5 years in the yachting industry. Previous to this, I was a Finance Manager for Carnival UK onboard P&O vessels.
What do you enjoy about the job?
The crew. You can work on any vessel in the world, but if you do not have a great team, the experience will not be the same. It is the crew that gives the ship it’s life and soul. Without them it would be just an object.
In your opinion, what qualities are necessary to fulfil the role?
Communication. Along with empathy, self-awareness, respect, learning agility, influential attitude and courage.
What’s the most challenging aspect about the life of a Superyacht Purser?
The pandemic and the challenges it has bought to the regular responsibilities of a purser. For instance, in terms of crew changes and logistics. Ensuring the crew embark and disembark the vessel without travel disruptions. It is my focus to have all crew vaccinated, so that we can come into the “new normal” in order to resume regular contracts lengths and shore leave again.
How has studying with Maritime Training Academy helped you?
After completing the Superyacht Refit and Newbuilding Project Management, course and having re-joined onboard my vessel, it opened my eyes in regards into having a better understanding of how all the components on the vessel fit together. I can also hold conversations with my colleagues within the other departments, as well as understand their responsibilities onboard.
I embarked in the shipyard and lots of my learning became realistic, as if I could see it unfold from my workbooks in front of my eyes. I am seeking the opportunity to work onboard a Newbuild, in order to put my knowledge into practice and expand on both my experience and personal self-development.
Do you have advice for anyone starting out in this area?
Never give up on your dreams. Be prepared and have your CV and certificates in the correct order before applying to ensure your first shot is the best. If you get beaten the first time, try again and remember the most successful people past through periods of failure to get to where they are now.
Samantha has been nominated for an ACrew Award in the Purser category. You can read all about her life as a purser, her work in Mental Health First Aid (and vote for her!) here.
Our Superyacht Pursers Diploma course is aimed at all Interior Crew members, giving them career path progression with the ultimate potential to move ashore. Offering a recognised professional personnel management qualification, plus the letters MTA Dip SYP after your name.
Download the full brochure and set sail as a Superyacht Purser.