Erhan Bayraktar – BSc (Hons) Maritime Business and Maritime Law graduate

Current employer: Bayraktar Shipping Group

Current job title: CEO and board member

Current location: Istanbul, Turkey

“I believe that the courses at Plymouth are some of the best in the world, especially the maritime courses. I would suggest that students make the most of the lecturers and materials available on the course and make as many connections as possible.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I graduated from Plymouth University in 1996 and went on to complete a qualification for the institute of chartered shipbrokers in 1997. I then started my courier business in 1998 at Bayraktar Shipping Group, working in each and every department to gain experience on all aspects of ship management.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

It has been challenging to convince the older generation to update their management skills and methods. But after a year I managed to change a lot of the systems in place at the company to allow it to run in a more efficient manner. During these years, however, the world economy and the maritime industry went through several crises which, although a difficult period, did allow me to gain a lot more experience, to adapt, and to develop new strategies.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

The most exciting thing was the start of our fleet renewal programme back in 1999, which has resulted in a good amount of success. This was very exciting and helped to motivate me.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

I believe that the courses at Plymouth are some of the best in the world, especially the maritime courses. I would suggest that students make the most of the lecturers and materials available on the course and make as many connections as possible; be social, and try to gain real working experience whilst studying. Keep yourself up to date with the markets at all times because they move very quickly: you need to gear yourself up in order to make the right decisions.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Yes, Plymouth University has really helped me. I have also made a lot of good friends with whom I am still in contact, even though they operate in several different areas within our industry.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

The University as a whole was a very sociable, easily accessible place for me and the city was also a student city. My favourite pastime was to go to the Barbican and enjoy Captain Jaspers’ burgers, or to do some offshore sailing off the Hoe.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

I would definitely recommend undertaking a course at Plymouth University. In fact, since I graduated, I have managed to send at least twelve of my friends and relatives to study courses at Plymouth University. The University, especially the BSc (Hons) Maritime Business and Maritime Law course, is one of a kind because it is run by industry experts, academics who are very up to date with current affairs, and you are able to enjoy studying alongside future peers.