Noah Van Beveren, seen here on a summer training cruise in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2021, is studying Maritime Administration at Texas A&M Maritime Academy.

For the second year in a row, the Port of Vancouver USA will draw students from all over the United States for one of the nations’ premier maritime internship programs. The port will welcome its class of 2023 summer interns to Vancouver in mid-June.

Nestled on the bank of the Columbia River in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the Port of Vancouver USA is not just a global hub for trade and shipping – it’s becoming a destination for maritime academy students to learn about port operations.

“It’s a thrill to have tomorrow’s port CEO’s, business leaders and maritime executives building their careers here at the Port of Vancouver USA,” said Alex Strogen, the port’s Chief Commercial Officer.

This summer’s class of interns are all coming to Vancouver, Washington from academies east of the continental divide. Noah Van Beveren is in the middle of earning his degree from Texas A&M Maritime Academy. Cheyenne Snyder is a second-year student at the SUNY Maritime College. Lauren O’Malley is also currently finishing her second year farther north at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

“We were blown away at the caliber of students who applied for the summer 2023 class,” said Strogen. “All along, we’d been strategic about offering two internships this summer. But after interviewing all the applicants, we knew we had to expand the number of slots available so that we could bring Lauren, Cheyenne and Noah on board. Each one comes to us with strong academics, enthusiasm for learning about ports, and a surprising amount of experience in the maritime world.”

Global experience

Lauren O’Malley is studying at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Lauren holds the coveted Admiral’s Cup, which is handed out to the top freshman company at Mass Maritime’s orientation.

 Lauren has seen a port or two. Last summer, she visited South Africa with a team of International Maritime Business Cadets and was able to visit several ports throughout the country. Her summer concluded with a presentation to maritime industry leaders.

Prior to her internship with the Port of Vancouver USA, Cheyenne will embark on a five-week study abroad trip to Asia. During that experience, she’ll have the opportunity to visit multiple ports in four different Asian countries.

Noah’s passport is already well-worn, too. He’s visited nine different countries, not to mention 31 out of the 50 states. He lists hiking the Tatras Mountains, located along the Poland-Slovakia border, as a highlight of his travels.

“One of the nation’s most influential ports”

Cheyenne Snyder, from SUNY Maritime College, grew up on the East Coast and is looking forward to exploring the Pacific Northwest this summer.

All three incoming interns highlighted both the port’s reputation as a marmite leader, and its proximity to world-class hiking and outdoor recreation, as major factors in their decisions.

“I grew up on the East Coast, so I really wanted the chance to explore the Pacific Northwest while working for one of the nation’s most influential ports,” said Cheyenne about her decision to choose the Port of Vancouver USA. She listed the Oregon and Washington coasts and Seattle as must-see destinations during her free time this summer.

Noah was looking for a port located on a major inland waterway for his summer internship. “I love a good adventure, so I am excited to explore the great outdoors in the Pacific Northwest,” he added.

As for Lauren, she ticked off the port’s location at a major hub for road (the west coast’s major freeway artery, I-5, runs next to the port), rail (it’s transited by BNSF, Union Pacific, Canadian

National and Canadian Pacific) and river (the Columbia River channel is dredged to a depth of 43’ to allow deepwater shipping access) as a big attractor. She also wants to learn more about the port’s reputation as a leader in environmental stewardship.

Like no other port in the world

Despite their global travels, Alex Strogen knows that these interns will have an experience unlike any other at the Port of Vancouver USA this summer. Strogen grew up on the east coast and earned maritime-focused degrees from Kings Point Federal Maritime Academy in New York and Texas A&M. He has crisscrossed the globe in his 15-year career.

“When I came to the Port of Vancouver USA five years ago, my eyes were opened to just how critical the Columbia River is to global maritime trade,” Strogen said. “In addition to its strategic location, the Port of Vancouver USA is distinguished by how it leads in so many different maritime categories.

“These three students will get hands-on experiences and industry insight here that will put them in a position to succeed throughout their careers. We can’t wait for them to get started.”