Who we are is about what we believe and do.
We believe Gandhi’s statement: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
The NPO, PROJECT CONNECT, established on May 27, 2015, offers a rainbow of opportunities to young professionals in-the-making to help jump start their careers in the shipping industry they have selected. We facilitate the sharing of resources through professional assistance where needed and have placed over 50 candidates in shipping companies in the last years, via our online CV Database, the first one in Shipping, and referrals.
PROJECT CONNECT is an influencing force, contributing to the cultivation of Greece’s next generation workforce; many Founding Members of reputable shipping companies & the maritime cluster share our vision of offering work experience to “young professionals in-the-making”, in order to sustain the excellence in the Greek Shipping Industry!
In January 2019, PROJECT CONNECT successfully implemented maritime knowledge in Greek elementary schools for the first time, through the Cypriot educational program "Adopt a Ship". By 2020, 33 classrooms from 16 public and private schools have been communicating with 26 seagoing vessels’ masters from 14 shipping companies. By 2021, 57 classes of 33 public and private elementary schools have been communicating with 48 seagoing vessels' masters from 24 Greek shipping companies. In total, "Adopt a Ship" program is branding the Hellenic Shipping Industry in 1300 pupils.
We envision a changing-for-the-better future Greece, by sustaining one of its top resources, the Greek Shipping Industry Success Story. We support the “can do” mind set and the aim for excellence that has built it. We instill this mind set into the next generation workforce, who shall ultimately reinforce Greek Shipping’s competitiveness in the international arena.
We all must be part of this change.
To enhance opportunities for youth employability in Greece by offering internships and placements in ship operations departments and in vessels, where the new entry will absorb expert know-how and experiences from the “brain bank” (managers, captains and principals) and develop skill sets.
“Each one of us is a link in one united chain. Let’s ensure we are strong and linked tight.” Irene Notias
The chain created by Ms. Eva Divari, is symbolic as a chain is absolutely just as vulnerable as its weakest link and it just needs one link to crack for the whole chain to fail. As shipping industry is just a link in a chain of innumerable candidates and shipping companies. If a link in the industry chain breaks, there will be nothing for the shipping industry to work on. Therefore, “strongly” educated candidates imply a “strong” shipping industry.
The Chain, our logo, is by Artist Eva Divari who has travelled on ships all her life. Each individual employee is like a link in a chain. If one link brakes, the entire chain is broken. Let’s ensure that each "link" is strong and the chain is tightly united resulting in strong and healthy companies able to compete in the international arena.
Co-founders, Irene Notias and Angeliki Livanou, believed in Demosthenes statement, "It is more difficult to preserve than to acquire" ("Χαλεπώτερον το φυλάττειν του κτήσασθαι") and that the only way to sustain shipping companies is to properly prepare its next generation workforce. At the same time, most young job seekers' expressed to them their sense of hopelessness at finding internships and jobs and believed that it was because they didn’t have a connection in shipping. So, Notias and Livanou, while supporting meritocracy, decided to become “The CONNECTION” for them.
They investigated why the low hiring rate and support of young personnel in the shipping industry and being business owners and managers themselves, they understood that although there was a need for fresh manpower, young job seekers lacked work-experience, know-how and admin skill sets enabling them to offer support to their employers.
They successfully persuaded their clients and friends to consider offering internships and entry level jobs basis the above statement. Thru an organized HR guided method, they created the 1st online CV Database and were joined by HR expert Efharis Perpinia soon after, becoming Shipping’s 1st HR Hub for young people.
Ms. Notias & Ms. Perpinia's Interview @ Maritimes during their Shipping HR seminar / Posidonia 2014
IBIA endorses PROJECT CONNECT
Our Events & Participation
The Why Story to Project Connect
The Why Story to Project Connect
“Starting in 2010, schools and shipping students, and even mothers were reaching out to me to help locate jobs in shipping companies, even abroad. It happened that my business was already established as a representative company and recruitment agency and our General Manager, Angeliki Livanou thought to interview these job seekers. She used her HR skills and placed a few candidates successfully. Meanwhile, I would make calls and send e-mails to encourage ship owner clients to take on students for their own benefit to sustain their businesses, as well. I saw that they were always short staffed. So, we used our vast shipping network to help place more systemically. Afterall, the economy was stuck because no one had jobs to stimulate consumer spending, an integral part of a healthy economy. And I was particularly concerned with the youth’s anxiety and desperateness due to no one hiring them. It was like a whole generation of humanity being frozen. So, we interviewed and placed several candidates and decided to create a division in the company called “Connect” Human Energy Resources. We called it connect because during the interviews, most students expressed hopelessness of getting a job in shipping because they believed they didn’t have the necessary “meson” or connection. We told them this was not the reason but in any case they could consider us their “connection”. We received over 300 CV’s from students searching for jobs and internships. It was getting to be too much to handle, since we had full time jobs too, so we put up the first self-service Online CV database in 2015.
We thought to give shipping students a chance to meet and listen to the shipping community first-hand and so on March 9th 2016, over 200 students and 20 shipping companies’ heads gathered and connected. Seeing the students smiles and excitement at the opportunities they were given there was worth all the trouble and disruption from our own work. We also saw the misdirected belief systems and confusion that the students were experiencing. In April 2019, we organized a self-improvement seminar on how they could be successful in Shipping by adopting a new mind set and understand the work expectations of an employer, with renowned motivational speaker, Dr John Kalogerakis. Since then, as we hoped, other companies like ours sprouted creating even more advanced activities that enhanced the goals. Project Connect was the first movement in Greece of shipping people voluntarily building a bridge to connect shipping students to shipping companies. Since 2016, it has placed over 40 students and grads in internships and jobs. And currently has evolved to providing maritime education in both private and public grade schools of Greece through an international educational program called “Adopt a Ship”. We just want to offer help to those who ask for it and try to satisfy needs.”
“We have gathered pretty much all of the shipping industry’s sectors to support our efforts so we can be one voice. One voice to the students who are trying to make it in shipping and one voice for Greek shipping industry to sustain itself by together cultivating the new generation workforce with same high standards and excellence of the brain bank of expertise seamen and shore personnel and managers that built it.“
Thank you to all and in gratitude and joy,
Media about Project Connect and Adopt a Ship
Today marks two months since I moved to Bahrain and became a member of the GAC Group family here in Manama. I’m having lots of fun engaging with my new colleagues and getting to learn so many new aspects of the shipping industry while also adapting to this beautiful country that Bahrain is. All of this wouldn’t have materialized without the assistance of Nikos D. Marmatsouris, FICS and PROJECT CONNECT Young Professionals in-the-Making who, after interviewing, brought me in touch with all the amazing people I needed to connect with, in order to propel my career. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know how frustrating and nerve-wracking it can be to enter the job market as a newcomer, especially in the shipping industry where working experience is so highly sought after by employers even for entry-level positions. I’ve had my share of setbacks and if there is one piece of advice I could give, as utter cliché as it may sound, is to never give up on your dreams. If you haven't given up you haven't failed, right? If you are an HR officer in a shipping company that looks to the future and values the enthusiasm and excitement a graduate can bring to the set, or a young professional in the making seeking to jump-start your career within the shipping industry, I would encourage you to register with PROJECT CONNECT Young Professionals in-the-Making Mrs. Irene Notias is doing a phenomenal job, spending her precious personal time on such a project that could very much be described as a social responsibility endeavor. Supporting her cause is a great way to contribute to the minimization of the graduate employability issue our industry is currently facing.
As a volunteer at PROJECT CONNECT I met charismatic people who by their example taught me that whatever you want you can do as long as you take the first step! Through Project Connect I gained an internship at the shipping company Seaven Tanker and Dry Management Inc. giving me the opportunity to work with many departments (Technical, Marine, Operation, Purchasing, Crew) and to understand the multifaceted composition of shipping. Thank you very much for this valuable experience!
My main priority has been to learn new things and evolve to a better employee. The whole shipping internship experience at a large shipping company has been very rewarding and worthwhile. During the lockdown period, the company gave me a laptop to practice from home. All the employees have been willing to assist and share their knowledge. I thank them and PROJECT CONNECT for this experience.
Project Connect, thank you for helping me to find this opportunity at the American P&I Club. It was a great experience, since I learned the essential principles of working in a office and other materials that helped me move forward few baby steps towards my entry in Shipping Sector. This internship has definitely increased my interest in pursuing a career in shipping. I would love to stay in touch, finding other internships or jobs opportunities that will help me gain more experience in this field. Another thing i am grateful for, is the help i received in order to prepare for my interview. When I did the interview, I was much more relaxed and prepared and that helped me a lot with my answers. Once again thank you for the opportunity.
My internship experience at Dianik Ship Management has been priceless. It has given me real work experience in the most major departments of a shipping company (Ops, Tech, Finance and Chartering). Other things that I have valued most about my internship at DSM include, but not limited to, the nice and supportive working environment and colleagues. I want to thank Project Connect and especially Ms. Notias for giving me “to the point“ advice and the chance to get this internship. Thank you Project Connect!!!
I will be totally honest. When I came to you I expected a boring session where I would be the one doing all the talking while receiving diplomatic answers that would try to make you appealing, boost my confidence and ego and have me coming back for more. Instead, I got a nice and much needed kick in the teeth.
While I already knew about most (not all) of the stuff that we discussed, I feel that I gained a lot. Firstly, I was able to get my priorities list straight. To quote your words, I’ve been putting too much emphasis on ‘shallow’ job searching while I neglected aspects that can make an individual stand out. Moreover, I had the chance to confirm some bad habits of mine during interviews that have potentially harmed me in the past. I also had the chance to hear a professional opinion regarding the aspect of job-hunting in other countries and rethink the methods that I’ve been using up until today. Finally and most importantly I realized that due to my past failures I gradually started to doubt myself and lose my interest to work in this sector, reducing my efforts and doing self-sabotage in the process. I will strive to never let that happen again and I consider this the biggest benefit that I got from today’s session.
Project Connect was the first organization that helped me a lot in respect of job opportunities in the Shipping industry.I had the honor as member of the Project Connect team to meet people who had valuable experience in shipping and I am sure that in the future these people will give me the chance to gain important experience and knowledge.I would like to thank especially Ms Katia Galouka as I had my first interview from the beginning of our cooperation and she gave me all her know-how in order to improve my CV and forward to the shipping companies.I am convinced that the whole team of Project Connect will help me in respect of my upcoming career in the Shipping industry.I feel so grateful for your support and your contribution.Thank you very much!
All started at Posidonia 2016, where I was given a flyer of PROJECT CONNECT. During that time, I was desperately seeking for placement in a shipping company for my university internship, as I had only two weeks left to find one. In those two weeks, Ms Katia Galouka interviewed me extensively, helped me re-edit my CV and finally, Project Connect found me an internship place in a well known ship-management company specializing in the dry cargo sector with a fleet that exceeds ten vessels. Currently, I totally enjoy every day at the company’s offices and try to learn the most from the ingenious employees that I cooperate. In conclusion, I feel really grateful for finding PROJECT CONNECT just before my professional career start. Special thanks to Ms Katia Galouka!
I was amazed when my telephone rang and on the other side of the line was the HR Department of the Angelakos Hellas S.A. without even having to hand in my CV. I immediately realized that it was PROJECT CONNECT that helped me, as I was interviewed by them through the 22nd Career Forum last September. I strongly believe that Ms Pavlopoulou gave me a lot of help and boosted me into fulfilling my professional ambitions. I now feel more confident and I know that I can rely on PROJECT CONNECT whenever I seek any further assistance.
Ms Capnissi gave me helpful advice for succeeding in an interview and fulfilling my professional ambition. The meeting was a great experience for me and she helped me understand what the market is looking for in a candidate. She was full of confidence and passion and made me adopt this attitude. I deeply believe that her advice will help me make my dreams come true!
I found the seminar ""CREATE YOUR SUCCESS STORY IN SHIPPING" really helpful. It made me understand how to prepare myself in order to find a job in this field. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with no work experience but with the ambition to enter the shipping industry. But except for the seminar, I would like to congratulate Ms Notias, for this initiative, because it opened new horizons in my career. Hr interest and passion to help young people get involved in the shipping industry is outstanding. With her assistance, I found an internship that helped me gain experience and a competitive privilege in the business field.
I graduated from NTUA in 2011, as a Naval Architect and Marine Engineer. By that time, jobs were already very hard to find. I spent quite a few months unemployed. I always kept an eye open for job openings from the newspaper and internet, but there was rarely any response to my efforts. In the end, I got a dead end job working as an assistant in an office remotely connected to shipping. I was fortunate enough to cross paths with you. Shortly after, you sent me an e-mail regarding a job offer, an actual job offer. Two interviews later I got the job. Thank you for opening the door for me in an industry, where being introduced is essential. Proper professional guidance and an opportunity is all a young candidate needs. That is exactly what PROJECT CONNECT provides. I wish you you all the best!!
PROJECT CONNECT has gone beyond a service for me. Irene Notias, the founder of PROJECT CONNECT, and her exceptionally trained staff, understand the requirements for every business as well as the abilities of every candidate. I would like to put emphasis on two aspects. One is the friendly relation we developed, as the team is truly concerned that is committed to find the best compromise to all interested parties. Secondly, I also want to remark on the great concern and availability shown after the process. After a term of only 3 weeks, I was sitting on my new office, at my new job, surrounded by great people. As Aristotle Onassis once said, “To succeed in business, it is necessary to make others see things as you see them”. Irene Notias is a great example of these wise words, for the reason that she manages to keep Greece’s Shipping Industry connected in the greatest way helping out people like me and you.
The seminar "CREATE YOUR SUCCESS STORY IN SHIPPING" gave me important guidance for my career planning which I had never had before! Ms Notias and Ms Perpinia helped me gain an understanding of the shipping industry and redefine my career strategy in the way I could approach a future employer in this field. They also gave me valuable insights on what qualifications a shipping company is looking for in a perspective employee. I believe it has opened a new circle in my career searching prospects, which I would like to continue, with the assistance of the CONNECT team in the near future.
I really enjoyed attending the seminar "CREATE YOUR SUCCESS STORY IN SHIPPING" . It was valuable because I had the chance to enrich my knowledge in the shipping industry. I was given very useful tips on how to have successful interviews as well as on how to be more productive and efficient in the working environment. As a result, it was a beneficial experience which built the foundations for a successful career.
PROJECT CONNECT was the link that i needed for the shipping industry! I would like to thank all the PROJECT CONNECT team and especially Ms Notias for the guidance and the interview simulation. Everything was very educative and valuable for me. PROJECT CONNECT helped me find an internship in a shipping company. I wish you all the best!
When I started looking to join the shipping industry, everyone was telling me that I need a link to the shipping business. PROJECT CONNECT offered to me exactly that! The full support started with CV and interview advice, workshops and discussions and after that, I know that my CV was circulated to many companies through personal attempts of Mrs Notias and the rest of the PROJECT CONNECT staff. Meanwhile, the PROJECT CONNECT team was always there if I needed advice or any other help while seeking for a job. Finally, they continue to show interest in me and my career, even after I secured a job in London. All these lead me to say that I truly recommend to everyone that really want to work in the shipping industry to contact PROJECT CONNECT
Everything started three years ago when I won the internship award that was organized by Project Connect. Afterwards I began working as trainee at the same company where I continue my career right now. Recently I have been promoted as a Manager to my Department. I would like to thank the Project Connect that helped me so much at beginning of my career.
Project Connect was the first organization that helped me a lot at my primary steps in an office work. The whole staff and especially Ms. Notias gave me the chance to have an office experience at Prime Petroleum Services. As an intern, I gained important bunkering experience. People were helpful and willing to advise me on my upcoming career in the Shipping Industry.
Working at Project Connect gave me the chance to experience volunteering and working as a team for one common goal: to prepare and guide young students and professionals in beginning their careers and to link them with the shipping industry. It was also a great opportunity for me to learn basic principles of business, as well as how a company is organized and structured.
I began working with the Project Connect Team this year!!! I am excited to be part of a group of people who assist young people, not only job wise, or internships but with seminars, events and generally a guide for young people preparing for the business environment!! I wish that when I was studying I had someone to include me in events and seminars on motivation, or to bring me in contact with people and business people! I must say it is very exciting seeing young people striving for something positive in the current situation and it is an honor to be part of a Team that is truly sincere and can offer even if it’s a small building block to someone’s' successful future!
Project Connect has provided our company with individuals who have the skills and attitude that are necessary to deliver results. Irene Notias and her Connected team take the time to appreciate our company's requirements and identify appropriate applicants. They have been a valuable partner to us, but most importantly, they have demonstrated an excellent understanding of our company's vision and have been able to provide an accurate range of candidates to fit. Thank you for the excellent cooperation !