Mikayla Correia

Mikayla Correia in Uniform

Major: International Maritime Business
Activities/Positions: Regimental Commander
Internships/Co-ops: Grupo TLA, Panama ; Military Sealift Command, South Korea & Japan
Athletics: Women’s Lacrosse Captain
Experiential learning: Sea Term; St. Thomas, V.I.; San Juan, Puerto Rico

Mikayla Correia ’18 believes that the Regiment of Cadets is more than what it appears. “In addition to serving as a system of high standards of personal appearance, conduct and military bearing, it’s about the responsibilities our cadets are given to serve as leaders and build supportive teams. And it’s about camaraderie.”

How would you describe Regiment?
Regiment is the lifeblood of the  Massachusetts Maritime Academy and serves as our foundation for the traditions and virtues that we value as cadets. It is a cadet-led system through which we hold each other accountable to certain standards. The responsibilities and duties that are given to our cadets teach us so many real world values that will make us better in our professional fields and overall better people.

Why is this an important part of the MMA experience?
It is an invaluable tool in giving our cadets experience in leadership and human resource management. Beginning sophomore year, we step into leadership roles and graduate with over two years of experience managing our peers. The Regiment also encourages a sense of camaraderie. We take on new challenges together and accomplish more together then we could ever accomplish on our own. The friendships and memories are invaluable.

How has Regiment helped you evolve?
Leadership has taught me that I can accomplish a lot more as a part of a team than I ever could on your own. Without my shipmates, I wouldn’t be where I am today . Part of being a team is holding each other accountable and that is one of the more difficult aspects of the Regiment of Cadets. You are in a leadership position that puts you in command of your peers, which essentially is the situation many of our cadets find themselves in upon graduation. The leadership system here is the reason our cadets graduate with the ability to be confident in their managerial skills.

What do you bring to the role as Regimental Commander?
I encourage leaders under my command to be selfless in their willingness to educate the incoming cadet candidates and help their peers succeed. Showing kindness is not showing weakness.

What’s your advice for incoming students to prepare for Regiment?
Take advantage of every opportunity this Academy gives you. Everyone is somewhat afraid of new challenges, but you should never let your fear of failing limit your potential to succeed. Come in with a positive attitude, a willingness to work hard, and an open mind, and you will be paid back in life lessons and promising opportunities tenfold. Nothing is handed to you in life, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy is no different. But your choice as an incoming cadet is how hard you are willing to work to better yourself and those around you.

Did you serve in any other roles that helped you prepare to serve as Regimental Commander?
When I started my freshman year as a cadet candidate, I knew I wanted to get involved with the Academy and started working at the Admission Office giving tours to prospective students. That experience was invaluable in giving me the chance to speak publicly and learn about the Academy’s history. Leslie Bushy, my Lacrosse coach at the time and an employee in the Advancement Office, helped me learn about volunteer opportunities on campus. I went to every event to build relationships with our awesome network of alumni and faculty.

My first official foot in the door with leadership happened when became an orientation assistant as a third class cadet. I got to see the Academy’s fall orientation program from an outside perspective. From there I interviewed for every position I could: spring and fall orientation squad leader; and spring orientation company commander. The takeaway from all of these experiences was understanding the priorities of all these different groups of people who have some stake in the success of our Academy. This input and understanding helped shape my view of the Academy and what I had to do to help ensure our continued success.

What does it mean to you to take on the post as Regimental Commander?
I was humbled to have the opportunity to represent the Massachusetts Maritime Academy as Regimental Commander. This Academy has given me so much and I am prepared to work diligently throughout the next year to maintain the standards and traditions that those before me have honored. I am prepared to make the tough decisions that have to be made, and I know that often times, those decisions are not the popular ones.

How is this position preparing you for future endeavors?
I am gaining a lot of insight on what it is like to be responsible for the welfare of others. The decisions I make will impact the lives of all of my peers. That is a whole lot of responsibility to have but that is why I have a great staff standing behind me who care about the Academy just as much as I do.

Why did you choose to attend Mass Maritime?
I wanted to be part of an institution where I wasn’t just a number or a tuition payment to the administration. As a cadet at MMA, I feel valued as an individual and know that my skills and talents are used to better the Academy and student body. When I first toured campus, I could see that the cadets here were different—and it wasn’t just because they were in uniform. They were disciplined and refined, and it was something I desperately wanted to be a part of.

How did you choose your major?
International Maritime Business was a program I instantly fell in love with. I chose my program for the once in a lifetime chance to travel the world and find a career I am passionate about in the maritime industry. The IMB course curriculum is taught by professors with valuable real world experience which they willingly share with us as their students. In this program I wasn’t pigeon-holed into one career path or specialization and was allowed to explore different routes as I learned more about the industry. Mass. Maritime’s IMB program gave me that option.

Is the Academy what you expected?
I was surprised at how close I have become with my shipmates in just three short years. I have two younger sisters but in the first few months of being a cadet candidate here it was like I had 70 new brothers (and a few new sisters as well). The environment at Mass. Maritime is so encouraging and motivating, which has made my experiences here extremely worthwhile.

How would you describe MMA in one word?