I applied to Marine Atlantic to be a student assistant steward. The hiring process was extremely long, and they require a lot from you. References, background check, 2 drug test, 2 medical exams. It was a 30-40 minute interview and they asked a lot of questions.
From the getgo, their communication was leaving something to be desired. They are unorganized, and it is obvious. Training for the job is 6 weeks long, in North Sydney. They were not clear about what we needed to bring with us. Some people were given information that others were not. We were also given wrong information.
The hotel is great, for the most part, the training was fun and I learned a lot and met great people. However, there was a lack of communication the entire time. The people in charge of training did not have accurate information. You get paid for training, but it takes A LONG time for the first payment. Keep in mind, you are expected to pay for all of your meals almost every day out of pocket, and you get reimbursed after. As a student, this was ridiculous. We were told beforehand that we could get the food stipend upfront, but when we arrived, we were told this was impossible. Myself and quite a few others were completely broke and had arguments with management about paycheques. The training team took ages to send out the paycheques. It was a constant back and forth between us and our trainers.
Our training team told us it was going to be a very busy summer, and we would all likely be called to work on the first day our contract starts, July 1. They said we would probably all have a hard time getting off of the boat once we were on it. Well, this was a complete lie. The student contract runs from July 1 to August 31. I didn't get the call to go to work until the end of July. Meaning no income, and nothing to do for all of July. Schedules were supposed to be two weeks on the boat, two weeks off. I only got called to work for 2 days. My bilingual friends got lots of hours, my English friends hardly got any more than I did. I never ended up getting another call to go to work.
In the end, I spent months, from November to April, applying, interviewing, drug testing, getting medicals, CDN numbers and paperwork filled out. I spent 6 weeks living in a hotel training for this job. My student contract was 2 months. I only worked TWO DAYS the entire summer. TWO DAYS. I was livid. As a student, I rely on my summer employment to get me through the school year. Working only two days completely ruined my plans for September. I was unable to get EI, and was forced to get a student loan when I thought I would be able to have money saved up. I was unable to get a second job because if you are called to go to work on the boats you aren't really allowed to say no. Therefore, I had to make sure I had no other obligations.
Overall, the training was fun and knowledgable, I met some great people who will become lifelong friends. But that fact that the entire hiring and training process took so much time and effort, for me to only work TWO DAYS is extremely despicable and unacceptable. I will never recommend Marine Atlantic to someone looking for a job if they actually want to have hours and make money.
Extensive training, fun and exciting work environment
lack of communication, no hours, long hiring process