Nikos Kotakis

Nikos Kotakis

Regional Technical Manager for Marine Lubricants

TOTAL

 

I graduated with a Master of Science in Marine Engineering Management with Distinction and a Master of Business Administration with Distinction, both programs offered by the University of Greenwich. My final research project for the M.Sc. degree had been the technical and financial analysis and comparison of the available sulphur oxides abatement techniques for commercial ships, while my research project for the M.B.A. degree had been the evaluation of islands’ connectivity and shipping lines’ efficiency in the Greek Coastal Passenger Shipping, and the further study of a new islands-connection principle, from bus-based that is used today to a hub-and-spoke architecture.

Before joining New York College I had graduated from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Naval Architecture, with minor in Shipbuilding. Further to this, I had attended courses in Project Management and had been certified as a Project Management Associate from the International Project Management Association.

Since the beginning of 2012, I have been working for the French oil major TOTAL in downstream Marketing & Services, as Regional Technical Manager for Marine Lubricants responsible for Greece, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria & Romania. Prior to this I worked in yacht building industry in Germany and the US.

I am certain that my studies have contributed towards my being better prepared for the professional challenges that I face and tackle in my job. Each course had its own importance and was happy to realize that the end of my studies found me feeling more confident and knowledgeable. What was proven really useful for my job, what that, through the courses I was eventually able not only to possess a certain level of knowledge, but also to be able to easily and timely identify it and recall it whenever necessary.

I believe that the competitive advantage of the programs at New York College is that it is structured in such a way that allows for each student to develop a unique set of skills. Although all students are taught the same course content, the program prompts each of them to reflect individually on how this new knowledge would be meaningful and worthy for them. This way the acquisition of a unique “knowledge blend” by each student is achieved. The success of the program is that this, let’s say, student-tailored approach does not compromise the general level of knowledge that the students acquire. It just changes the way the knowledge is perceived so that it can be useful for the professional and personal development of the individual.

There are truly a lot of things that one gets from the college. If I were to choose some of them, I would certainly include that I became meticulous, diligent and disciplined. I think that the philosophy of the programme was such that encouraged us to develop various skills, like time management, or our ability to work in a detailed and persistent way. It might sound simplistic and basic, but believe me my career so far has taught me that skills like attention to detail, performance consistency and persistence are really hard-to-find in the job market.

Although it may sound easy, I find that giving advice is a very difficult and responsible act. What I can do however is to convey to you the principles that I have been following in my personal and professional life.

Listen first. I have been a huge fan of the receptive side of communication, not because I did not want to expose myself, but because I believed that only if you listen first, you can save time from inaccurate and useless conversations, unintentional misunderstandings, and unnecessary frustrations. Try to truly listen, not only hear, and you will see that every problem has more than one solutions.

Work hard. There are people who earned a lot without working hard, but for me they were just the exceptions to the rule. Try to set goals and work hard to reach them since great results are achieved only with persistence. Keep trying no matter how little the progress you make and you will eventually succeed.

Do not settle. I have always tried to look for things that would pull me upwards than downwards. This included from which friendships to keep to which job to go after or which studies to pursue… almost everything. If I narrow this down to the student level, for me success is not when the University simply fulfils the expectations of its students but rather when it expands their horizons and stretches them to new heights.

Finally, I would to express my sincere thanks the college for the opportunity to learn new exciting things that helped me pursue my professional aspirations.