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A Decision

We are excited to introduce you to Jonathan White, the newest member of the Weekly Leader team.

Jonathan is a 3rd class Cadet at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, Ma. He is studying to get his Bachelor’s degree in International Maritime Business. He is a captain on the Buccaneer Men’s Soccer Team and the Treasurer of the Academy’s Student Government. Jonathan will be blogging about his leadership training and experiences gained at the Academy.

Jonathan exercised leadership by taking the initiative of contacting me after reading my Leadership column in MarineNews magazine and visiting Weekly Leader. He made us an offer we couldn’t refuse and we feel lucky to have him aboard. We look forward to learning from his youth educational and extracurricular experiences and reading his perspectives on leadership. Peter A. Mello, editor

bresnahanThis is my first of many posts for my “Logs of a Student Leader” section of Weekly Leader. I am a 3rd class cadet (sophomore) at Mass Maritime studying to get my Bachelor’s in International Maritime Business. I grew up on the North Shore of Mass and graduated from Lynnfield High. During my junior year of high school I was called into the office of my guidance counselor to try and figure out what I wanted to do after high school. I knew two things, one that I was going to play soccer and two I was interested in the Military.

Ever since I was a little kid I was attracted to the Military; mainly because of the sense to serve my country and also the structure of a disciplined way of life. Unfortunately, due to my asthma the military no longer became an option. My guidance counselor pointed me in the direction of Mass and Maine Maritime Academies. Both schools, based around the sea, have a Regiment of Cadets in order to make life on a ship easier during training and also following graduation. After a lot of online reading and two campus visits the four hour drive to Maine was shadowed by the only one hour drive to Buzzards Bay.

As my senior year progressed, like all other seniors, I was asked what my plans were for the next year. With each question I responded with Mass Maritime. If the person knew anything about it they said ‘Good luck, it’s a hard school’ and if they didn’t know they would ask where it is. As time counted down until my first day of the infamous Orientation where kids are known to run away in the middle of the night, the more I realized the next four years would probably be either the worst or best years of my life.  I didn’t want to go to a normal college for four years, party every weeknight, get some arbitrary degree at graduation and walk off the stage not knowing what was next. I knew it was going to be a challenge and I was confident I was up for it. I wanted it.

As a leader you have to be able to see the challenge, whatever it may be, conquer it and come out better than before.

(Photo credit: Trapped Clouds by dawnzy58 on

About the author

Peter A. Mello, Founder/Editor Founder of Weekly Leader and Sea-Fever Consulting, LLC, a leadership development and strategic communications consultancy. Previously, CEO of an international nonprofit organization and COO of a national insurance/risk management services firm. Peter has been leading people and managing organizations for over 30 years, writes a leadership column for MarineNews magazine and blogs about maritime culture at Sea-Fever. Follow him on Twitter.

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Posted in Education + Youth, General Leadership.