Great Lakes Boat Building School

Alumni Connection: Ryan Kasik ’09

Stem2Stern caught up with Ryan Kasik, a 2009 graduate of Great Lakes Boat Building School.  We were able to get his thoughts on his experience working in the Marine Industry and as a student at GLBBS.

Q.) Did you always want to work in boats? What led you to GLBBS?

A.) While growing up, I enjoyed spending time on the water and in high school, I challenged myself to build a boat from scratch for my senior project.  It wasn’t until this time that I realized I had a passion for working in the marine industry.  One of my teachers saw my skills and suggested I continue my path after high school and attend GLBBS.

Q.) What was the biggest benefit of attending GLBBS?

A.) The biggest benefit for me was the skills learned through hands-on training and applying it.  Because of GLBBS, I was able to begin my career right after graduation in an [employer] apprenticeship program.

Q.) What do you love most about working at Irish Boat Shop?  What excites you about the work you are doing?

Irish Boat Shop provides a working environment that allows me to keep expanding my knowledge and expertise.  As a Marine Technician, I have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects that include repairing gel coat and fiberglass, painting new and used boats, installing electronics and repairing boats as needed.

The best part of my job is seeing the customer’s reaction to a job I have completed.

Q.) Do you have a favorite memory of GLBBS?

The commission and launch of the Nelson Zimmer designed “Bonnie” in 2009.

Q.) Do you have any advice for current GLBBS students?

The skills you are learning now will be valuable to you after graduation.  Continue to challenge yourself to learn more and expand your knowledge within the industry.  There are many career paths and opportunities available.  At Irish Boat Shop, the most important thing is to be diversified and willing.  All the technicians work on a variety of projects throughout the seasons which require wide-ranging skills.

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If you know of someone who may benefit from a GLBBS education – please have them contact us at (906)484-1081 to receive more information.
Check out Irish Boat Shop at