I have to respectfully disagree with HenryK. You are in one
of the right places. This forum has a few current
and retired merchant marine
officers from a number of different countries. You are most welcome here. Of course there are other forums
on the internet
relating to your questions as well as this one. I agree with viking69 in that you have to get your resume out there upon graduation from the academy. I am a licensed Third Mate myself from Cal
Maritime class of 1986.
Never become discouraged. There are merchant marine
officer jobs out there. You may have to start out as an AB but once you are in the door, you will eventually advance to a Mate if you are doing a good job for the company.
A little story relating to that. A woman who graduated two classes
ahead of me as a Third Mate was working as an AB as the forward lookout on the Exxon Valdez when it ran aground! Can you imagine what she experienced?!
I wish you the best in your career.