USM Industrial Engineering Technology Student Finds SeaAhead Internship – And Has Front Row Seat to Innovation That Made History

Monday, 12/05/2022 – 15:08pm | Author: Dena Temple

Patrice WashingtonPatrice Washington, Industrial Engineering Technology (Logistics), University of Southern Mississippi Leadership Institute/Bay Park Campus, recently shared her SeaAhead internship experience.

SeaAhead was founded in 2018 to bring together “blue tech” entrepreneurs with investors, industry leaders, technologists and stakeholders to create scalable businesses. These startups can provide solutions to combat climate change and support resilient natural ecosystems, while creating jobs, building workforce equality, and delivering returns for investors. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is well-positioned to lead the way for world-changing innovative developments that “pop up.”

Hailey Bathurst, SeaAhead’s project manager, explains: “We do this because we understand that there are gaps in the ecosystem of blue tech startups that have the potential to improve the health of our oceans.”

Washington, who has been with SeaAhead since early November, learned of the position through Dr. Washington. Heather Annulis, Dean of the USM Leadership Institute. “I just moved to Biloxi, and I thought it was going to be a great learning experience,” Patrice said.

At Gulf Blue, Patrice is responsible for event planning and technical support, while developing ideas for ways to incorporate Southern Gulf Coast hospitality. In addition, she assists Director Hailey Bathurst with project planning and proposals. “Productivity, communication and teamwork are important,” Washington said. “We have the ability to showcase our strengths and skills while learning new things.” She also appreciates the office space itself. “It’s beautiful and comfortable, and I get to interact with new people and learn new things every day.”

“Patrice helped with all the technical support for the project,” agrees Bathurst. “She was instrumental in getting the online learning platform up and running, creating digital resources for the cohort.”

Bathurst continues, “She is tech savvy, easy to work with and responsive.”

With the SeaAhead program still in its formative stages, Bathurst also appreciated the “[Patrice] It’s okay to be vague, and since we’re building the program for the first time, it’s very important. “

While Washington’s internship will end in May, the experience she gains will expand her marketability in the labor market. “My degree is in Industrial Engineering Technology (Logistics), basically Global Supply Chain. If SeaAhead can apply my skills to the company, I will definitely continue to work there.”

Bathurst added with a laugh, “I would definitely hire her.”

Washington recommends that all students at Southern Miss — even those that are fully online — contact Career Services when looking for an internship or employment. “Career Services provided me with tools and a search engine to find the perfect match,” she said. Local employers can also take advantage of the service if they have open positions.

“The partnership between USM and SeaAhead is critical to helping create a blue economy on the coast,” said Dr. Annulis noted, “Patrice’s internship connected her classroom learning with the tangible, real-world experiences necessary for career success.”

For more information on the services offered by Career Services, please contact careerservicesFREE Mississippi.

The Leadership Academy is located within the USM College of Business and Economic Development. To learn more about the degree programs offered by the Leadership Institute, visit or email SchoolOfLeadershipFREEMississippi.

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