How long have you worked at Maersk Supply Service, and what was your starting position?
I first joined MSS in 2006 as a Dual Cadet. I graduated in 2009 as a Dual Junior Officer but rather quickly ended up as a Third Engineer.
What excites you the most about your role now?
As a Chief Engineer, I get to participate in all sorts of interesting technical processes across different vessels, vessel classes, regions and teams. This is especially the case because I’ve also taken the opportunity to complete a number of onshore placements, so I have worn many hats and developed a broad network of contacts.
What have been your greatest achievement and your biggest challenge while at MSS?
These actually form two sides of the same coin. In between my offshore assignments I have accepted several onshore placements with MSS, the longest of which lasted 28 months. Managing the cultural shifts between onshore and offshore was pretty tough – but ultimately very rewarding.
There’s no doubt that the two-year onshore placements are hard work and they admittedly have a bit of a reputation among offshore crew. They’re no holiday! But when an opportunity cropped up, our Fleet Manager reached out to me directly, inviting me to accept a role as Technical Superintendent (something between a Technical Manager and an Operations Manager) and I thought it could be interesting. I’m sure a few of my colleagues thought I was mad to go for it, since it also meant a temporary pay cut – but it was totally worth it for my longer-term professional development.
Since then, I have accepted other onshore placements, which have given me valuable insight into how the onshore operations work and facilitated a much better line of communication with my onshore colleagues. It also allowed me to build up a wide network of contacts, which in itself meant that more opportunities for interesting projects kept cropping up.
Of course there were challenges and cultural differences, but I found ways to make it work and have no regrets.
What goals are you working towards?
I am doing my best to continually gain and contribute insights to both the onshore and offshore sides of our operations.
If you had some advice for new seafarers joining MSS, what would that be?
There are plenty of development opportunities available at this company. You get out what you put in, so don’t be afraid to grab as many as possible and to throw yourself out there – even if it poses some obstacles in the short term. The rewards will only be greater and more exciting over time if you keep accepting new challenges.