Tell us some of the interesting experiences you’ve had during your career.
The most interesting experience was when I sailed onboard a Multi-Purpose Vessel from Port Moresby to Lae, Papua New Guinea. Although the voyage was a short one, I felt that it was memorable as I had a taste of the rhythm of life at sea. The Master was also kind enough to bring me along with the Chief Cook and Steward to the open market in Lae to shop for groceries to complete my experience.
On a separate occasion, I also had the chance to tag along with a hold surveyor to conduct cargo hold inspection for a bulk carrier. As this is part of my daily work, knowing exactly what the surveyor looks out for and seeing the physical hold conditions has made my job easier.
What qualities of an employer or company do you look out for when deciding where to work, and why?
To be honest, this has not crossed my mind when I initially started working. However, being with The China Navigation Company Pte. Ltd (CNCo) for about two years, what I appreciate the most and will likely be a quality that I look out for in future, would be sustainability and welfare of the employees.
CNCo is very serious when it comes to sustainability. If there is something I am proud of, it must be the way our company recycles our ships.
Aside from the usual health and dental welfare benefits, CNCo has a welfare committee that organises welfare events with different themes throughout the year and it ranges from social night, sports and team building to family events. I enjoy organising and attending events like this as it provides a platform for me to interact with colleagues from other departments which I wouldn’t have done, on a day-to-day basis.
What have you learnt about being in the maritime industry?
Many of the learnings and reports especially about Singapore, that I have come across while studying, is about container throughput, port automation and logistical supply chain of how all these can be improved. Throughout my two years working, I learnt that shipping is not all about shipping containers (i.e. the liner businesses). Personally, the more interesting side of the industry for me is bulk operations, now that I am dealing with it in my current role. There is a lot I have yet to learn with more to come. In short, learning never stops!
Any words of advice to someone who might be keen to join the maritime industry?
KEEP AN OPEN MIND! Do not join the industry thinking that, that one job is for you. You never know what you are capable of. Let the experiences guide you as there are a variety of job scopes/roles available in this growing industry. Well, just look at me - I spent 1 year in the Liner side of CNCo as a Repair & Maintenance Executive and am now a Management Trainee for Bulk.
What do you do in your spare time?
I started rockclimbing six years ago, I love nothing more than to be doing that during my free time. Coaching kids on the weekends has also become a part of my life and is a way of how I diverted my passion from climbing competitively to guiding the younger ones. The sense of satisfaction I get from seeing the kids grow is indescribable and is also why I look forward to my weekends.
Aside from climbing, I also set aside time for running, reading and spending time with my joyful cotton ball – Snuggles. Trekking/Hiking up one mountain per year is also a goal I have set for myself and I am glad to have conquered Snow and Jade Mountain (Taiwan), in December last year and Mt. Kinabalu (Malaysia), in April this year.
This article was originally published on page 8 & 9 in the July issue of the Singapore Maritime Foundation's newsletter.