Rookie's Guide to a Career in Maritime [Part 2]
Job hunters ahoy! Whether you are a new graduate or a mid-careerist who has never considered the maritime industry as a career option, there are diverse career opportunities in this field that assure a fulfilling work experience.
Hear it from Yeow Huiying herself, who previously specialised in Banking and Finance in Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and unexpectedly found herself attracted to the maritime industry while looking for a career where she could maximise the knowledge she acquired in school.
Now an Investor Relations Executive with COSCO SHIPPING International (Singapore), Huiying enjoys her day-to-day responsibilities and has never looked back on her decision.
“My job responsibilities include managing relations with interested investors, providing timely updates on our company’s development and organising investor meetings,” Huiying shares.
Seeing Maritime for the First Time
For Huiying, although she did not possess any former maritime experience, she has never felt that this has hindered her progress or growth in any way.
“What I have learned in school has equipped me with soft skills, which enabled me to better understand our shareholders’ perspectives in order to manage our relationships with them,” she states.
With the help of her friends who were already in the industry and would “occasionally share about their jobs,” Huiying took her first step into considering maritime as a career option.
Another tip would be to research for information online to determine if the industry is for you. Additionally, after speaking to her hiring manager at COSCO SHIPPING, she appreciated the company’s culture and working environment, which contributed to her decision-making.
No doubt, there are always some initial hesitations when joining a new workplace, especially when it is in a new industry.
“I had some misconceptions that the tasks I will be taking on would be rather repetitive. However, as the industry reacts to various environmental factors, I actually get to learn new things every now and then!”
Huiying was able to discover how listed companies function in terms of strategies, processes and many other areas, which further solidified her interest in maritime.
Huiying’s initial reservations about maritime were quickly dismissed as familiarity set in. “After starting, I realised there are many internal and external factors that affect the maritime industry. This makes my job really interesting and exciting,” she says.
However, she was also faced with a steep learning curve as many technical terms were unfamiliar to her.
“Thankfully, my supervisors and colleagues are very approachable and helpful. Their guidance has helped me to overcome the initial period of learning and adapting to the work environment.” She adds that “being proactive is most important,” and it is the responsibility of the newcomer to ask questions when doubts arise.
When asked if her work experience has been fulfilling, Huiying muses that she “cannot name one specific experience but one of the tasks that I find rewarding is ensuring timely updates to our investing community.” While time-bound projects are often a cause for stress, Huiying finds it stimulating. The fact that she has “to race against time to coordinate with various departments to get the information released on time,” keeps her driven.
Beyond the purview of her work profile, Huiying found that she “also get to meet people from all walks of life.”
Maritime as an Attractive Option
Reflecting on her maritime journey this far, Huiying is confident her decision to join the industry was the right call. She encourages jobseekers, especially those who are new to maritime, to keep an open mind. Initial misconceptions should not discourage one from exploring career options within the industry. One suggestion from Huiying would be to attend career fairs or workshops to understand the different opportunities available across industries. The maritime industry offers myriad job roles and aspirants do not need to have relevant study or work experience. Rather, as Huiying puts it, the primary requisite is a readiness to learn.
“If you are willing to learn, the maritime industry provides you with many learning opportunities.”