Executive Secretary | Project Assistant
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From dishwasher to mega yacht
I got into marine business by accident. I was originally an optometrist. For the master's certificate I needed a bit more money, and so I replied to an advertisement of a ship owner who was looking for people to care for the crew during the dock time at Blohm & Voss. The job was well paid, English no problem, and so I applied and soon found myself in the canteen of the shipyard. So my career in the shipping industry in fact started by washing the dishes.
But it was fun working there, way more, than I had ever expected. The cosmopolitan, cheerful atmosphere on board and on the shipyard, the people, who had an open mind and came from almost all around the world, the mix of languages and cultures... That was something very special and a working atmosphere, where I soon felt very comfortable. And there was indeed something to learn, new tasks and new challenges and also a lot of things to laugh about.
What I did not know in the beginning, was, that the canteen of the dry dock was right next to the office of the owners' representatives. There was a team planning the new construction of the "MY Eclipse", at that time the biggest mega yacht of the world with a length of 162.5 meters. An international team containing some of the best ship builders, designers and engineers worldwide. And even they needed coffee, sometimes a piece of cake or a proper meal. And sometimes they also needed a translator, someone, who could go and get something for them, make a phone call, do some office work and thus would make the work a bit easier. And at some time they asked, whether I wanted to become part of their team. I started with copy jobs, later took over the administration of the approval construction plans and finally was responsible for the coordination of the interior design. And because I had been on board from the beginning of the construction time, and thus knew everything and everyone, I even went to sea as a purser for two years on this probably most spectacular ship of the world. And my master's certificate? "Yes", I even did that at a later stage. Whether I will ever work again as an optometrist, is quite questionable. The shipping industry has its fascination...