At the age of 15, I wasn’t keen to go to University; instead wanting to follow in my father’s footsteps with an entrepreneurial venture. However, changing school for A-levels widened my understanding of the doors a University degree would potentially open. Studying Alevel Maths, Physics, and Design Technology, typically laid a strong foundation for an Engineering degree choice.
As a keen young (albeit not particularly skilled!) windsurfer and novice sailor, I was thrilled to discover that Naval Architecture was offered as an Engineering degree at top Universities.
I spent four very happy years at Southampton (where the Engineering degree course is known as “Ship Science”) on its Master of Engineering Course. During this time I was accepted onto a sponsorship scheme by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (LR), working during
my summer vacations. Excited by the massive choice of travel-through-work offered in LR, I snapped up its offer of a place on its awesome Grad scheme in 1996.
On joining LR, I was posted to Barrow-in-Furness, to learn about construction of small Product tankers, while also gaining a solid grounding in welding and NDT techniques. Next, I was assigned Tanker and Bulk Carrier Plan approval work, before heading out to postings in Rotterdam and Singapore. There I learnt mainly “existing ship” surveys, although also became involved in newbuilding projects.
Two years on, the enterprising and business nature in me was bubbling away, so I decided to focus on commercial aspects of shipping. I found, with a little determination, that nontraditional career options would be possible within LR. I embarked on a series of steps that have led me to my current commercial position of UK & Ireland Sales Manager.
In getting here, I have grasped various opportunities within LR. These include positions in Brussels, then as Business Development Manager with primary responsibility for the Marine Media relations, and Product Manager for Ship Information Systems (the Marine IT software systems).
Three years ago I made the step to my current role as UK & Ireland Sales Manager; a role which really fits well with my natural business mind/innovative nature as every day brings new challenges in ways to help our clients.
I manage a team of highly talented Account Managers based across the UK from Glasgow to Southampton. As a team, we are responsible for business in the UK & Ireland, which is a massive chunk of LR’s global business. I am currently returning to work after a year’s maternity leave, into my Sales Manager role.
I have had an immensely varied and satisfying career, born out of Naval Architecture as its platform. I am thankful to have been so well supported by its Professional Body, The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) along the way.
The Marine Industry is completely fascinating, and is topped off with fantastic people at its heart. I am truly glad to have stumbled upon the world of Shipping, and have never looked back.