Alewijnse service engineer Thomas Rot is currently on a one-year training programme at Alewijnse Marine. He is presently on a placement working on a vessel, which he has joined midway through the electrical installation phase. This is a job that he has to get done with his team.
What exactly are you doing?
"I am working on the electrical fit-out of a trailing suction hopper dredger that is being built at a shipyard in the western part of the country. I’ll be here for six months. I am involved in the commissioning, but I have not been on board yet. That means that I have to rely on colleagues to be my eyes and ears on board, and I am learning how to collaborate and communicate. It’s a real education! Particularly as sometimes I am put on the spot and I cannot rely on my supervisor for technical knowledge as he is often engaged with other activities. So in a short time I have learned a lot and in an unconventional way. It’s been steep learning curve for my first job, but I know that I will benefit from this in the future!"
Have you grown into your new role?
You probably wouldn’t expect it but, after just a few weeks of work, I am now fully up-to-speed with the job. On arrival I quickly got involved in all the projects and I soon found that I can make a real difference. I contribute to the process and I go to meetings with the client. That’s a great feeling. I have learned so much in a few weeks and I am adding to that all the time.”
What makes this work so interesting for you?
It sounds very clichéd, but I don't do the same thing every day. There are always new questions to be answered, about both engineering and management. I also have a lot of responsibility. If I didn’t have it if I would have gone to sea instead. I think I have it is because of my technical knowledge regarding vessels as well as electrical systems. As a result, I sometimes have to answer questions about how the vessel operates. I am also busy with managing other people. So I have a great deal to do, but I like it a lot!"
Initially your ambition was to go to sea. How do you like it ashore?
“What I notice is that my technical knowledge is appreciated. As a member of a crew on a ship you don't get that fast, you have to go up one rank at a time. The funny thing is that I have not even been on board and I already understand completely how the ship works. I didn't expect it to happen that fast. In terms of engineering, a vessel is of a completely different order. What is also very nice are the international colleagues: Russians, Irish, English, Lithuanians. I really like that diversity and my English is improving quickly!”
What will happen after the project?
”I just have to wait and see if I will be transferred to a new project or whether I will still be involved with this vessel as a service engineer. The advantage of a new project is that I have now learned a lot about this ship and would like to continue learning on something different. This posting lasts one year and then if this works out for sides I could be employed full time by Alewijnse. I hope so. I really enjoy working here.”