Adriana Woodcock – HSEQ Performance Analyst
What attracted you to the maritime industry?
My father was a chief mechanic and my brother is a Marine Engineer, so I was naturally drawn towards the industry. Sailing around the world for 12 years on passenger ships and now being shore based for the last 6 years has been extremely enriching in experiencing both sides of the job. I have had an amazing career and worked with some great people and would thoroughly recommend joining the maritime industry to anyone if they have the opportunity.
I initially joined a passenger ship as a gym instructor, before deciding to study towards working on in a more technical role onboard. After completing my studies at the South Shields Marine School, I became a Technical Administrator for Deck and Engine.
What were your favourite aspects of your role working at sea?
I loved being part of a team striving to deliver the best possible service for our clients. Seafarers have a great work ethic, and I felt proud when we rose to challenges and met our targets. The best thing about working at sea was the variety of challenges we faced, and how we solved them as a team. No two days were ever the same, which made it really exciting. Working at sea also exposes you to so much more than just a career. I travelled the world, whilst meeting so many different people from other cultures.
How did you find the transition from working at sea to being shore based?
I transitioned from working on a cruise ship to join a V.Ships Fleet Cell as Technical Assistant. Life ashore is really different. When working at sea you are there for the duration of your contract, then you return home, so, in a way, you live two different lives. Those lives are much closer and intertwined working ashore. My shift pattern was 8 months at sea, and 4 months ashore, which felt like a long (but well deserved) holiday! Life at sea is really hectic and fast paced and I had to adjust to a different pace when working in an office. Maintaining a good work/life balance is initially challenging, but you do learn to adapt.
How has the maritime industry changed since your career started?
The industry has adapted alongside society, although it has always been a welcoming and diverse sector with opportunity for all. The way we approach and support safety and wellbeing has drastically changed in recent times for the better. My current job as HSEQ Performance Analyst gives me a really good insight into Safety.
What’s your vision for the maritime industry?
My hope is that the industry continues to enhance the onboard working environment, to allow the crew to enjoy their time at sea. V.Group’s value ‘We Care’ – with a big emphasis on safety -underpins everything we do. People make quite a few sacrifices when they decide to go to sea and it is therefore important that owners/managers continue to make it as attractive as possible for anyone wishing to embark on a seafaring career.
What would be your message to women considering a career in the maritime industry?
Anyone considering a life in the maritime industry has the possibility of a challenging but extremely rewarding career. With the right attitude and willingness to learn and progress, anyone can achieve anything. Perseverance is key, and the sky is your limit!