Helin Tamm, Project Officer for Regulatory Compliance
When I was in school, and thinking about a career, I always knew that I did not want a traditional job – I wanted a career that was interesting! One day, I went to a careers fair with my class, and I noticed that a maritime academy had a stand there. After talking to them, and learning a bit more about the training on offer, I decided that a maritime career sounded interesting enough for me.
My first experience was on an Estonian icebreaker, where I worked as an able seaman as part of my training. There were some other women on board at that time, working as cooks. But on my next ship – a ro-ro cargoship – I was the only woman. People did look very strangely at me at the beginning! But I was lucky – there was an Estonian officer on board that ship who came from the same region as me, so he looked out for me, and taught me a lot.
I soon found out that even though you mightn’t ever work at sea, or if you only go to sea for a very short time, a career in the maritime sector offers you so many other opportunities. I worked as a maritime teacher, for example, in a secondary school in Estonia for a while. There are so many things you can do with this education; there are lots of different jobs and positions in the maritime sector.