A love affair with the sea
Enni Lehtonen was six years old when she first tried to steer a boat. Ten years later, her fascination for the sea lead to her choosing a career on board.
“For me the sea is calling, so I sometimes feel like I did not decide to become a seafarer. The sea chose me, and I love it!” says the ambitious 22-year-old from Turku, Finland.
“My dream is to work as an officer and some day in future to work as a master or maybe even as a pilot,” reveals Enni.
Enni currently works as an ordinary seaman while finishing her officer studies to get a junior officer license. While getting her education Enni has served on board several vessels to complement the studies with real seafarer experience and relevant training. Last October, she signed on as officer’s trainee on the Stena Arctica and worked side by side with the OSM team for ten weeks.
The trainee experience helped reassure Enni that she was going in the right professional direction, but she also admits that a life at sea isn’t for everyone:
“I can recommend this career for people who are not afraid to work hard and are ok with being away from home for weeks. Working on board a vessel is a great to grow as a person, you get to learn a lot about yourself. Personally, I really like that none of the days are similar,” Enni says.
“How is it like to be a female seafarer in 2018?”
“We are five women on board the vessel where I currently work. I think that everyone experiences some sort of challenge at some point in their career, regardless of age, sex, nationality or religion. Everyone needs to face those challenges, also me. My experience is that the duties on board are given based on your experience and skills – not because of who are you, how you look, or what size you are. The work will still be the same for people who has the same rank. The main question is: Can you do your job? That’s what really matters,” Enni concludes.