Cristina Mujica, Lawyer, Clyde & Co & President, WISTA Venezuela, notes that the ultimate goal of shipping is efficiency and continuous improvement of ship operations to enhance safety, environmental protection, participation of women and other activities. Sharing her own professional journey, she emphasizes the value of cooperation and how crucial it is to surround oneself with like-minded individuals and give them the recognition they deserve.
s President of WISTA Venezuela, Cristina has the opportunity to meet many exceptional women in the shipping industry and assist other women in realizing their full potential. ”It really excites me to be able to be part of the women who are breaking the glass ceiling for that next generation of women within the maritime industry.” she notes.
SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Cristina Mujica: I became a lawyer in the year 2010, graduating from Universidad Central of Venezuela and I always had some predisposition towards politics and international trade. The former being particularly dangerous in my country, I chose the latter. I began my specialization in Maritime Law and International Trade in the year 2011 and that same year I was recruited by Clyde & Co Caracas and began this beautiful journey, being Clyde & Co one of the largest maritime and insurance Firms in the world with their main office in the city of London.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
Cr.M.: Clyde & Co has been my house for over 12 years. Despite being a very large Firm with over 60 offices around the world with more than 2,400 lawyers, it is a strong and united community. With great family values, respect and recognition for their employees, professional development programs and opportunities and overall, very high morals and ethics which are crucial to me. Aside from Clyde & Co, at the moment I am honored to be leading Wista Venezuela as their current President. The opportunity of sharing my professional experience with so many extraordinary women in the shipping industry and helping other women to achieve their full potentials. It really excites me to be able to be part of the women who are breaking the glass ceiling for that next generation of women within the maritime industry.
S4S: When you think of the word successful who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?
Cr.M.: I admire the passion and integrity of my boss Aurelio Fernandez-Concheso, he is a dedicated maritime lawyer, professor and friend who has for many decades, led the development of shipping and trade laws in Venezuela. He has fought untiringly to open doors for future generations in the industry and has always been an example of perseverance and success. His legacy within the shipping industry in Venezuela and the International Maritime Committee will always be an inspiration.
S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why?
Cr.M.: Definitely my parents have been the most influential people in my life. My father, Antonio Mujica, is an industrial engineer and probably the smartest person I know. He would always tell me and my sisters, that he raise us to speak our mind and never settle for anything less. Then there is my mom, Valentina Perret-Gentil, she is so fiercest and strong in her believes, that she has always been an essential role model in my life.
Last but not least my husband, Juancarlos Querales, who despite having a very successful law career himself, he has permanently supported me and my career as well balancing both our dreams equally.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given and why?
Cr.M.: The best advice in the industry was given to me by Aurelio, which is particularly accurate in law which is that “the devil is in the details”. Basically, to watch your step closely and check everything down to the last detail. Mistakes in Law and particularly in shipping are pricey. The worst advice, that mom´s should not be full time workers. Multitasking comes naturally for women and having a family friendly working environment, allows you to balance both work and family. Let´s not keep condemning working moms and making them feel terrible for their life choices.
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
Cr.M.: My most worthwhile career investment, were definitely the 5 years I spent in the Universidad Central de Venezuela. As one of the top Universities in Venezuela, this Campus allow students to have a different perspective in life. My time there, made me the person I am today and I am extremely grateful for it.
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
Cr.M.: Definitely multitasking and watching over the details. But also making sure to surround myself with people who contribute to my ideas and always providing them with the proper recognition. Making sure they know you value them and that they are an essential part of the team. Growing as a team is much more rewarding than rising alone.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
Cr.M.: I think the word would be efficiency and that involves continuous changes. Everything in shipping revolves around how efficient can the activities become, the operations, the navigation, the documentation, chartering, flagging, dispute resolutions, environmental protection, participation of women, etc. That is the ultimate goal.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
Cr.M.: Take every experience and treasured it. No regrets.
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.