SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Päivi Haikkola: I was always interested in technology and engineering sciences, but somehow ended up studying Business Administration and working in a consulting company. After some 10 years in the business, I had accumulated an extensive knowledge of the marine business and I was pretty fed up with the consulting. I applied to Helsinki University of Technology and was accepted to study maritime technology there. I finished the studies that normally take 5-7 years in just 3 years and came back to work within the maritime industry.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
P.H.: It is very fun to see how the most recent developments in AI and computing can be utilized to improve the maritime logistics chains and the work of those working within maritime.
S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why ?
P.H.: I have had several mentors over the years, but I feel that especially the CEOs or my other direct foremen in the companies that I have worked in, have taught me a lot.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you've ever been given and why?
P.H.: The worst was when a female colleague once told me to try to fit better into the social structure of my female coworkers at one of my earlier jobs. The best is that you can do anything you want, just remember that an elephant is eaten one piece at a time…
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
P.H.: When I jumped from my consulting job back to technological university, it felt like a huge sacrifice money and time-wise. However, the investment has already paid itself back both in money and with much more interesting jobs.
S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?
P.H.: Don’t worry if things do not seem to go exactly as you wished right away. There is so much time… I can’t remember any advice that I should have ignored, so I assume that I have ignored and forgotten all the bad advice by now.
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
P.H.: I try to have some time over for other things than work as well. Mostly that means my family and to a lesser degree it is exercise. It is impossible to be sharp and at your best all the time unless you get some downtime doing something completely different every now and then. If work is your whole life, then your life will crumble when you meet with problems in your professional life. With other interests you can find new pathways that will lead you to new adventures.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
P.H.: I believe there is a lot of misconceptions about autonomous remote operated and related technologies, and I would like to correct those. It is a good thing that that is exactly what I am paid to do as well (among other things).
S4S: What is your personal motto?
P.H.: Do to others what you wish for them to do to you
About Päivi Haikkola, Senior Ecosystem Lead, One Sea Ecosystem DIMECC Ltd
Päivi has held several administrative positions in the past and worked both at shipyards and suppliers to the marine industry. Among other positions, she has previously worked as Head of R&D, Marketing Director and Administrative Manager, she has also acted as a Board Member. Päivi received a Master’s Degree in Economics (Business Administration) at Åbo Akademi University and a Master’s degree in Naval Architecture at Helsinki University of Technology.