In our special column this time, we are pleased to host an interview with Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO who finds his job both exciting and challenging as it combines his two key areas of interest: geography and money in a perfect manner, as he explains. Among many things, Mr. Sand advises us to be present at the moment and instead of using only social media, to engage ourselves personally in order to learn new things, share knowledge, connect and interact with others and become wiser.
SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Peter Sand: A 100% coincidence. And pure luck too I’ll guess. All I wanted at that time was to advise the decision makers of a company. I applied for the job as an Executive Assistant with a listed shipowner and fortunately I got it. Knowing only little about the shipping industry at the beginning I had to learn fast – quickly discovering that it combined my two key areas of interest: geography and money in a perfect manner.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
PS: Having the whole world as my playground. Working in the world’s largest, yet almost invisible, industry – what excites me the most is finding out: what’s going on? Not only in the present market, but mostly in the near- and long-term future. It’s a tall task – every single day, but the challenge inspires me.
S4S: When you think of the word successful who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?
PS: I am true believer in celebrating your successes. As an organization, as a team and as an individual. You may meet several deadlines in just a single day – some more difficult than others. But when you strive to achieve something, and you do your best to reach that goal line – ENJOY it when you are there. Take a deep breath and suck it in. Celebrate with your team members. This will lift your spirit and give you much deserved joy and pleasure. Don’t rush onto the next task in a split second – you may only crash and burn.
S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why ?
PS: At BIMCO, I must say – I have found my ‘zone’. I enjoy the thorough understanding and mutual respect between insightful colleagues/experts, each on their area, within the same industry. I dare to think that’s a bit unique. Every day, we discuss many different things – all with one focus: “what’s in it for shipping?”.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given and why?
PS: My advice today would be: “Be here, now”. Leave your device behind and engage yourself personally. You will soon notice the benefits and learn that it’s much more fun to share knowledge, discuss important issues and become wiser, than nursing your Social Media obsession.
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
PS: Always make sure that you have make room for ‘deep work’ in your daily work life. It’s easy to get distracted by all kinds of things at your desk every day. Without room for ‘deep work’ you will never get satisfied with what you do, as you may only carry out superficial tasks and handle neglectful jobs. Be open about what you need, in order to perform at your best.
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?
PS: It’s my experience that you simply can’t pass on experience (i.e. a piece of good advice) and believe that the one who gets it takes it all in. Most things in life you simply must learn by doing. As a teacher of Maritime Economics – I hand out loads of advices (at least I would like to think that) on how to understand the dynamics of the global shipping industry – as I hope to pass on my expertise to the next generation in shipping .
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
PS: As I am no longer a spring chicken, I must say that living a healthy life where food and exercise are core elements is of utmost importance to me. Never underestimate what a good night’s sleep can do for you. As I am fortunate to have children too, its essential for me, in order to ‘survive’ in business as well as in family affairs, to nurse my health constantly.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
PS: As an analyst, I see it as my primary objective to provide trustworthy insight to the decision makers of the shipping industry and related industries. Sharing knowledge that will make those who pay attention better off at what they do.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
PS: “I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that”. Whereas this is not my own – I really love it and believe that we can all do what we want – if we want to. Naturally something requires a bit practice… Originally, it’s the motto of Pippi Longstocking.