From her experience, she advises us to focus only on the things that we can change and never try to change other people; instead, it is better to try and change the way we interact with others. In the end, she shares her personal motto, that is 'dance like no one is watching' encouraging us also to consider that both life and work should be fun and also to stay true to our values.
SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Pia Meling: After graduating from the Norwegian School of Business Administration (NHH), I worked as a strategy consultant with Accenture. While I was on an assignment at ship operator Klaveness, they offered me a position as Financial Analyst which I accepted as I was very intrigued with the volatile market and the fascinating dynamics and people of the shipping world. My roles have varied from financial analysis and running IT projects to trading vessels and negotiating commercial contracts, before finding my passion within Sales & Marketing.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
P.M.: We are building a totally new market and creating a new competition area for short-sea shipping: as autonomy reduces operating cost vessels can compete with cheap, but polluting trucks that are stuck in traffic. Being allowed to work in the intersection between innovation and sustainability; in a small and agile team backed by two leading companies, is truly inspiring.
S4S: What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given and why?
P.M.: The best career advice I have been given is to “jump on the train when it stops at your station. You can always get off later, but it’s hard to get on a train that has left the station”. This means that I say yes to new challenges and opportunities when they arise, instead of declining due to the worry that the workload will be too heavy or the challenge too big. If that happens, you can get off the train at the next station.
S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why?
P.M.: Remember that people mostly care about themselves, they don’t even listen half the time and they forget quickly, so don’t be so self-conscious and worried about making mistakes. Both life and work should be fun, always follow your passion and stay true to your values.
S4S: Ιn the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
P.M.: I have learned to accept the things I cannot change and stay focused on changing the things that I can change. Instead of trying to change other people, I try to change the way I interact with people to achieve the desired outcome. Too many people are frustrated about what their management or colleagues do, instead of improving what they can do themselves.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
P.M.: I would like the maritime industry to embrace and encourage diversity. The industry is still very male dominated and recruiting from traditional educational and professional backgrounds. Our industry is trading worldwide in the middle of global economic and political events, and we are impacted by global trends and technological changes to a higher degree than ever. To be able to think differently and adapt faster, we need to attract new and different talent than we have been doing and utilizing all the brain power available.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
P.M.: Dance like no one is watching!
About Pia Meling, Vice President, Massterly AS (a Kongsberg Wilhelmsen joint venture)
Wilhelmsen and Kongsberg have joined forces to take the next step in autonomous shipping. These two strong and innovative companies each own 50% of Massterly AS, which will offer services for the customers’ entire value chain for autonomous ships; from vessel design, construction and approval from relevant authorities, to logistics services, vessel operations, insurance and financing. Pia holds an MBA and has a broad management experience from shipping; within chartering and commercial management of vessels at the leading dry bulk operator Klaveness, as the General Manager of Nav/Com service provider Radio Holland, the Marketing Manager for scrubber manufacturer Clean Marine and as Area Sales Director for Marine Products in Wilhelmsen Ships Service.