Name: SAMIRA ALI
Qualification: BSc Electrical/Electronic Engineering
Secondary School/s attended: St. Rose’s Secondary School, Akwatia
Tertiary Institution/s attended: Regional Maritime University, Nungua
- I got into my job by applying online on the company website – oceaneering.com. Not all of such applications end up as scam and lies, so be advised. Some actually work. Although I had to be extra persistent in my case and I went the extra mile of sending an email to one of the contacts I saw on the web page and that is truly how I got my job. I knew nobody and had no ‘links’. You don’t always need that, contrary to popular belief.
- My day usually starts at midnight and ends at midday. We run 12 hour shifts onboard and so operations are ongoing for 24 hours. Some people work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and vice versa as well as midday to midnight.
- On a typical day, as there is always a team of three on the job (Two Technicians and one Supervisor), we sit together to plan what needs to be done for the day. We schedule our maintenance tasks for the ROV system and plan how we will perform them. We make sure to identify any hazards associated with the tasks and communicate how to mitigate or control them to ensure a safe job. This is basically called a toolbox talk and job safety analysis. After that the Supervisor attends a meeting with the people in charge of operations on the rig to find out what they might need from us operationally. If anything specific comes up, we send the vehicle subsea to do the work. Otherwise we continue with our regular preventive maintenance to keep the system in good shape. We normally have coffee breaks in between lunch and dinner time so a 12-hour shift is not exactly 12 hours. But sometimes we have to work beyond the 12-hour schedule if something comes up and needs to be solved before the end of the day.
- The best part of my job is the teamwork and good collaboration between people of different cultures and backgrounds to successfully perform a task flawlessly and in time. It proves to me that we are all one and the same and if we put away our differences, we can achieve much and even build lasting bonds at work.
- The worst part of my job is when something goes wrong and we get behind time trying to fix it. It gets very frustrating and there is always a lot of pressure from the client.
- A memorable moment I have had while offshore was on my birthday about two years ago. My supervisor had the baker make me a birthday cake and I shared it with the crew! That is one of the best moments I remember.
- Outside of work I like to take photographs. I even take a few lessons from my photographer friends on how to compose and make images with my camera. It is a fun venture and I hope to be able to go professional some day with it. Sometimes I read but I have gotten lazy over the years. I also like to go on websites like khanacademy.org, udacity.com, coursera.org or edx.org to do some online learning. I especially love Khan Academy because it is a great place to strengthen my basics in mathematics, electronics/electrical and physics topics. You should try it out. You will not regret it.
- My advice to anyone, especially young people, pursuing or intending to pursue science subjects is that you should never give up and never be complacent. I learned that the hard way and it has not been easy. And a general life lesson I would like to share is never allow anyone – friend or family – to kill your dreams. You are allowed to dream as big as you want and with faith, you can achieve whatever you hope to achieve. Fear and faith cannot reside in the same space so in order for your faith to work, you need to eliminate fear completely. This is easier said than done. But it is not impossible.