In a snapshot of her fledgling career, Deck Cadet Mansi Singh outlines who inspired her to become a seafarer, the motive powers at work in her choice and her daily reward of learning, challenge and contentment.
My family background is Dad who works for the Reliance Group, Mum who is a homemaker and two younger siblings. It is great, but it is part of a familiar 9 to 5 routine, and I always wanted to do something different.
My brother and also my cousin are the ones who inspired me to join the merchant navy. It quickly became my dream career, and soon after my parents felt the same way. They have always supported me, right from the start. I joined Applied Research International (ARI) for my pre sea training. Life at ARI taught me discipline and further developed my hunger for knowledge in this field. The faculty was very supportive and prepared us for the best and also the worst situations that we might face on board.
I joined the tanker “PUSAKA JAVA” with some slight apprehension. Despite all that I had heard, I still had an idea that, as the only woman on board, I might have difficulty fully fitting in, but I need not have worried. The whole thing is an amazing experience. The seniors are really supportive, and (as this is my first ship) the detailed handover from the Cadet I was relieving helped me a lot. The Captain (Shinju A.P. Sir) and Chief Officer (Vijay John Sir) are especially supportive and teach me a lot on a regular basis by giving me many and varied tasks that help to build up my learning.
I have been a Deck Cadet for only three months, but they show confidence in me and give me responsibilities, which encourages me a lot. So far, the experience on board has been great. It is hard work, but I enjoy it, especially because by working more I am learning more. I find happiness in everything that I do, with all my crew colleagues also guiding and teaching me, so I learn a very great deal that is new every day.
I am really passionate about the maritime industry and the opportunities it presents for me to make myself a highly competent officer, and perhaps one day a Captain. Nothing is easy, but my love of my work and the career I am following makes it all hugely enjoyable.