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Firstly, can you introduce yourself and your current role within the maritime industry:

” My name’s Ashley Freeman, I’m 25 and earlier this year I left the Royal Navy after 7 years to start my Project Engineer role with ANEMOI Marine Technologies.

Before my current role, I was a Leading Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) in the Navy and left to pursue a career in the civilian maritime sector. The Maritime sector has always been interesting to me, and it’s what I’ve got experience in. I’ve also a passion for green tech and environmental conservation.

I wanted a role that fit my experience in maritime engineering and my passion for green tech and decarbonisation… that was what I was really looking for.

Rory Edwards reached out to me about the position with ANEMOI. I did my research into the company and it seemed like a great fit for me. My current role is project engineer, managing projects on behalf of ANEMOI and our clients – working with both the engineering teams and the project team to develop solutions, make sure that we’re on track to deliver our aims, and maintain our time frames for our rotor sail installs.

I also assist with developing future projects – looking into different sizes of rotor sails for different ships, different deployment systems…anything to get more clients invested and using our equipment to help future decarbonise the maritime industry. ”

What key skills made you perfect for the Project Engineer role?

Adaptability and resilience – that stood out for me. No two days were the same in the Navy. There were different challenges – engineering, logistical, personnel, etc. You name it, we dealt with it. You had to find a solution for each problem, there was no alternative.

I think resilience goes hand in hand with adaptability. You’ve got to be capable of keeping calm during challenges and using critical thinking to look at what your options are. A strong engineering mindset helps solve these problems.

Upon transitioning from the Navy and exploring civilian Maritime roles, one key thing is that many employers seek the often overlooked soft skills. These soft skills, taken for granted in the military, are highly valued in the civilian sector and stand you in good stead. ”

Specifically what technical skills made you ideal for the Project Engineer role?

” My role in the Navy focused on electrical engineering. The skills I acquired in electrical diagnosis and fault finding have proved valuable in getting my job with ANEMOI. They wanted someone who could contribute to both projects and provide additional support in electrical development.

In my six to seven weeks with the company, I’ve been primarily engaged in the electrical engineering side of things. During my interview, the emphasis was placed on my electrical expertise, and this is something I’ve taken from my time in the Navy. “

How would you describe working with a purpose-driven company like ANEMOI?

It’s a real personal sense of pride. Protecting the climate and the environment isn’t the main focus of the Armed Forces, so to use all the skills I’ve learnt from the Navy and apply them to a company like ANEMOI which works toward sustainability is something I am truly passionate about. What got me in was the fact that I will personally feel fulfilled and satisfied in the role – always proud of myself for what I’m doing because it aligns with my aims and objectives morally.

The maritime industry is competitive and there are a lot of opportunities. I was interviewing with other companies, but Anemoi stood out for me. They just felt different from other employers. It became really clear that ANEMOI is pushing in the right direction that I wanted to go in terms of sustainability and green technology, but also in the way that they treat their people.

It was new. It was different. I had a very different feeling talking to the people that worked at Anemoi during the interview, than all the other companies. The opportunities and autonomy they give their team, I think are really impressive. The company has respect for its people. They trust your work and value your experience to a point where even though this is new technology, there’s no micromanaging.

It wasn’t just a case of: this is your job, this is your box, and you’ll sit in that for the next 25 years. It was a case of we want you as a person. We want you because of what you’re passionate about. We want you in a role that can shape itself around you, and you can grow as the company grows. And that was what really stood out to me. “

How is Maritime sustainability changing the entry requirements for candidates joining the industry?

” At the moment, employers aren’t looking specifically for technical people who have a background in sustainable maritime engineering because it doesn’t really exist yet. You can’t have 10-20 years’ experience in sustainable Maritime tech because the time hasn’t elapsed yet for that to happen.

Professionals with marine engineering backgrounds and an interest in sustainability have the opportunity now to easily pivot to this new sector.

In the next few years with the way things are going, I can see huge developments in this niche, the rate of growth is massive. It won’t be long until you have people that are looking at their second, third, or fourth jobs in the sustainable Maritime sector. This will mean that previous sustainable experience will be important to secure a role in this growing industry.”

What advice would you give a candidate trying to find a role in sustainable Maritime technology?

” It’s very easy to undersell yourself and to underappreciate your own values and your own experiences. By all means have pride in what you’ve done, the experiences you’ve had, and the type of person that you are.

Because that’s what will stand out in an interview, the first thing will be – how do you present yourself? How do you come across? How are you answering these questions? Once you start talking, it’ll get into your experiences and then you’ll be free to express your passion and knowledge. It can really make a difference. And it can really stand out.

Have some faith in your convictions and don’t undersell yourself. If you have a passion for green tech, and you’ve got experience in the maritime environment – now is the time.

In your technical Maritime career, what was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

” It was definitely my career jump from being an experienced marine engineer in the Navy, previously doing project management in terms of maintenance periods and managing a relatively small team. Now at ANEMOI i’m project engineering on very large-scale global projects – dealing with companies and clients from all around the world.

Despite the size and scale of the Military, the part you play within it is quite small in comparison to my project involvement at ANEMOI. Going from managing a relatively small team with a military mindset to what I’m doing now in a civilian company has been the biggest shift.

What is the best part of working at ANEMOI?

I think the ability to be your own person and having that control back – the trust and respect that you get in a company like ANEMOI. Getting some positive feedback and the ability to control what you do and coming up with solutions for problems. Before, the mindset was just ‘I’m here to do a specific singular job’.

Now can I grow myself into completeness whilst having more flexibility and autonomy in my role. That’s been a big thing for me – going from the person that is implementing and on the frontline of engineering, to now being a lot more design and project management focused. “

What career milestone are you most proud of?

I would say getting my role with ANEMOI!

This was a job that was set above the others in terms of what I was looking at; responsibility-wise, status-wise, it was up there. They had a really high bar for who they wanted and it was the interview I was most nervous about because I wanted it to pay off. The opportunity felt so new and radical – getting the role was a massive milestone for me and is something I’m proud of. “

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Join ANEMOI Marine Technologies for a rewarding career in sustainable maritime technology.

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