Introducing: Mariana Oustampasiadou
What is your story/background?
I graduated in June 2005 from the Merchant Marine Academy of Aspropyrgos (Greece) and immediately joined the shipping industry. My first job was as an officer on bulk carrier vessels with Angelicoussis Group.
In 2017, I fulfilled my professional dream: attaining the highest seagoing management position, that of Master on a Capesize vessel. It’s an accomplishment I am very proud of. I have to admit that the path was not easy. At the beginning, it felt like I was invading a male-dominated field. However, I successfully overcame all the difficulties I encountered, and I now feel much stronger for it.
Currently, I am furthering my education by doing an MBA in Shipping. I am really excited about this because I know it will strengthen my knowledge and skills.
What is your role within BV?
I joined Bureau Veritas in March 2021 as Marine Operational Center (MOC) Piraeus Surveyor in Greece. My responsibilities are mainly focused on performing assessment and analysis of the classed fleet Port State Control (PSC) inspection and detentions. I also develop and coordinate local actions related to PSC and detention prevention actions.
Additionally, I review Head Office Concentrated Inspection Campaigns, analyze monitoring reports and issue recommendations for improvement. Furthermore, I respond to requests by the MOC Manager in the scope of a MOC surveyor’s general duties.
Why did you choose Bureau Veritas?
My aspiration was to start my onshore career by working within the shipping industry. In this way, I could leverage my valuable sea experience. With more than ten years of professional experience as a marine officer running numerous successful audits and surveys, I was confident that I would be a valuable asset to the Bureau Veritas team.
Having worked with Bureau Veritas during my sea service, I saw very early on how Bureau Veritas’ representatives implement best practices during inspections. BV’s core values— Responsible, Open and Inclusive, Ambitious and Humble as well as Trusted—are in perfect alignment with my personal beliefs and character.
Which of Bureau Veritas’ values resonates most with you? Why?
The values of Bureau Veritas are very important not only to ensure that best practices underpin the services we offer to our clients, but also for the personal development of each and every employee.
Personally, I relate most to being Ambitious & Humble, as I find myself agreeing with American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, who stated: “Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing.”
How do you leave your mark on society?
I definitely wish to inspire people to follow their dream, even if it looks impossible to others. I believe that people should lead by example. Being a female professional in a traditionally male-dominated industry shows that there are no limitations in pursuing one’s dream. Times are changing for the better when it comes to gender equality, and it is our responsibility to be the perfect examples of such change.
“Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” (Steve Jobs)
This year’s World Maritime Day is about seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future.
How do you see the future of seafarers and shipping?
The impact of continuous technological developments on the shipping industry is remarkable. The industry is faced with numerous new challenges, and one of the most significant is minimizing shipping’s carbon footprint on our planet. The debate about the fuels of the future is set today to solve the problems of tomorrow. Shipowners must yet again make decisions that will shape the future of the industry itself in the coming decades. At the same time, seafarers are coming up against new challenges that derive from the new technologies on board.
The Digital Ship is another challenge both for shipowners and seafarers. Special training will be required to learn how to make the best out of what new technologies have to offer, while at the same time ensuring security against potential cyber-attacks.
A new reality is upon us, and we are all expected to adapt accordingly and follow the signs of the times!
What do you want for the future of shipping?
I would like to see shipping continue to lead the way on environmental protection, being an example for other industries to follow. At the same time, crew safety and continuous training are two subjects of high importance in my opinion, and the industry should continue to focus and invest in them.
The future of shipping is nearly upon all of us, and we within the industry are ready to help take shipping to the next level.