Variety is the spice of life
Karin de Vries’ connection with Wärtsilä dates back to the time when she was a sailor in the merchant navy in The Netherlands. At the time, she had sailed on a vessel fitted with a Wärtsilä engine and had a friend who worked at Wärtsilä in Zwolle. As luck would have it, a simple newspaper ad drew her attention to the fact that a vacancy was open, and she successfully applied for the job. Six years on and Karin continues to learn and grow with each passing day.
Starting as a technical administrator, Karin has worked in a variety of roles in Wärtsilä Marine Business. However, her latest stint is in Sales Support in Wärtsilä Energy Business at the Dartmouth office in Canada. While she is still familiarising herself with her new tasks, the new role and industry are certainly exciting with Karin considering every day a new opportunity. “I thrive on variety and learning new things,” she says.
“I really like and appreciate that I have been allowed to grow and develop, and to have been able to work in several different positions within our organisation,” she adds.
A true ‘people person’
The good atmosphere at work, the variety of tasks and the cutting-edge technologies being used, are all aspects of her job that Karin loves. She also really appreciates the support from her colleagues that helps her breeze through challenges at work.
“Just recently I had big things going on in my personal life,” confesses Karin. She recalls how her workmates brought her flowers, making Karin realise that they are always there for her – also as a friend. “I am very lucky and grateful for all of my wonderful colleagues not only in Canada but also in the USA and overseas,” she says. Two individuals stand out for singular praise. One is Karin’s mentor in her current role, Lucas Hendriks, and the other is her previous manager Mark Keneford.
“Lucas is a great support, and from both him and Mark, I have learned a lot about our customers in the Marine Business. While I will miss working with Mark in my new role, I am very much enjoying working with my new colleagues,” says Karin. “My colleagues Ruth, Serina and Charlie, along with the managing director Yasemin Mensah make the work atmosphere an inclusive and pleasant one, regardless of the tasks at hand. They always have time for discussions and advice.”
A strategy for success
From strict submission deadlines that require coordination between several business units in different geographical areas to putting in extra hours to incorporating last-minute proposal changes – it’s all in a day’s work for Karin.
She recalls a time when she had to fly down to hand-deliver a proposal, as there was no time to mail it to the customer. But in the end, being rewarded with a contract made it all worth it. Karin has devised a mantra to deal with stressful situations. “I set my boundaries and stick to them to avoid any mental stress,” she says. Ultimately for Karin, seeing her colleagues and customers happy because of her work is all that matters.
No wonder that her colleagues consider Karin a hero, who ensures that day to day activities are carried on smoothly. She firmly believes in Wärtsilä’s vision for a sustainable future and constant innovation. “I like to see myself develop and grow alongside Wärtsilä and work towards a 100% sustainable future,” she says.
Karin feels the focus on renewable power generation and zero-carbon marine systems will only get stronger across the globe. “As a market leader, Wärtsilä will play an important role in this and we must continue adapting to the changes and predicting future developments by learning from the past,” she adds.
Balancing out her hectic working life, in her spare time, Karin loves to play with her pets and spend time with her husband. Karin is an avid reader and also pursues courses in natural nutrition and health coaching. If anyone wishes to improve their lifestyle and nutrition, Karin is always available to help, like the true ‘people person’ she is.