Speaking the language of the sea
Nury Sanchez is a polyglot, meaning she can speak several languages fluently including English, Spanish and Portuguese. To add to this list, she can also speak the ‘Maritime Language’.
“In my job, the knowledge and experience of the maritime business, the understanding of the sense of urgency for maritime customers, a strong knowledge of maritime regulations, application and compliance, as well as respect for the seas is important,” she explains. “I call this the ‘Maritime Language’, the language of the sea and I believe that I have mastered it.”
This mastery could explain why Nury works as Account Manager, Wärtsilä Marine Sales, based in Panama and handles some of the company’s biggest clients. For Nury, it was the growth opportunities that initially brought her to Wärtsilä, as well the international nature of her role, the solid company history and great range of solutions that Wärtsilä delivered to the industry. In her current role, she is in charge of promoting and finding new opportunities in Latin America North and the Caribbean countries. A task that requires her to know her customers inside out.
“Figuratively speaking, I have to be able to get into their heads and know their needs first-hand. I need to be able to empathise with them and understand the challenges facing their business,” she says. “Only then will I be able to offer them the right solution to fit their needs.”
A can-do attitude
Panama and the famous Panama Canal are global shipping hotspots, and when Nury joined the office two year ago, she used her ‘maritime mindset’ to reactivate customer relations and build new ones that reflected the importance of this office.
“We are growing and bringing on board people who are fully committed to the maritime business and bring significant experience and talent. I am very optimistic about our positioning in Latin America,” she says confidently.
Nury’s skills came into play recently when a tugboat went out of service. That is significant especially when you consider that the canal works 24/7, 365 days a year. Nury and her team quickly swung into action.
“We recognised what went wrong and took steps to rectify the problem,” she says. “We managed to reverse the situation and provided a working solution for the customer. The customer was happy, and this helped us solidify our relationship with them.”
A natural innovator
This was not the only time when Nury’s expertise has been key to a solution. Once, one of her accounts had brought a floating sewage treatment plant to the port. Nury’s understanding of the ‘Maritime Language’ helped put in place all the documentation necessary for its operation.
“Since the vessel normally calls on US ports, United States Coast Guard (USCG) compliance is necessary,” explains Nury. “I am a certified USCG Port State Control Officer, so I have a thorough knowledge of applications required in US waters for vessel certifications. I was able to guide the customer and provide all the necessary documentation from our end to support their compliance.”
As good as she is with her job, Nury’s life is not always filled with taking care of customers. Sometimes, she runs into peculiar situations which she often recounts to colleagues.
“I was travelling to Mexico for a customer visit, along with my colleagues from Venezuela, the Netherlands and Mexico. We were supposed to take a connecting flight from Mexico City to Mazatlan, however, as the boarding call was never made, we ended up missing the flight and losing our luggage,” recalls Nury. “We had to stay in Mexico City without luggage – and we were a colourful bunch comprising a Dutch, a Mexican, a Venezuelan and a Panamanian. But we remained a committed team in spite of this adversity and managed to make all the customer meetings. That, in my opinion, should summarise Wärtsilä´s mindset. No matter where you come from, we are all working to accomplish a common goal.”
This attitude is what makes Nury a natural innovator, helping come up with out-of-the-box solutions to unusual problems. How does she manage to do all this and still retain her good humour? A passion for life and the ability to look for the best in any situation, she says.
“I like travelling, meeting new people and learning about different cultures by talking openly with people. I also spend time supporting my 11-year old son on every step of his path on this planet. My family, along with good music, good food and good wine, make for a perfect day,” she says in conclusion.