Zsofia Aho

Business Control Director, Ship Design, Wärtsilä Marine Business

Hamburg, Germany

10 years at Wärtsilä

Originally from Hungary


Never give up, never surrender

Ten years in a company is a long time. But for Zsofia Aho, it’s been a decade marked with career milestones in a job that has introduced her to new people and ways of thinking, from whom she has been able to learn and transform into a better version of herself.

A native of Hungary, Hamburg-based Zsofia is the Business Control Director at Ship Design in Wärtsilä Marine Business. She warmly recalls the first time she visited Wärtsilä’s office in Norway in 2014 to meet her teammates. The different modes of transport required to get there – two flights, an equal number of road trips and a boat ride – sound a bit tiring, but for positive Zsofia, it was purely memorable.

“I saw the most amazing landscapes on my way to the office,” she says fondly, recalling the stunning views. Add to that, there was the excitement of meeting her colleagues from different teams for the first time in person. “It was fantastic, almost like meeting close friends after a long break away from them.”

Leading by example

Zsofia’s typical day at work is action-packed with multiple projects, different tasks and hectic decision making keeping her on her toes. “It makes my position very interesting and diverse, but sometimes also challenging,” she admits. To deal with it, she needs to develop her skills continuously and have the ability to visualise important data for decision making, the capability to have constructive discussions and, last but not least, spectacular colleagues who have the verve to work together and get things done.

“I enjoy being surrounded by smart and motivated individuals within Wärtsilä and outside the organisation too,” she says. “I cherish the trust that Wärtsilä places on its employees which gives them the confidence to bring their best to the table every day. Leading by example is something the company believes in, and it shows.”

When talking about leading by example, Wärtsilä’s collaboration with the Seabin Project is an example of one of the company’s many initiatives that Zsofia feels particularly proud of, as it resonates with her own ideals.

“The idea itself is fantastic, very visual and clearly a step in the right direction,” she says, adding that this is a project she has talked about with her kids. “The waste in the sea and the concept of a Seabin is something easily understandable for them. And they can connect with what mum works with; what we believe in and what we do at Wärtsilä.”

Impossible is nothing

Zsofia is happy with the transformation that Wärtsilä has gone through over the past few years and glad that the company is focusing on innovations around developing a fuel-efficient portfolio, liquified natural gas (LNG), electrification, 100% renewable energy and other hybrid solutions that have the potential to change our planet for the better.

“These are all positive developments, and coupled with the highly talented people that work here, will help Wärtsilä stay ahead of the times,” says Zsofia. “The company is headed in the right direction as Wärtsilä has so many innovative people that basically, anything is possible.”

Over the years, Zsofia has forged a strong bond with her team. She feels it adds to the spirit of camaraderie to talk also personal matters before meetings rather than just diving straight into business. When working, the most important attributes that Zsofia brings to the team are her motivation, attitude for completing what she has started and the stubborn persistence to achieve her goals. These are also the traits that benefit her in her free time, especially since one of Zsofia’s hobbies is to run marathons.

When not at work, Zsofia can be spotted pursuing her new passion for triathlons and training for them. At home, however, she is a full-time mother to two girls aged six and seven. For Zsofia, being an enabler of the change through her work and creating value that her daughters can be proud of, is her biggest reward.

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