Having explored various careers in the maritime shipping industry in the previous issues, a curiosity arises about the perspective of a fresh graduate about the industry itself. To answer this question we interviewed a youth persuing a career in marine engineering.
Moosa Zajil Shafiu drew inspiration and guidance from his father, who is a Ship Captain, in choosing his future career. Being an avid sportsman, Zajil who seeks an active and energetic lifestyle could not see himself working a desk job.
“My father is a ship captain. That’s one of the main reasons for me choosing this profession. After finishing school, I did not know what to do but I was sure that I did not want a regular 9 to 5 job. I wanted something more hands-on,” Zajil explained.
Zajil whose childhood interest in the inner workings of cars soon led to the “fascinating inner workings beneath the bonnet” which peaked as he became infatuated with the world of engineering; “the sheer quantity of components and the innovative ideas that went behind assembling a functioning engine.”
The pragmatic young adventurer knew from the get-go that he would choose engineering as his career path. He conducted extensive research with the help of those in their respective fields including a marine engineer during his decision-making process to pick which career was just right for him.
“I aspire to one day become the youngest Chief Marine Engineer in Maldives as I believe that that would be the peak accomplishment of my career and make my family proud. I am willing to work very hard to make that a reality.”
While he seeks adventure and a path away from the mundane life of an office worker, Zajil is very aware of the challenges and sacrifices that come with working aboard a ship.
“When my father would go on duty on the ship, I knew what his job was like. As a seafarer he would go away for a long time and having contact with him is difficult. He could be gone for 9 months to a year and spend 2 to three months on land for most of his life. When he would come back he would show pictures of the boat.”
Zajil acknowledged that he would have “a similar life on a ship.”
When asked why he chose engineering instead of following in his father’s footsteps, Zajil explained that he is more interested in the engineering side rather than the chartering and navigation side.
“My first salary as a marine engineer will be MVR 34,000. That does play a part in my career choice but you can’t just do it for the pay alone,” said Zajil, highlighting another pro in choosing marine engineering as a career. However, he emphasises adventure as the more important factor when it comes to the maritime industry.
“I find the idea of long sea journeys thrilling as I am adventurous and a risk taker. The sea has always been a big part of my life. From being a member of the swimming team in school to frequent travelling from one island to the other by boat, I grew up well accustomed to the smell and taste of the saltwater.”
“I always feel at home around the sea.”
Zajil who initially studied at Iskandar School in the capital city of the Maldives, Malé, continued his O’levels and A’Levels at the International Islamic School of Malaysia and is steadfast in his determination to work in the Maldives maritime industry.
“Almost every kid in the Maldives has no idea about the shipping industry at all,” says the young man with concern.
“There are a lot of opportunities in this field as there are not enough people to work as seafarers, there are not enough Maldivian graduates who choose to be cadets on ships.”
He urges educators to incorporate more awareness about the maritime industry when teaching in schools in order to inform students that this is a job with a lot of scope and opportunities.
Being on a ship, being a seafarer, you get to travel around the world, in short, it’s a more exciting and adventurous life to be out there.