A Career as a Chief Engineer with Insight to Future Maritime Industry
In 2023 Mikael Kannelhovi graduated from the Master’s degree programme Autonomous Maritime Operations at Novia University of Applied Sciences, Campus Aboa Mare. We invited him to share his experiences in Aboa Mare’s Alumni Q&A.
Can you tell us about your time at Novia UAS, Aboa Mare? What degree program did you study, and what inspired you to pursue it?
I studied the Autonomous Maritime Operations programme to get an insight into modern technique and various solutions in connection to the future maritime industry. The monthly on-site education was a nice break also in the everyday life. We had a very good atmosphere in my class, providing an excellent opportunity to connect with individuals from diverse branches, each bringing unique backgrounds and perspectives.
How did your educational experience at Aboa Mare prepare you for your career?
With the education at hand, I hope to gain additional possibilities in a future perspective. Currently I have an open approach to the future in terms of career, and I do see there might come opportunities in the technical field as a natural part of the development. This relates to both onboard positions as well as at the manufacturers of technique and technical solutions.
How has your career evolved, and what are you currently working on? Could you describe a day in your professional life?
I am currently a chief engineer in the Finnlines fleet, and the education do open some additional perspectives, when considering various projects with technical connection in my professional environment.
Can you discuss any leadership roles or positions of responsibility you’ve held throughout your career?
In addition to various projects, leadership is a big part of the everyday duties onboard as department leader.
What is the most important lesson you have learned along the way?
Trying to maintain an open approach both professionally and in the everyday life to make sure that opportunities are not missed, and resources are used in the most effective way.
Are there any specific skills or qualities you believe are crucial for success in your industry?
Well, in terms of qualities, I see it is important to have a good ability to make decisions, also in critical situations. In my opinion, the importance of competent leadership has gained importance over the years because of, for instance, the multi-cultural crew in the onboard society. Everybody is different, and we all need to understand and respect each other.
How do you stay updated in your field, and do you recommend any resources or professional development opportunities?
Personally, I follow actively various manufacturers of technical solutions to stay updated, but this was also a part of the reason why I decided to continue my studies through the Autonomous Maritime Operations education.
What inspires you to work toward your goals and accomplishments?
Various projects in terms of modernization and development are inspiring for me.
How do you envision the future of your industry, and what role do you see yourself playing in it? What are your future plans or career goals?
In terms of career, I see the future through an open perspective. There will for sure be changes in many areas of the industry, not only considering technical advancement but also aspects regarding human resources. Here I do not refer to a possible decrease of job opportunities, but I do see there might be changes coming to existing setups.
How do you balance your professional life with personal interests and hobbies?
Amongst my interests are nature and wildlife. Also, one of my passions are classic cars.
What advice would you give to current students or recent graduates looking to pursue a similar career path?
For current students I recommend making sure you benefit from your onboard training in the best way; be alert, ask questions and take own initiative.