“Seafaring seems to be male-dominated and I’m just a girl”. To which, the Captain replied, “So?” A short two letter word and that taught me to rethink the limitations I have set for myself.
Nurfaezah is from cohort 7 of the TNTA programme and is currently sailing with Pacific International Lines (PIL) Pte Ltd.
The Captain’s reply of “So?” changed Nurfaezah’s life, and perspective on seafaring. After some extensive research, she made the career switch from bartending to maritime.
Two years into the programme, Nurfaezah could not have imagined how far she has come, as she stood before a crowd of PIL officers and staff to make a speech at the company dinner. Having completed her 18 months of sailing experience with PIL, she is into her final phase of the TNTA programme.
“My dream is to become a captain of a ship. It is uncommon for females to choose this industry, but with the encouragement from my parents and friends plus my determination to gain as much experience as possible while honing my seafaring skills, I can do it!”
I remembered how difficult it was to be sailing during the Hari Raya period, because the absence of my family was magnified and I missed them a lot. It is during these moments that I appreciate the crew’s efforts in organising celebrations onboard and that helped me cope.”
Even though the crew members are from different cultures and backgrounds, it is the camaraderie among them that has broadened her perspective in life. “Not only do we give each other mutual respect and understanding, we also give each other support during hard times.”
Seafaring is not just for the men! Despite the challenging life of a seafarer as a female, Nurfaezah has not regretted this bold decision that she made 2 years ago.
Nurfaezah gives credit to Wavelink Maritime Institute for thinking through the structure of the TNTA programme which included practical aspects during the pre-sea training, such as simulator training at the state-of-the-art Wavelink Maritime Simulation Centre. This gave her the confidence to steer an actual ship when given the opportunity. Her 18 months sea experience helped her acquire the skills and knowledge working onboard.