Making the right decision
Wessel Goinga (29), now a fully-fledged Technical Superintendent with Offshore Energy, first became interested in a Boskalis traineeship through a friend. “I was uncertain which direction to take in my career,” says Wessel. “There were so many options. The prospect of first getting a taste of different possibilities as a trainee was very attractive.”
Getting an overview
Wessel’s first assignment was office-based, working on the decommissioning of three gas platforms. “A lot of preparation was needed,” he explains. “In actual practice, things moved fast.” Wessel learned about the company’s systems while in the Papendrecht office — and that 9-to-5 jobs were not his preference!
Next up was an assignment to a Dutch wind farm in Zealand. “I gained a lot of varied fieldwork experience as a junior Field Engineer,” he says. “I was involved in the landfall, cable-laying at sea, nearshore construction, and the cable pull-in at the platform itself.” The assignment was sometimes stressful, when unexpected changes had to be implemented, but it was a valuable experience for Wessel. “I was given quite a lot of responsibility. Sometimes I was the only Field Engineer on board, but at critical moments there were always colleagues available for guidance and help.”
Building on experience
The progression of his trainee assignments proved helpful: Wessel was already familiar with the systems before going on-site. “I liked being given responsibility early on,” he comments. “It’s not like being an interim employee, as some people imagine. Traineeships have been offered at Boskalis for decades, so it’s familiar to senior people. Everyone treats you as a valuable contributor to the team.” Since trainees can choose their own path, Wessel next moved to an assignment where he could balance office work with being onboard the vessels. “I chose the Superintendent function,” he says. “I knew I would be able to stay in the position when my traineeship ended, if I liked it, and that is exactly what happened.”
As Technical Superintendent, Wessel has found the balance he enjoys: varied work, from planning to finances, overseeing execution, and reporting on progress. “Most superintendents are responsible for several vessels, reporting to Vessel Managers and Fleet Managers,” says Wessel.” You’re never alone, he comments. At Boskalis, you have the responsibility for your own tasks, but information and advice are always available, and you can continue to learn from experienced seniors, and a network of supportive colleagues.