“Boskalis has such a huge fleet – about 700 ships. The Traineeship is an exciting opportunity to work with the full spectrum of dredging, offshore and heavy transport vessels. It’s not something you’ll easily find elsewhere,” says Guillermo Barranco van Houtte. An engineer with a love of the ocean, he seized the opportunity of the Traineeship to switch from water sports to a challenging career at Boskalis.
The freedom to choose
A keen kite surfer, Guillermo studied mechanical engineering in Alicante, Spain, with an Erasmus year in the UK, then moved to the Netherlands in 2018 to work for a company making kiteboards. Hearing about the Boskalis Traineeship via a friend from TU Delft, he applied and won a place from 2019-2021. “As a trainee, you’re given the freedom to choose your path. You get to work on major, one-of-a-kind projects – my first was within the new-build team of the cutter dredger vessel Krios, at Kinderdijk IHC in the Netherlands,” says Guillermo. He also spent three months in Dubai as assistant superintendent of a backhoe dredger repair project. “The Traineeship is a great way to build your network. You’re one of 30 trainees. They’re all going to go into different departments in the company and become valuable colleagues in the future.”
A Technical Superintendent in the Fleet Management department since mid-2021, Guillermo is getting a close-up view of the Boskalis fleet. “My team oversees 12-13 vessels, used worldwide,” notes Guillermo, aged 27. “I’m currently working on two vessels, mainly deployed in Europe. As a superintendent, you’re the middleman between the ship and the office. I go on board quite often in the Rotterdam area, talk to the crew and find out what improvements are needed. I’m currently managing a project to design modifications that will allow us to increase the loading capacity.”
The life you love
Living near the coast in The Hague, Guillermo is well-placed to indulge his love of water sports. He now kitesurfs above the Zandmotor, a coast-protecting peninsula that Boskalis helped to create just a short drive from his home. “Dredging and kitesurfing – it’s an unusual combination,” Guillermo agrees. “The Boskalis Traineeship made it possible.