Untraditional Career Choice

Some years ago, there were almost no women onboard the merchant fleet in Brazil. furthermore, there are few female sales representatives in the maritime industry. Cinthya Dias, however, has had both jobs.

  • Text:CHRISTINA FJELLSTAD

    Photo:EINAR ASLAKSEN

  • Ove Ronny Haraldsen
    Group Communication Manager

“When did you start working for KONGSBERG, and how did you get the job?”

“I started working for KONGSBERG in January 2011. I already knew of the company from my time working for the Navy. The Navy used simulators from KONGSBERG so I had a good working relationship with the people there. It’s a strong company with long traditions in the maritime industry. Then came the invitation in 2011 to work for KM Training.”

“How would you describe the KONGSBERG culture?”

“I can see that a lot of employees choose to stay with KONGSBERG for many years, some of them for more than 20 years. Most of these started in lower positions in the organisation and have in time been given new challenges. This is proof that KONGSBERG recognises our efforts, something which is good!” “What are you most proud of in your work?” “I am proud when I manage to develop a good relationship with a customer. For me, it’s important to get good feedback from the customers.”

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“What does it mean to you to work for a company that is turning 200 years old?”

“It’s important for me because it makes me feel that I do not to have to fear the future of the company. I mean, if it has already survived for 200 years, then it’s most likely to keep going for the next 200 years. It’s also interesting to work for a company with Norwegian roots here in Brazil. It’s inspiring to work with different nationalities and the best part is that we have such a good relationship with the companies in Norway. There are as many good things from Norway to Brazil as from Brazil to Norway.

“What would you like KONGSBERG to focus more on in the future?”

“It would be good to know more about the different parts of such a large company in order to have closer ties between the different departments and cultures.”

Cinthya Dias, Lives in: Niteroi (Brazil), Position: Sales Manager, Education: Nautical Science, Navigation Officer for Merchant Marine

ON THE MOVE
In the new office building of Kongsberg Maritime in the centre of Rio de Janeiro, we meet Cinthya Eliza Lopes Zeballos Dias. At least today. Tomorrow, she might be visiting a customer. That’s the everyday life of the woman with the many, but well-sounding names and the pleasant but assertive personality. She is one of very few female sales staff in Kongsberg Maritime, and the only one at Kongsberg Maritime do Brasil.

“My main job is to sell simulators, but I also sell training courses on the Brazilian market. We’ve just moved our training centre from Macae to Rio. As most of our largest customers have offices here in Rio, it’s very important to let them know what we can offer,” says Cinthya.

MARITIME WORK EXPERIENCE
Cinthya has not chosen a traditional career path. She started working as a “Deck Officer” onboard large vessels sailing worldwide. Since then, she has had the same function offshore before working as an instructor for the Brazilian Navy. She started working for KONGSBERG as an instructor in dynamic positioning before joining the sales team in 2013.

“I like this job. There’s not so much routine work and I get to meet different people from different parts of the world. After some years as an instructor, I felt it was time to do something different and that’s why I went into sales.”

According to Cinthya, the job demands a certain belief in oneself, and in the products you are selling. It is also important to be comfortable talking to different people.

“You need to listen to the clients so you are sure they get exactly what they need. The most challenging part of my job is basically convincing the customers that they should choose KONGSBERG,” explains Cinthya.

MORE WOMEN IN STRONG POSITIONS 
With a husband and three children, juggling work and family time is not easy, but Cinthya gets lots of energy and support from her family.

“There is an increasing number of women in strong positions here in Brazil. We continue to prove that competence is not related to gender. One great example is the President of a Petrobras. She’s a woman. Only a few years ago, there were almost no women working in the merchant fleet. Today, almost half the cadets graduating from merchant marine academies are women.”

WELL RECOGNIZED
Cinthya explains that KONGSBERG is well recognized in the Brazilian market and she is confident that Kongsberg Maritime has good prospects in Brazil.

“The oil sector in Brazil is in growth and demand for new ships and rigs is increasing. Considering that the majority of these ships and rigs have KONGSBERG products onboard, there is little doubt that Kongsberg Maritime will be able to establish a strong foundation here in Brazil.”

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