Engine officer

María Callealta Rosa, a Merchant Navy Engine Officer at Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea, is a crew member with a passion for mechanics and the sea. Her professional career began when she joined the crew of the Villa de Tazacorte vessel as an engine student.

What has it been like to develop your professional career at Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea? How did you begin?  

I’m very proud to have developed my professional career to where I am today as an engine officer. I remember starting on 29 December 2017, when I boarded the Villa de Tazacorte vessel as a trainee. The early days were very challenging, not only because I didn’t know what I was doing, but also because the weather was not great for the first few days.

What motivated you to choose this profession?

I have always been fascinated by engineering, and I knew I never wanted an everyday job, I needed something more exciting. That is why I began looking into different university degrees related to engineering, and then chose marine engineering. Although there is no connection to the sea in my family background, I believed that this profession would suit me, and I wasn’t wrong.

The sailing profession is very unique due to the particular characteristics of the sector and of life on ships. What is day-to-day life on board like?

My day-to-day life on board is very varied. I’m responsible for the engine room, alongside my colleagues, where I perform maintenance on all the equipment and ensure it’s working correctly, looking out for any faults so we can deal with them ahead of time. We have to adapt to the different types of vessels and the route that we are following at any time. Every day on board is different, which makes the work a very enriching experience.

As I’m sure you know, the marine sector, and specifically engineering, is dominated by men. Why do you think this is? Would you encourage new generations to study marine engineering?

Yes, I would encourage new generations to study marine engineering if they enjoy engineering and are passionate about the sea. But they should bear in mind that this means spending a lot of time away from their families, and the work is not easy. I believe that the lack of women in my department is due to general unawareness of the profession. There is also the sense that there is inequality on board, but I have always felt like one of the team and have been treated equally.

What do you most appreciate about working for Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea?  

What I appreciate the most is my colleagues. From the moment I got on board, I was surrounded by a group of fantastic professionals who guided and motivated me. They were a great support. My objective is to continue growing professionally, to one day progress to the role of chief engineer at the company. 

Maria Callealta