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Career switch from bio-medical to shipbroking

Photo: SMF (Photo) Siti Nur Puteri Mohammad, Steem1960.jpg
Siti Nur Puteri Mohammad
Despite having no professional or educational background in maritime Siti Nur Puteri Mohammad successfully made a mid-career switch from Medical Technologist in Singapore hospital to Commercial Operator with shipbrokers Steem1960 Singapore.

With shipping seeking to attract talent from other fields Seatrade Maritime News asked Siti Nur what prompted her to make the switch in careers, what attracted her to the maritime field, and how she went about making the move.

Explaining why she decided to leave a career in the bio-medical sector Siti Nur explains, “About six months into my Medical Technologist role at a local hospital, I found myself dreading work. I realised then that a career in the Bio-medical Sciences field was not for me.

“Confined to a laboratory with minimal social interactions, I yearned for a role that allowed the forging of human connections and one that is in tune with current affairs.”

So why look to shipping for a new career? She says, “From a young age, I have been exposed to maritime as my father used to sail. This interest was further fuelled by the stories shared by my friends who were working in maritime. Naturally, I was drawn towards it.”

However, with no relevant work experience or education to maritime Siti Nur was aware getting job interviews might not be easy. Through pro-actively approaching friends and acquaintances in the industry for opportunities she landed her first shipping job.

“As I made a mid-career switch, coupled with my Biomedical Sciences background that was not related to maritime, I thought that employers would be apprehensive. However, I have since learnt that if an individual displays enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, most employers are open to hiring talents hailing from industries beyond maritime. These are attributes that are essential for success in any career.”

She later moved into her current role a Commercial Operator for the Petrochemical/Gas desk at Steem1960 Singapore using the maritime career portal created by the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) where she deposited her resume and resulted in connecting with the shipbroking firm.

From working in a laboratory in a hospital previously, today, Siti Nur ensures that time and voyage charters are carried out according to Charter Party terms, and acts a as the main point of contact for vessel owners and vessel charterers

How do the two roles compare? She explains: “The maritime industry is definitely more fast-paced and dynamic. Since I entered, no two days of work are the same.   I have also been able to work with individuals beyond the shores of Singapore and collaborated with individuals hailing from different geographical locations.”

Clearly the move into maritime has one which has been successful for Siti Nur and she says, “I derive a high level of personal fulfilment from working in a role that is closely aligned with my personality.”

So, what advice would she give someone else looking to make a mid-career switch into the world of maritime and shipping?

“Never be afraid to ask when in doubt. Individuals should also bear in mind that proactive preparation is key to keeping abreast with the fast-paced and sometimes challenging nature of the maritime industry.”


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