Three years after arriving as an intern, Robert Andersen is now embarking on a new career as Portfolio Manager inside NORDEN’s Asset Management division. Here he gives us an insight into how he got started, and what life is like for young talents at NORDEN.
Tell us about your route into your career at NORDEN?
I studied for my Bachelor degree in International Shipping and Trade at Copenhagen Business School which offered an internship opportunity within the maritime industry. I was then offered a student assistant role while completing my Master’s. The last few months have been spent juggling that workload with writing my Master thesis’, all during lockdown. It was a natural step for me to continue my career here. NORDEN is a place where I can see myself grow and develop my skills for many years.
What does NORDEN offer young talents such as yourself?
Development - both personally and professionally. I have had the opportunity to learn from colleagues across the business, who are specialists in what they do. There is the freedom to seek and develop new solutions, and the opportunity to attend relevant courses, in my case several commercial-related courses, to further enhance skills.
What have been your career highlights so far?
I felt a very high degree of inclusion from day one. In my first week, I was invited on a visit to Besiktas Shipyard in Turkey to see one of our MR tankers, Nord Steady, during her dry-docking. Also, regular meetings with external counterparts and opportunities to attend closings of vessel sales and social events with our Japanese counterparts taught me a great deal about the meaning of business relationships and cultural etiquette. Shipping is a people business, and one of the elements I value having been offered exposure to early on.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced?
There have been many challenging tasks as most cannot be taught from the classroom but require hands-on experience to navigate. The 2019 scrubber fitting project was certainly a stressful time for the team, and the majority took place over a couple of months before Christmas, which is also an intense exam period.
Tell us what a typical workday looks like for you:
It may sound cliché but there is no typical workday. We could be working on the sale or purchase of a vessel and evaluating a potential deal, and the next day it could be the contract terms of a long-term charter deal. Apart from that there is a lot of contract management and visualisation of data which is one of the key responsibilities of a student assistant. As part of my training, there have been various operational tasks such as assisting with planning of dry-docking for scrubber installations and coordinating delivery arrangements for new vessels.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Well, I will be 45 by then, so hopefully I can play a part in developing future shipping talents, teaching them what the industry has to offer and how they can maximise their own potential - given I have hopefully figured it out myself at that point! Other than that, I hope to be involved in a highly specialised team where the people and relationships are still the key to success – and perhaps even leading such a team.