Lady at the Helm

Hildegunn Nilssen (30) is capable of more than just prancing around in ladies shoes with
high heels. As Project Advisor for our Client Services division, Nilssen must be shod for a wide variety of tasks. She is now taking Coastal Skipper certificate training.

2010 1 lady at the helm

The principle is based on having greater competence among more people.
– Hildegunn Nilssen

"I am currently taking the theoretical part of the Coastal Skipper training, which is something I am doing in order to strengthen my own professional competence as a member of the Client Services team. The principle is based on having greater competence among more people so that there will be a greater number of people who can get involved in a wide range of activities,” says Hildegunn Nilssen to Network.

Client Services is in charge of providing training to interested clients in dealing with various crisis situations. Large-scale emergency preparedness exercises that pertain to ship owners are encompassed by this work, and are something which Nilssen has conducted on many occasions with the rest of the group’s team. Nevertheless, Nilssen still felt motivated to further enhance her background knowledge in this area. 

Dedicated to Developing Knowlegde

Sharing knowledge is important in Norwegian Hull Club. The employees are given ample room to further develop their competence – both internally and externally – something that in turn benefits the company. “There is always something new to learn in this business,” emphasises Hildegunn. She finds her job at the Client Services division exciting. “I get to work directly with clients and become inspired to learn more,” she says.

She offers the following comment on the challenge which she has now taken on: “I was not 100 per cent sure just what I was undertaking, but I asked my colleagues some questions and got more details. I was convinced that this was the programme for me. I have since found myself in situations here at work where I find direct applications for what I have learned in the training programme. I have gained a better understanding of what happens at sea and on board a ship. It is quite simply an awesome task to be responsible for a ship. I have considerable respect for captains and officers and their profession,” emphasises Nilssen.

Hildegunn says she would definitely recommend the programme to others. “Yes, absolutely. I believe that many of us would benefit from the theoretical part and the insight this type of programme provides," she says. She considers the programme to be highly significant and useful.

Combines Theory and Practice

So what is next? Will she be going to sea now? “I would very much like to set sail in order to experience first-hand the things I have learned, but I don’t think it is likely that I will be logging 18 to 24 months of sea duty. But I would like to get some practical experience,” the 30 year-old smiles. 

“Things get very theoretical, sitting here on land and working with a sea chart, ruler and other equipment. Sailing the oceans first-hand would of course shed light on things in a much better way,” she concludes. “I have limited experience at sea. I have had little or no experience with navigation and had originally considered taking what is known in Norway as the boating license certification exam. But then I was encouraged by management in Client Services to go for the Coastal Skipper certification training,” says Nilssen.

This is a far more extensive and more comprehensive maritime training programme than the abovementioned boating license certification, and usually spans an entire year. “I have chosen an intensive version of the programme, which lasts six months and is arranged by Maritim kveldsskole (Maritime Night School). The certification exam is held in June,” she adds.

An Inspiring Workplace

She very much appreciates the opportunity for extended learning that she has received through Norwegian Hull Club. “I think it is very enjoyable and inspiring to work here. One is constantly learning something new working in the association. Norwegian Hull Club is extremely dedicated to furthering knowledge and expertise and has a very positive policy concerning the possibility for employees to take relevant extended learning courses. It has been my experience that our company is very good at facilitating this process,” says Nilssen. 


1. Jun. 2010