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Diverse team of the shipyard. Minna’s story: from head waiter to ship welder

Minna Herrala came to the Turku Shipyard 11 years ago, to complete a ship welder's course. The reason was simple: the shipyard was offering steady work, and the income level was completely different compared to her previous jobs.

And Minna has had a lot of previous jobs. Before coming to the metal industry, she did casual work for restaurants and cleaning companies, was a salesperson in a pet supply shop, a groom at a horse stable in Sweden, a head waiter in Paris, and busy at a photo lab at Eiri-kuva.

The young woman adapted easily to the shipyard. Her being an extrovert with a positive attitude also helped a lot.

I’ve never gotten as much attention as I have at this shipyard!

I quickly learned the local bloke humour and responded with even worse things. You can manage just fine here as a woman, Minna laughed.
This is also noticeable in practice. Walking around the Megastar, Minna shoots a friendly “hi” to everyone. She stops every now and then, for a quick catch-up with those who have worked at the shipyard for a bit longer.

The photo tour at the Megastar proceeds smoothly, because Minna knows all the quickest routes, for example from the engine room to the bridge. You can tell how much experience she has had at this shipyard just by the way she moves. She passes by any pivots on the floor, or rods hanging from the ceiling, as if they have always been there. I, on the other hand, have to keep looking around and minding my steps, so as not to bump into anything.

Welding and guiding

Minna’s colourful work history also includes working as a guide at Sibeliustalo in Lahti. Hence, it was only natural for her to end up as a shipyard guide.
I saw an ad that the shipyard was looking for guides, although for the Helsinki shipyard. I still applied, and soon, I was guiding suppliers and stakeholders here in Turku, in between welding tasks.

During the shipyard tour, we get to enjoy amazing September weather. We are doing the interview at the edge of the shipyard, with a view of the open sea. Minna can rarely enjoy gazing at the view during her work days.
There isn’t much time to enjoy the scenery if you’re working in the halls. But it’s definitely something to keep in mind, considering what it’s like here when it’s a cold and dark time of the year. The attitude is what matters then!

Minna’s welding seams can be found on dozens of passenger ships sailing on the oceans of the world. However, she doesn’t really keep an eye on the ships after they have left the shipyard. She doesn’t go on cruises, either.
I’d like to go on a trial voyage of a new ship. Unfortunately, on trial voyages, there isn’t much room for a “tourist” who’d keep asking what everyone else is doing and why.

Time off with animals

Minna likes spending her time off with animals, and she’s got plenty of them. Most of her time is dedicated to dogs, whom she is training to be guard dogs.
I don’t have to take this work home with me. After a 30-minute journey home, I longer think about work-related things, and at home, wagging tails help to forget all shipyard thoughts.

Four different employers, same job

During Minna’s 11 years of work at the shipyard, the name and the owner of the shipyard have changed four times. Minna spontaneously shares her opinion about the ownership of the German Meyer,
It’s the best atmosphere now, no doubt about it!

Tags:  Shipbuilding

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