Meet Erica Nystrom from Dallas, Texas. Erica has a Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Communication and is a rig administrator for a major drilling contractor, in the offshore oil fields of the Gulf of Mexico.

As a rig admin, Erica serves as the human relations liaison to the crew on her rig. She has the very important jobs of  organizing crew change logistics for the 180 members on board and coordinating the muster (head count) during drills and emergencies.

We wanted to learn more about Erica’s career offshore. Below, in her own words, are her responses to our questions:

Erica, what inspired you to work on the water?

“Family history, flexible schedule to have so much time off and having the ability to live anywhere.”

Please tell us a story about a memorable experience working on the water.

“I had less than 1 year of experience when we lost power for a full 3 days, in the middle of summer. The crew brought mattresses up to the helideck to sleep outside to get away from the awful heat in the cabins. Regardless of the circumstances, everyone had a great attitude and it allowed us all to have a break from operations. Since I had no way of working on my computer, I took it as an opportunity to get to know my crew members better.”

What motivates you to continue working on the water if it’s a long-term career for you?

“The schedule [being off for weeks at a time and, the] ability to live anywhere.”

What challenges have you faced in your career?

“It’s a true sacrifice to spend so much time away from family and friends. Especially, when the weather is bad and you can’t make it home, as planned.”

What do you think can be done in your industry to encourage more women to pursue similar careers?

“Advertising! So many women are oblivious that this kind of career and lifestyle even exists.

I love the idea of a community for offshore women. I didn’t attend a maritime academy so none of my close female friends or family can relate to my lifestyle.”

Thanks, Erica, for answering our questions! We hope you will never be on a vessel again that loses power! Best of luck to you in your career!