Meet Alex Burgess-Chrost from Leominster, Massachusetts. A 4-year veteran of the water, Second Assistant Marine Engineer Alexandra Burgess-Chrost opens up to Women Offshore about conquering fears to pursue a passion.
Alex attended the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and acquired her Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering. More recently, she elevated her position of Third Assistant Engineer, by obtaining her Second Assistant Engineer License for Unlimited HP/Spearhead Class Vessels. We caught up with her to check in on her life and career:
Alex, could you please describe what your duties are in your current job?
“As Second Assistant Marine Engineer on JHSV (Joint High-Speed Vehicle), Spearhead-Class Vessels, (which, are now called T-EPF – Expeditionary Fast Transport) my current duties include; regular maintenance of the ship’s service diesel generator, auxiliary system and main propulsion diesel engine, watch-standing while underway, day-working while in port and taking part in weekly fire and boat drills. This job can definitely be dirty, greasy and sweaty. However, I wouldn’t want it any other way!”
Which part of the world do you work in?
“I can be sent anywhere in the world. However, recently, I’ve been working in Asia. Specific ports I’ve also been to, include Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and many more!”
What inspired you to work on the water?
“Ever since I was young, I enjoyed the water; regardless if it was the ocean or fresh water. When I was applying for the Maritime Academy, I took the technical skills I learned in high school and decided to apply them to marine engineering.”
Please, share a sea story with a lesson learned or a memorable experience you’ve had at sea.
“Working in this industry, you really learn a lot about everything. You meet new people, whether it’s your crew or someone from a different country, and you get to know about them. Going to new countries allows you to learn about different cultures and ways of life you might have never known. I enjoy this job because it has given me the ability to think ahead, react to issues that can come up, and apply life skills at work or at home.”
What challenges have you faced in your career?
“Every day can be a challenge – that’s what I like about the job. You never know if a piece of machinery is going to fail, if you’re going to have to respond to a fire, or deal with the natural elements. This job allows me to think quickly and can be very rewarding.”
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
“To anyone reading this: Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. If this is what you want to do – it’s certainly not for everyone and it can be demanding work – but, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do a job.”
Second Assistant Engineer Alexandra Burgess-Chrost, we appreciate your words in bolstering up our current and future generations of females in the industry. We wish you the best sucesses in your future endeavours!
Would you like to be featured as a women, working offshore? Drop us a line at email@example.com! We can’t wait to hear from you!
The Women Offshore Foundation is an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Its mission is to propel women into meaningful careers through access to a worldwide community and professional development resources, while raising awareness amongst industry leaders and decision makers about issues affecting women on the water. Contact Women Offshore today: firstname.lastname@example.org.