From learning how to sail as a curious child to navigating tall ships as an adventurous adult, aspiring Naval Architect Olga Rozestwińska has big plans to build large ships.

Meet Olga Rozestwińska from Zielona Góra, Poland. Olga is attending Gdańsk University of Technology, where she is earning a a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Olga has her eyes set on graduation to start her career as a Naval Architect. She plans on designing giant ships that make up the maritime and offshore energy industries.

Olga’s passion for working on the water, started when she was a child and fell in love with sailing. This passion was further strengthened on board tall ships in the Baltic Sea. “When I sailed on the Tall Ships as a crew we had lots of different duties. Starting from cleaning the ship, polishing the brasses, helping the Cook in the kitchen, raising and lowering sails. Ending with steering on a direction given by an officer, checking radars and radio, and marking the position on the map.” This time on board, instilled a love for the water and a desire to go to school to learn how ships are built. “The decision to work on the water came automatically. As a Naval Architect in a shipyard I want to take part in this amazing proces of creating the biggest vessels and Tall Ships in the world.”

Olga doesn’t just want to design ships, she wants to know how they are operated. “I believe in a principle that a coach cannot be good, if he had never been a soccer player. Here is the same situation. I can’t even imagine that somebody who never sailed could lead the whole ship production. I want to try as many things as it is possible by myself on a deck, to have a whole vision of a good project of a vessel. To know exactly what the seafarers needs are, I have to become a seafarer first.”

Olga hasn’t left the tall ships behind. At the time of this writing, she is planing her next adventure on a tall ship in a race around the world. She will join the tall ship to sail around Europe.

Olga’s experience at sea has given her a new perspective, revealing lessons that can be used onshore. “During my first cruise (it was on a polish scout sail ship) first thing which I’ve learned was…you won’t believe this, washing the dishes. On my first watch in the kitchen, we had to wash dishes used by 50 people. Our Cook was really scary, and the big waves didn’t help us at all. After this situation I definitely stopped complaining about washing dishes at home. I think that’s a big point to mention. This little things on the sea, which allow us to better know ourselves. The sea teaches us a diligence, hardworking and humility. And it doesn’t forgive our mistakes.”

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Olga is just finding her way in the industry, yet notices the challenges, “My career is very, very short, but I think the biggest challenge, still, is learning how to cope with men’s opinions, which are not always ‘motivating’. This problem touches women not only aboard, but in a shipyards office too.” Regardless, she wants to encourage all girls who want to study Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering to do it! She hopes to see more women in the industry as she designs ships throughout her career.

Here at Women Offshore we look forward to following Olga’s career as she builds the world’s biggest ships. Best of luck to Olga on the upcoming tall ship race around the world!

Women Offshore

About The Author: Women Offshore

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: [email protected].

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