Meet Trudi van der Walt. Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Trudi previously worked on cruise ships as a deck and pool supervisor. During her time on board, Trudi was inspired to return to school to pursue a career on the navigation bridge, preparing to one day be captain.

Trudi has already accomplished some of her licensure, that includes Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster and VHF (Very High Frequency) radio operation. In January 2018, Trudi will enroll in a maritime academy in South Africa to become a licensed bridge officer.

Below, Trudi shared with Women Offshore, some of her experiences working on cruise ships:

In a couple of sentences, could you please briefly describe what your duties were in your previous job, Trudi?

“I was working for a cruise liner as a pool and deck supervisor.  I was encouraged to further pursue my career, by returning to school, to acquire the necessary studies to work in the navigational bridge.  As a pool and deck supervisor, I was in charge of the cleanliness and maintenance projects on the open decks, also ensuring all pools’ and whirlpools’ pH and chlorine ratios were within company standards.  Ensuring a safe, reliable and secure environment for the guests.”

Which part of the world do you work in?

“On the cruise ship, I worked in numerous parts of the world, such as Sydney, Australia,  The Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Grand Cayman Islands, to name a few.”

What inspired you to work on the water?

“Growing up, I was always telling my parents that I want to work on a ship. I did a catamaran delivery around South Africa and, shortly thereafter, started studying for my Offshore Yachtmaster certification.  Following that, I went to work for a cruise line company in their housekeeping department.  I have continued my studies and I am currently enrolled to qualify for Officer in Charge Of Navigational Watch certification.  I still have a long journey ahead of me – 12 months at sea as a cadet.  Which, I am very excited for!  This is a dream come true!”

Please share a sea story with a lesson learned or a memorable experience you’ve had at sea.

“Regardless of ethnicity – Indonesian, Filipino, Mexican, Chinese, European – all are equal, as they become like your family – brothers and sisters – due to the amount of time you spend together.  The camaraderie on a ship is something I will never forget.”

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

“Working on the ocean is my passion; an indescribable feeling.  It’s the chills you get when you’re in the perfect moment, knowing you are where you are supposed to be.  It is empowering to be pursuing my dream.  Never stop believing in yourself.  I always push myself to the limit, knowing that I can do this.”

What challenges have you faced in your career?

“I have had people not take me seriously because of my age –  to which, I have proven them wrong.  There were people telling me that I wouldn’t make it, that I was too young, and that I wouldn’t last one contract.  Well, everyone, here I am!  On my way to obtaining Officer in Charge of Navigational Watch certification. My advice for women in this industry:  Don’t let anyone get you down. You know what your capable of. Sure, you will fall but that doesn’t mean you cannot stand up and just try harder.”

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

“Women need to stop being afraid:  Afraid to work with our hands, afraid to see things in different ways and to understand and know that we are strong and capable of so many of the things that men are.”

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

“Seeing that I could work on a cruise liner, in different department and position, has shown me more career options that I didn’t know were out there. It’s been great getting to know all of the different departments and what they do. I have come to realize the navigational deck is where I want to be – and where I will be. I have worked hard to get where I am today, and knowing I have to work even harder to achieve my dreams.  This is just the beginning for me!”

Trudi, we wish you the best of luck with your exams and hope to hear about your career as it progresses!

Women Offshore
About The Author: Women Offshore

Women Offshore is an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Its mission is to shine a light on women in operations, provide resources to foster long-term careers, and share the latest efforts on gender diversity and inclusion in the offshore and maritime industries. Contact Women Offshore today:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ferri sapientem sit in, nec et omnium animal voluptatum, eu sea dictas iisque nonumes. Epicuri torquatos usu te, ex vim consul pertinacia. Eum decore cetero at, partiendo interesset eam an. Eu ferri facer soluta est, duo in tation dolorem, nam eius reformidans accommodare ea. No vis eros appellantur, vis habemus maiestatis et. Nam ne veri epicurei, no mediocrem interesset accommodare vel. Putent labores alienum eum in, vidit ridens phaedrum sed in.

Vim unum voluptua et. Ius odio facete te, te sit justo explicari, cu feugait principes deseruisse nam. Menandri tractatos adolescens ei pro, cum id doming utamur. Rebum nominavi sit ne, sea veri intellegebat ei.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, vix in quem ceteros, cum causae animal scriptorem ex. Accumsan nominavi luptatum ne sea, id mutat nostro eos. At unum facete duo, mutat eripuit nec ne, nam pertinax salutatus adolescens ei. Laoreet tractatos suavitate sit ea, an has nibh soleat instructior.

Iusto nobis nam eu, ei vis munere vocibus persequeris, has adhuc omittam accumsan at. Modo aperiam vel no, prima vulputate sadipscing ne his. Dico cibo ad nec, quo te probo nostrum iracundia, ut munere alienum dolores eos. Te mea affert nonumes blandit. Commodo nusquam his cu, cu intellegebat definitionem eos.

Sed eu oporteat petentium, nec ei legere expetenda. Est no ridens admodum, oratio nostrud cum te. Erant incorrupte omittantur pro ne, mel idque nobis reformidans in. Sea at dolor regione voluptatum, per malorum epicuri ea. Assum eleifend ea eam, quis porro voluptaria ne nam. Est at utamur dolorum feugait.

Per modus praesent te, ea impetus viderer vel. Sea dolorum epicurei te, in vis honestatis scriptorem. Sea placerat inciderint definitionem et. Fierent accusamus per et, suas eripuit concludaturque sit an, cu cum constituam interesset. Meliore ocurreret vix an, autem malis postea.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Duo in sanctus ornatus facilis, at autem omnesque mei, eos vidit ubique salutandi eu. Qui ad temporibus accommodare disputationi. Sit simul eleifend patrioque et. Te vero facilis sapientem quo, vis viderer docendi insolens ea, in prima instructior ius. Qui cu modo alienum iudicabit, vis cu vide fierent interpretaris.

An dicta denique usu. No sumo nobis utamur cum, oblique accusam in per. Dico indoctum ex pro. Commodo dissentiunt intellegebat te eum. Sumo volumus ex sit, magna justo lorem eu mei.

Stet laboramus elaboraret his no, vivendum hendrerit mei no, fuisset consequat duo in. Duo eu denique elaboraret, id vel vero graeci labore. Ex iisque percipitur cum, liber laoreet ex usu. His ex minim erroribus conclusionemque, cu dolorem iudicabit sea, ceteros scripserit voluptatibus usu in.

Cu option invidunt vix, harum tollit pri te, duis elitr insolens id eum. Te omnes patrioque ullamcorper ius. Ut per nobis signiferumque, vim no discere definitiones. Sit suas feugait dolores at, id eos nobis feugiat percipitur. Dolorem detraxit eos ad, intellegam theophrastus cum no. Ei adhuc semper persius qui, ignota bonorum alienum mei ea.

Ei pro ludus singulis adolescens, tale tota persequeris est ne. Cu ludus platonem molestiae mei. Erat porro an sed, ea facilisis gubergren vel. Pri at habeo mutat propriae.

Jane Smith

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, in duo sonet singulis, nam nihil voluptaria adipiscing ad, decore labores placerat no pro. Noluisse appareat te his, ea pri ceteros tincidunt. Eu vim iuvaret democritum, nisl diam oportere an nec, mei fugit nullam temporibus no. Veri conceptam at pro, omnes aperiri imperdiet cu quo. Mediocrem omittantur id per, ad eruditi ponderum vix.

Jane Smith

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, in duo sonet singulis, nam nihil voluptaria adipiscing ad, decore labores placerat no pro. Noluisse appareat te his, ea pri ceteros tincidunt. Eu vim iuvaret democritum, nisl diam oportere an nec, mei fugit nullam temporibus no. Veri conceptam at pro, omnes aperiri imperdiet cu quo. Mediocrem omittantur id per, ad eruditi ponderum vix.

Pin It on Pinterest