Stephanie Schillgalies

Head of Europe Chartering Desk, Jumbo SAL Alliance (Hamburg)

My name is Stephanie. I started my career in shipping with a traineeship at Apollo Shipping GmbH in 2009. During the third year I was given the opportunity to have a small job exchange. An apprenticeship in the chartering department in SAL in autumn 2011, back than still in gold old Steinkirchen. As I really liked the culture & working experience at SAL and always wanted to get to know other companies after my traineeship, I joined SAL in January 2012 as a Junior Chartering Assistant. After 18 months of experience , I became Chartering Manager and was able to continue building & strengthen the team with my supervisor. In 2015, I became his deputy. Today, I head the Europe Chartering Desk and Key Account Management and take care of our most important accounts.

Shipping was never on my radar before my traineeship. After school, I lived in Seattle for a year. I really liked being in contact with people from abroad and in exchange with different cultures. Hence, it was clear to me that I wanted to have a job with a strong international focus. That's when my father suggested the shipping industry to me, as it is in daily contact with the whole world and operates on an international level. I then applied to various shipping companies while still in Seattle and was luckily offered a traineeship.

As a woman in the shipping industry, you are sometimes totally on your own due to the male dominance. That's why I started the WIS (Women in Shipping) initiative with other female companions. WIS gives women in shipping a platform after their traineeship and from there of onwards to connect and exchange their experiences with others. Through WIS they have an opportunity to inter-exchange ideas and expand their network.
In the early days of my professional career, I often had the difficulty of being taken seriously by more senior clients due to my junior position. They exclusively wanted to talk to senior management. I always had a hard time with these clients in the beginning and had to work my way through to earn their trust and confidence. But that didn't stop me in my development. I always went my own way and grew with the tasks I was given and learning.

As a woman in Key Account, I experience to be a bit more sensitive compared to my male colleagues. This means that I can perhaps better carve out the needs of my clients and map their challenges more quickly and concretely.

Shipping for me is really a very special industry. Therefore, I can only recommend anyone who is looking for an international career and enjoys networking, to look into shipping as a possible career start. You have the opportunity to learn about new cultures, you travel a lot, and you can see the world and exploring it your own way when you are open for it.


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