Asset Manager, Harren & Partner (Bremen)
I am Theresa. In June 2019, I started an internship at Harren & Partner to bridge the time to the start of my traineeship. Since January 2021 I am a part of financial team at Harren & Partner. Here, I have been working full time as an asset manager within the asset management team.
In asset management, I take care of the financial aspects of the shipping companies within the group. This means that I am responsible for planning expenses and income as well as having an overview on the financial situation of each vessel KG (limited partnership). In addition, you report to shareholders, inventors and banks and prepare regular updates in regards to financial and technical aspects.
While doing my masters degree, I focused on international management and logistics. Unfortunately, when regarding logistics in university, most of the material is focused on land and air transportation. Starting my career in shipping was a good opportunity to combine logistics with international management and learn something completely new.
I don’t know if the shipping industry provides special challenges for women, but in my opinion, it is still rather difficult to find a footing as a woman in “rich-in-tradition” industries. And shipping is definitely a field that is rich in tradition and conventions. Shipping has been a male-dominated field for a long time. Hence, as a woman, you don’t fit in traditionally. Still today, in some parts of the industry it is in discussion if women should be able to join certain fields of operations. So a challenge that shipping is facing right now is the right way of keeping traditions alive while opening up to the changes and improvements women bring to the industry.
Overall, I am lucky not only to work in a team where three out of eight team members are female, something which is probably not very common in finance, but also to have a female team leader. Still, as in every field of work, there are prejudices against women in the working world in general. Something I have heard quite a few times is that it is especially important for me as a woman to find the right balance between being nice and being assertive in order to neither be walked over nor to be perceived as snappy. This is probably something that men are not told regularly.
When I get asked what makes shipping special? Shipping is an unbelievably dynamic industry where the challenges and tasks change regularly. There is always something new to experience and to learn. In addition, you get to work with people from all over the world, learning from one another. Even though Harren & Partner is a family-owned business, we have colleagues from many different countries and cultures.