Marie-Andrée Giguère
Sustainable Development Coordinator, Fednav Limited

Was getting into the industry your first career choice? If so, how did you get interested in transportation? If not, what attracted you to this sector?

I definitely never thought I’d work in the transportation industry. To start with, I wanted to do my master’s degree in geopolitics. However, my future thesis director tried to persuade me to choose another area close to his heart: the marine industry. We reached a middle ground because my topic dealt with both shipping and geopolitics. Then I got to know the people and the transport companies, and I can assure you that it’s a particular environment, in a very positive way. So he succeeded!

What or who surprises you in your occupation, in the sense that you didn’t expect to see these aspects (technology, culture, atmosphere, challenges, etc.) in the industry?

One of my concerns before I began my career in transportation was the idea of having to set aside my environmental and social convictions. I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. The marine industry’s commitment is really active in our society and we encourage employees to be like that, too.

I also expected my work to be limited in a few aspects. Since I’m a curious, hands-on person, it seemed incompatible with my personality type, but surprise! We are encouraged to understand the importance of each department in our operations. Awesome! I like our interdepartmental collaboration!

If you had to give advice to the next generation, what would you tell them to encourage them to choose the logistics and freight transport sector?

Don’t miss any chance to network with the sector! It’s a small community and people help each other a lot. There are several groups that facilitate networking among young people in the industry and also, specifically, women. Also take advantage of summer internships offered by certain companies. This will let you confirm your interest in the field and smooth your introduction to the industry.

To encourage them to choose the sector: it’s a very stimulating fast-paced environment. We get to travel and meet a lot of people. Now, with new technologies emerging by leaps and bounds, the future definitely looks very interesting!

How do you see the future of your profession and the sector?

The environmental aspect is becoming more and more important in industry decisions. The sector has no choice but to make the shift to sustainable development and must incorporate it in all its operations. So I have no fear for the profession. As for the sector, major changes will disrupt it, like the huge influx of the next generation and technological challenges, but this is part of the normal course of events. Transportation is here to stay; that’s the story of the last few millennia! Succession is an essential element of this constant reinvention.

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