Meet Paal Berg Lande

Paal started in the Wilhelmsen group as a maritime trainee in 2010. Today he works as a fleet manager in Wilhelmsen Ship Management. Paal has a MSc. in marine technology and naval architecture from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

What do you enjoy the most about your job? I feel the trainee position was a truly privileged one. It allowed me to meet new people, places and challenges all the time. I think this is what I enjoy the most about working in the Wilhelmsen group – the constant flux of new experiences. 

How did you end up in this position? When did you begin in the Wilhelmsen group? I successfully applied through the Maritime Trainee Programme – operated by the Norwegian Shipowners' Association – during my last year of studies. I began in June 2010. Straight off I was doing a research study on reduction of speed across the global shipping fleet!

What has been your favorite Wilhelmsen moment during your time with the group? Working with so many different people and cultures, memorable moments aren’t far between. I remember when I was attending a dry-docking in China. We decided to buy some modelling clay to measure deflection of the aft ramp. We went around and emptied four toy stores to get several kilos of the stuff. Of course, we could not help ourselves: We ended up sitting in the ships' office making colourful "sculptures" of dubious quality together with our Chinese friends. You could say we used modelling clay to bridge the cultural gap.

My fondest moment, however, must be when I was "baptized" crossing the equator in the South Pacific sailing on one of our ships. The crew made a huge deal out of it, dressing up in elaborate costumes. I had to bow to King Neptune, swallow a nasty drink and have my hair cut in a horrible fashion before being thrown in the pool. It was an incredible way of experiencing life at sea.

When you are not working what do you enjoy doing? I enjoy travelling to strange places, hiking in Norwegian mountains and playing video games. I also like playing ice hockey and I try to join each of the weekly sessions of floor ball arranged by the Wilhelmsen group's sports association.