Personal touch is key

15 years in the industry has taught Sheryl Villamin a lot about getting the most out of people in the fast-moving world of the Wilhelmsen group.
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As a Senior Crewing Officer for bulk vessels at Wilhelmsen Smith Bell Manning Inc (WSBMI), Sheryl oversees a team of four in charge of documentation, staffing, recruitment, and both in-house and external training. Her biggest challenge is the recruitment of senior officers.

“The requirement for competency is very intense and we work with several branch offices to help us identify the best candidates. I always try to maintain a positive relationship with senior officers because even if one leaves us, we may be able to recruit them again in the future. We are also working hard on our cadet program to facilitate promotions to junior and senior officer positions from within.”

This focus on person first, employee second, is a thread that runs throughout Sheryl’s working life.

“Every day I encourage my team members to be hard-working and dedicated while maintaining a positive attitude. It’s so important to be cheerful to our clients and seafarers to leave a good impression of Wilhelmsen.”

“Our seafarers can be away from their families for a long time, so an important part of my job is talking to them not just about their job, but about their families. I want to know about their partners and children to help me understand their individual situations. The personal touch is key to a happy workforce.”

Sheryl is looking forward to more years working with WSBMI and helping her colleagues take their careers to the next level. When asked for any final thoughts for those looking to create a long career for themselves with the company, she answered immediately: “It’s so important to approach every situation with a positive attitude. A smile goes a long way.”