Grieg Star Maritime Trainee Ragnhild Høvik presents the new purchaser’s dashboard in Grieg Star to Eli Vassenden (left) and Michael Back.

Trainees are back in Grieg Star

Jul 3, 2018

The rough years of shipping reduced Grieg Star’s focus on maritime trainees. The need for innovation and young blood has brought the trainees back, one of them are Ragnhild Høvik (27).


– It has been some really exciting first weeks, says Ragnhild Høvik.

The Master of Science started her traineeship in Grieg Star in May. Almost a month later she highlights the close follow-up and mentorship of her colleagues.

– I have learned a lot in a short time. I have been allowed to be hands on and actually do the job, which has been great.

Purchasing as a crash course

These first months, Ragnhild will work within the purchasing department. Eli Vassenden, Chief Officer Shared Services, labels the department as the perfect place to start.

– The field of work within purchasing is so varied. You have to be in contact with almost all parts of our business, both on land and at sea. And you need to learn to handle all our systems. It gives you a crash course in what we are.

Grieg Star used to take part in the trainee programmes of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association. But the declining rates in shipping forced the company to focus on cutting costs. When Ragnhilds name and resumé landed on Eli’s desk earlier this year, she saw the company had to revive the trainee positions. Ragnhild has a Master of Science from NTNU and a bachelor in economy and administration from NHH. Eli saw her as someone the company could not turn down.

– We will always be a maritime company. But the maritime trainee roles of old are outdated. We need young people with a wide competence base. Ragnhild had an expertise we needed.

I have been allowed to be hands on and actually do the job, which has been great.

Ragnhild Høvik

Maritime Trainee

Digital trainee

Grieg Star is looking to take giant leaps when it comes to digital solutions and more efficient ways of working. Of the first things Ragnhild has been working on, is a brand-new dashboard. It will collect data from several systems and browsers. When implemented it will make the day to day work of purchasing far more efficient.

– The work done as a trainee within purchasing has been impressive, says Head of Vessel Managers, Michael Back.

– Purchasing has some complex areas to grasp. Ragnhild has understood those areas quickly. What has been done on the dashboard project is really exciting, he says.

The maritime trainee period is between 18 and 24 months. At the end, Ragnhild will get more and more specific duties. In the end she will be given the position best suited to her qualifications.

Having young people challenging our way of thinking is good for us.

Eli Vassenden

Chief Officer Shared Services

– As a maritime trainee, Ragnhild will work for all our departments. But her role is wider defined than before. For us, it is important that young employees take a role within innovation and digitisation, Eli says.

Learning together

Ragnhild is not the only employee that need to learn her role in Grieg Star. Several other employees are within that group, says COO Jan Øivind Svardal.

– We have a small group of people in new roles or that are new in the company. They will have a unique possibility to learn together. We have a list detailing what they are supposed to learn. But the plan is for this group to gather and make a plan on how they want to learn those things, he says.

– We, the “old” people of Grieg Star, need to be challenged. Most of us believe we know “everything”. But that is of course not correct. Having young people challenging our way of thinking is good for us, says Eli.