We sat down with our storyteller: Witold Jakubowski . He is a Senior Interior Engineer with a heart full of wanderlust and a passion for innovation. Nestled in The Netherlands, we talked with him about relocating to a foreign land, seeking opportunities in a different corner of the world, and the rewards that come from opening oneself up to a world of learning as well as the future of sustainability in yachting and how small things make a big impact in the world of yacht design.
1. Can you tell me where you come from and where you work?
I am originally from Wroclaw, Poland, and I currently work as a Senior Interior Engineer at Royal van Lent Shipyard. My role involves overseeing the interior aspects of superyacht construction. We focus on bringing to life the designs created by architects and owners. This includes working on structures, mechanical engineering, ventilation, and the finer details of the interior, such as furniture and finishes.
The various disciplines in yacht construction are intertwined. It's essential for all departments to work closely together because many challenges are not limited to a single area. We often have to address multidisciplinary problems collectively.
2.How was your initial contact with Middle Point and what convinced you to make the move?
My first contact with Middle Point was through Sara, who reached out to me on LinkedIn while I was job hunting. The process went smoothly, and I appreciated the information and support I received. It felt like a straightforward and well-informed approach.
3. How did you react when Sara offered you the opportunity to move to The Netherlands? Did you have any prior knowledge or expectations about the country?
The idea of emigrating or working in Western Europe was always in the back of my mind as a professional in Poland. When the opportunity came up, I didn't find it shocking or confusing. It seemed like a natural progression and a relatively easy decision to make. It's interesting how sometimes opportunities align with your expectations!
4. Is there anything specific about The Netherlands that you've come to appreciate since your arrival?
I've appreciated the ease of walking and cycling here due to excellent infrastructure. The emphasis on physical activity and the quality of food have even helped me shed a few kilograms! The well-organized and information-rich environment in The Netherlands is also a plus.
5. Looking back at your career, do you have a specific achievement you're particularly proud of, either at your current job or in your previous roles?
In my previous job, I found great satisfaction in seeing the ships I worked on come to life and sail. Witnessing the realization of a custom design, even down to small details, was quite rewarding.
6. Let’s get job specific! Can you share an example of a minor detail that can significantly impact the overall performance of a project, even though you're not directly involved in design?
One example would be focusing on crew areas. Making small adjustments in crew cabins, like improving privacy or comfort, can significantly impact the quality of life for the crew. Happy crew members often translate to a better overall project!
Seemingly minor details can have a significant influence on the project and the people involved. The devil is in the details, as they say.
There was a situation where a seemingly minor adjustment allowed more comfortable access to the cabin bathroom. It highlighted how vital these design nuances are, as even a small mistake can affect the practicality of the yacht.
7. Finally, thinking about the future of the yachting industry, are there specific aspects you hope will remain the same, and others you'd like to see change?
Sustainability is a significant concern, especially for such a luxury-oriented industry. While it's challenging, I hope we can address it more effectively in the future. We need to take a deep look at our practices, technology, and infrastructure to make yachts and the industry more sustainable.
If I had a magic wand, I'd tackle sustainable propulsion systems and infrastructure. Making propulsion systems more sustainable, whether through advanced technology or alternative fuels like hydrogen, would be a significant step. However, it's crucial that the infrastructure supports these changes. Without widespread charging or refueling options, these advancements would be limited. Additionally, the magic wand could also enhance awareness within the industry, promoting acceptance and a mindset shift toward more sustainable practices.
8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights on sustainability. Finally, what advice would you offer to someone considering relocating abroad for work, based on your own experiences?
My advice would be to remind them that it's essential not to follow the same routine mindlessly. Relocation can provide a fresh perspective, open up new possibilities, and convince you that change is possible. It's an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the unknown. While it may not always be easy, remember that it's an adventure worth having.
Take your time to adapt, and don't stress over things out of your control. It's about picking your battles and making the most of the experience. Many people have successfully moved abroad, and you can too. It's all about taking that first step!
Our intrepid Senior Interior Engineer, now a seasoned voyager in the art of relocation, reminds us that the pursuit of knowledge knows no boundaries!
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