Interview with Ha Eun Ruppelt, Commercial Project Manager, Ardmore Shipping, Cork, Ireland.
I joined A.P. Møller Group – Maersk after graduating in 2002 from University of Washington with an option in Marketing, the Certificate of International Studies in Business, and a minor in Spanish. At that time, Maersk was hiring for a management trainee program called M.I.S.E. (Maersk International Shipping Education) that offered two years of theoretical and practical experience within Maersk followed by two years of experience abroad for approximately 250 trainees from 120+ countries.
My first position was with Maersk Container Line located in Houston, TX, in the import/export departments. Thereafter I progressed to New York Sales for one year covering a premium division for apparels covering customers such as The Children’s Place and suppliers for Macy’s and Saks 5th Avenue. During the first two years, we travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark for two weeks twice yearly to take courses and exams in subjects covering the maritime industry such as Maritime Law, Chartering, Terminal Operations, Investment, Risk and Tankers.
I then worked as Chartering Manager for Maersk Gas Carriers in Singapore. In 2005, I relocated to our head quarter office in Copenhagen, Denmark and stayed until 2007 when I returned to New York to re-open a US Branch of the Gas Tankers department. During the next 5 years, I had the opportunity to work as Gas Chartering Manager then as Maersk Tankers Operations Manager officially entering the petroleum products market.
In 2011, I was approached to take up a Chartering position with a competitor, Torm, in Stamford, CT. I was with Torm until 2013 when our family had the opportunity to relocate to Cork, Ireland to work for a small yet up and coming tanker owning company called Ardmore Shipping. After my maternity leave in 2015, I was fortunate enough to develop Ardmore’s first spot trading desk here in Ireland and have been with Ardmore Shipping since working on various commercial and internal projects.
What are your job duties?
Since 2016, my role has evolved from a strictly commercial role to a more strategic role. I managed the development and implementation of bringing our Commercial Operations team in-house as well as worked with a small team to start a joint venture with our technical managers. Current focus is working on commercially focused contract negotiations as well as rolling our internally IT solution for the commercial department.
Why should a business student do CISB?
CISB provides students with opportunities for growth and development of the skill set required in the “real world”. The second/third-year language skills, study abroad, and collaboration with local businesses to solve problems beyond our text book examples helps to build well-rounded individuals that today’s companies are looking for. It was the comprehensive program along with the dedicated faculty who take an active interest in each student’s potential that results in all our success stories.
In today’s global economy and world, we need students who look beyond their home states, countries, who are creative and have the eagerness to succeed. CISB paves the way for young professionals to start on the right foot along that path.
What advice would you give CISB students as they embark on global business careers?
I would highly encourage current and future CISB students to take any opportunity to go abroad and be out of your comfort zone for a while. To be hungry and eager for every opportunity that comes your way and to be persistent to achieve your goals.
We have a saying within the shipping industry, “no two voyages are the same no matter how hard you try.” Be flexible and open to changes, you never know what you will learn today!