Krista Seward

Production Designer

Genoa Design International
St. John's, NL

Why did Krista choose this career area?

In junior high, Krista did a marine biology summer camp at Marine Institute. This introduced her to marine careers, and she knew she wanted to use her math, physics, and art design skills professionally. She picked a career path with that in mind.

What’s Krista’s educational background?

Krista finished the Marine Institute’s Marine Engineering Systems Design program in June 2009. At graduation, she was awarded the Bronze Medal for Academic Achievement for her program. Once settled into her graduate job, she hopes to enroll part time in Bachelor of Technology distance courses.

Krista’s diploma program did not include work terms, but many of her technical courses were project based. Her big project in second year involved designing all systems and propulsion components for a tug. She really enjoyed the work and knew this was what she wanted to do in industry.

Krista looked for a summer job after her second year in the program in order to get technical experience. She applied to three companies, got three offers, and selected Genoa Design. She liked the work so well, and they were so pleased with her skills, that she agreed to sign up with them as soon as she finished her program.

What’s Krista’s job all about?

Krista’s new career is starting out with ship system layout and 3D design duties. All of the work is done on computer, including laying out and designing pipe work for ship systems. Projects can include cooling water, fuel oil, lube oil, exhaust, and ventilation systems for engines. The vessels might need bilge and ballast systems or fire water systems. In all cases, the designs must satisfy rules, regulations, owner requirements, space restrictions, and practicality.

Krista is amazed that much of the work she does on her computer in NL is for ships being constructed half way around the world. Her designs affect the safety of crews and passengers, so she is very aware of safety principles. She says it’s very rewarding to see these designs come to life.

What are Krista’s working conditions like?

Krista lives in her hometown of Mt. Pearl and has a 10-minute drive to her office. Genoa employees choose between working four 10-hour days or five 8-hour days. Krista says she selected the option of every Friday off, for obvious reasons.

Her work place encourages hard work and creativity. The flat screen TV and Nintendo Wii provide quick time outs.

What benefits are associated with Krista’s job?

As a new graduate, Krista makes a salary in the $40,000 - $45,000 range. The company offers a profit-sharing plan, an RRSP plan, as well as medical and dental insurance.

Krista works for a progressive employer, so there’s lots of workplace learning and sharing of expertise.

Travel to shipyards is sometimes required, and the number of trips will increase as Krista gains experience and responsibility. Genoa designs projects for shipyards in many interesting locations, so Krista will have lots of places to visit in the future.

What’s exciting or cool about Krista’s career area?

Krista is proud to enter a profession where work is available internationally. She knows she could make more money and travel more by doing contract work. For now, however, she’s thrilled to start her career so close to home, and with such a dynamic company.

What advice would Krista give to people considering a marine transportation career?

Krista says time management and attention to detail are both critical skills in this type of work. The profession requires people who are motivated, enjoy challenges, and take pride in their work.

It’s important to have good communication and interpersonal skills so that projects are clear, designs are accurate, and implementation is perfectly planned. When it comes to ship design and construction, mistakes can be costly. There is no room for error.