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Patrick Walsh

Fleet Operator
Fednav Limited
Patrick Walsh | Opérateur de flotte
Patrick Walsh | Opérateur de flotte
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Patrick Walsh is a Fleet Operator for Fednav Limited, located in Ontario.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born in Mississauga Ontario, and raised in Pointe Claire Montreal, Quebec 

I now live in: Pointe Claire, QC

I completed my training/education at: I completed secondary school, followed by Cegep in Quebec City at Champlain St Lawrence College. I am currently finishing a Bachelor’s degree in geography at the University of Concordia. I enrolled in a 6-month program for the first position I held at the company, and have continued training and learning internally.

What I do at work

In my role as a fleet operator I work as part of a team to keep our ships are running. This means making sure all ships are running in the most cost efficient and productive way possible. I perform many different tasks during the day. For example, I monitor the speed of the ships and their fuel consumption. I also use different data to develop the most cost-effective routing and fueling plans. I coordinate with the commercial team to make sure our client’s needs/expectations are met.

The kind of problems that come up change from day to day. As a result, no two solutions will be exactly alike. Everything we do is on a “case to case” basis. This is perhaps the most interesting part of the job. We send ships all over the world so we encounter problems that may not have happened before. As a result, we are always learning new things or refining our skills and knowledge. Our company provides us with the resources and knowledge necessary to solve problems as they arise.

When it comes to approaching these problems, I usually go about it in the same manner. First, we identify exactly what the problem is, and what is causing it. Then, we brainstorm and identify possible solutions. We will then analyze each possible solution within the confines of the situation itself to decide which solution best fits. Once we select a solution, we will consult a manager with significant experience in the industry to get their thoughts and feedback. It’s a complete team effort!

I am also currently working a winter specific program for our ships coming into Canada. Due to the harsh winters and ice conditions, it takes special planning and attention to details. Much of this job takes place at ports in Quebec so I spend a lot of time communicating in French.

My career path is

All through high school and Cegep, I planned to be a professional athlete. I had completed my high school education and Cegep program as I followed this dream. Some unexpected events occurred and I shifted my focus to university where I enrolled in a geography program. While I was studying, my father introduced me to the Shipping Industry. I applied for an internship at Fednav in their student internship program. I spent two summers learning from and working for Fednav. Then a position in the operations department opened up, and I decided to apply. After two summers, I could see myself having a career in the shipping industry. So I decided to follow this career while finishing my studies. I plan to go into a Masters Degree program within the next few years.

I am motivated by

Personally, I find the excitement of the industry is what makes it fulfilling. You get the opportunity to operate a vessel, which is travelling all over the globe. This gives you chance to speak with experienced Captains and crew members of all different cultures and customs. We get to deal with international customers on a daily basis. You can be communicating with customers and workers in South America, Europe and Asia, all in the same day. It is cool to see the difference in interactions and business dealings between different cultures. 

What I enjoy most is the challenging nature of the industry. There are so many decisions that have to be made regularly. This forces you to adapt and become used to making informed and important decisions quickly. We get the opportunity to learn from many highly experienced and knowledgeable people. We go to many e-seafarers and captains for advice, tips and lessons. This provides for constant growth and progression in my career.

How I affect peoples’ lives

The materials we ship get used in all kinds of products. We ship many different things to many different places. Recycled scrap metal is melted to make steel for new products. Wheat goes into feed for animals or human. Soya beans go to plants where they are crushed to make vegetable oil and the leftover is used in animal feed. 

Outside of work I

I enjoy hanging out with my friends in my downtime. I also enjoy exercising and playing sports (e.g., hockey, basketball, snowboarding, football, golf). 

I currently volunteer teaching and coaching a hockey team.

My advice to others

I would suggest you take whatever opportunity you can to get involved in the field of work you are considering. Look for internships, ask questions, and contact companies. There is much more to the industry than meets the eye. At the end of the day, the only way to know if you really enjoy the work is by trying it.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Business & Economics
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Industrial Arts / Shop Programs
  • Music
  • Physical Education / Health
  • Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked being given free range to eplore my ideas
  • Liked reading
  • Felt at home in the outside, natural environment
  • Didn’t really care about grades
  • Learned best “by doing”
  • Always knew exactly what I wanted to do
  • Engaged in activities such as fishing, berry picking and hunting

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