Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Meeting With. Paul Olvhoj, Sales Manager at Port of Sunderland

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Meeting With. Paul Olvhoj, Sales Manager at Port of Sunderland

Article excerpt

What is the best thing about your job? A bit cliched but every day being different is something I love. I once worked briefly as a signalman for Network Rail. Every single shift was exactly the same as the last and it was mind-numbing. At Port of Sunderland we are a very small team running a busy port that is growing year on year. We have to adapt to new challenges in the maritime sector, keep the ships coming in and out, act as Harbour Authority and keep growing.

What is your proudest achievement? I left home at 16 to join the Royal Navy.

At 23 I was working in Siberia for an oilfield services company, then at 26 was in Nigeria repairing oil well logging equipment. When I met my wife during this time, we spent the first six months of our relationship on different continents and although I settled down a little bit, I then worked for Fugro, travelling the world on vessels carrying out geophysical surveys.

Which individual has inspired you most and why? In every role that I have had, I have been lucky to work with people who have led and inspired me to improve; inspiration is everywhere and I get it every day from all levels of the business.

Outside of work my hero was Spike Milligan. I read his war memoirs when I was young and have kept copies of them ever since.

He was a sensitive, kind, flawed and incredibly, amazing funny man. My attitude to people, animals, stupidity and cruelty has been shaped by him.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given? Don't take anything abroad that you aren't prepared to lose. Served me very well in Nigeria. Also, don't drink the water anywhere!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in their career? Enjoy yourself. If you don't, it is the wrong career but don't be afraid of changing. I chose the Royal Navy to travel the world first then get a trade qualification. …

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