Samsung’s Young Engineer at Geoje Shipyard Shares Her Passion for Shipbuilding

Over the past year, many of you have expressed an interest in posts that highlight the variety of careers across the many Samsung companies. So in 2015, we storytellers made a resolution to write more about our colleagues working in many different parts of Samsung. To begin, please meet Jiseon Kim, who shares with us her passion for shipbuilding as an engineer with Samsung Heavy Industries.

 

b_IMG_3286YOUNG CREATOR: Jiseon Kim standing at the hull fabrication unit of Samsung Heavy Industries

 

Please tell us about yourself and about your job.

Hello Samsung Villagers! My name is Jiseon Kim, and I am a shipbuilding engineer at Samsung Heavy Industries. In the Geoje Shipyard, one of the busiest shipbuilding centers in the world, I am currently working at the Hull Fabrication Department. The basic process of shipbuilding starts with cutting and welding structural steel plates. In simple language, it is like preparing Lego blocks to build a huge vessel. And I, as a main engineer in the field, am in charge of safety and quality as well as budget management. One of my duties also includes checking construction methods before each project starts. A wide range of knowledge related to the industry is required to perform the job.

 

How did you start your career as an engineer in the shipbuilding field?

It’s been my dream since I was in college. While many areas in the industry have been mechanized and automated, I was impressed to learn the value of the human element and ergonomic factors in the manufacturing process through various lectures during my college years.

In 2012, I joined Samsung Heavy and started my engineering career here in Geoje Shipyard. During my interview with the company, I stubbornly insisted on only taking up a post in the shipbuilding field. Considering the relatively low proportion of female engineers working in the field, it wasn’t easy back then to convince interviewers about my dedication to the job. But nowadays, I take my place among my colleagues and often get their words of praise and encouragement.

 

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Please tell us about your daily schedule at work.

Here at the Geoje Shipyard, our day starts early. I usually come to work one hour before the others arrive, at about 7 am, since I have to put on a lot of safety gear and check many schedules before starting each day. As we field engineers experience so many variables in day-to-day operations, I spend most of my day following up with the overall working process, identifying potential problems and coming up with solutions to each of them. It can be intense but mostly, our days start early and finish early.

 

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What do you like most about your job?

Most of all, I appreciate the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in many different fields. It’s also fascinating to witness concepts and images go from the drawing board to reality. There’s a huge sense of accomplishment. I visit the pier whenever the time allows and feel really proud of what my colleagues and I have achieved.

One of the rewarding moments of my career is also when my colleagues say “Things went well, thanks to your support.” Those words of kindness make me smile, making all the hard work worthwhile.

 

For our readers who wish to become shipbuilding engineers, please share some tips!

I believe one of the most important things in this job is to have a thorough grasp and an accurate analysis of potential problems at the shipyard. Every day we deal with various jobs that we need to respond rapidly to. There’s no time to lose. Therefore, we field engineers are required to improve flexibility in handling a wide variety of issues in a timely manner.

Also, a broad knowledge of the shipbuilding industry as well as good communication skills will be helpful. As a mechanical engineering major, I personally lacked professional knowledge of the industry and wasn’t familiar with the technical jargon when I first joined the field. This meant that it was very important for me to study basic terms and review working processes repeatedly in my spare time.

 

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What are your plans for the future?

I still have a long way to go. I’d like to build up more in-depth knowledge and experience in various fields. Hopefully someday my name will first come to the minds of many people whenever they think of an expert engineer in the shipbuilding industry!