Women Making Waves – Melissa Carroll

Atlantic Towing – Marine Engineer

Melissa is a Marine Engineer, on Atlantic Towing’s vessel the Atlantic Raven, operating on the West Coast of Canada. She has a Technology Diploma in Marine Engineering and has been working in the maritime industry for the past 10 years. She has held the roles of Engineering Cadet; 4th Engineer, and her current role as 3rd Engineer.  

She resides with her husband, Aaron, in Old Perlican, Newfoundland and Labrador. On her time off she is kept busy helping him run their fishing enterprise. When they are not doing maintenance on their boat or fishing, they love to travel, enjoy the outdoors, and spend time with family. She has a big family and they try to see each other as much as possible. She has two nephews and one niece who are their family’s pride and joy.  

 1. How did you end up working in or alongside the maritime industry? Please tell us the story of how you got to your current role.  

 I grew up alongside the maritime industry. My father was a part of the inshore fishery, fishing cod until the Moratorium and then transitioned offshore fishing for crab and shrimp. It was an industry I had seen a lot of. When the time came to choose a career path I thought long and hard to find what I thought was the best path for me. I love to be hands-on and active, and it was important to me to choose a path that would afford me the opportunity to get a good job that paid well. These prerequisites led me to choose the maritime path.  

2. What education have you taken a) pre-working in or alongside the maritime industry and b) since joining the maritime industry?  

 After completion of high school, I obtained a Diploma of Technology, Marine Engineering from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. My initial marine work experiences were gained from my program work terms. Two positions were on oil tankers and my last on a bulk carrier. Each experience afforded me the opportunity to see different parts of Canada and the U.S.  

 In 2012, I got my first job as 4th Engineer on the Northern Ranger ferry servicing the south coast of Newfoundland. From there I took a position in the offshore on the Burin Sea, a supply vessel providing stand by service for the oil rigs.  

 In 2014, I accepted a position with Atlantic Towing as a 4th Engineer. Once I completed the required sea time, I wrote the exam and achieved my 3rd class motor tickets. I currently work as 3rd Engineer on the Atlantic Raven 

3. What is the most rewarding thing about working in or alongside this industry?  

 The maritime industry is a challenging but rewarding industry to be part of. One of the most rewarding things for me is being able to be a role model for other young women who are considering a maritime career. I am proof that maritime success is achievable with hard work and determination.  

4. Did/do you have any female role models in the industry? If so, please tell us about that experience and tips on how to approach someone for mentorship.  

 The maritime industry, or at least the parts I have been fortunate enough to be part of, have not had many women. For most of my career, I have been the only female crew member of the vessel I worked on. However, while I have not had the pleasure of having a female role model in the industry, I have been fortunate to have had a lot of great male coworkers and leaders that have advised and coached me along the way.  

5. What is your advice for someone looking to get into this industry in our region? Any important events or associations to be following?  

My advice to those considering the maritime industry is to do it! If you have a passion for this industry, don’t think twice. Don’t let anyone tell you ‘You shouldn’t’ or ‘You can’t’. There were some who believed I shouldn’t or couldn’t. Don’t let that noise create self-doubt, instead let it fuel your fire to succeed.