Followed her gut feeling to ClampOn

With two job offers on the table, one in Kristiansand and one in Bergen, Maria Maksheeva (33) listened to her gut feeling and chose ClampOn and the city she had never been to. “My gut feeling has worked out well for me. I fell in love with Bergen,” says the Development Engineer.

Hard work and more than a few coincidences has brought Maria to where she is today. She hails from Murmansk, Russia. Her father is an engineer, and his work took the family of four to Finland and to Vietnam for several years, and her grandparents had a summerhouse in Latvia. Getting used to living abroad at a young age gave Maria valuable experience. “I think because of that, I dared take chances and move around. I owe my parents a big thanks for that,” she says.

Originally, she did not intend to become an engineer. At high school, she enjoyed English so much that she chose to take a Master’s Degree at the Murmansk State Pedagogical University. After three years of studying, she took a year off to work as an au pair in Narvik, Norway. She was able to go back and finish her degree the following year. However, at that point, she knew that she would never become a teacher. “I did my teaching practice at a lower secondary school, and I realised that I would not like it,” she explains.

TEACHER TO ENGINEER: Maria Maksheeva (33) has two Master’s Degrees, one in Pedagogy, and one in Engineering Design. “I don’t think I would be a good teacher,” she says.

This realisation meant that Maria had to think anew. Her big sister, Anna, lived and studied in Harstad, and when there was an opening at the visa department at the Norwegian consulate in Murmansk, Maria applied and got the job. While she worked at the consulate, Anna tipped her off about Narvik University College, and one year later, in August 2005, Maria moved to Narvik where she started studying for her second Master’s Degree, this time in Engineering Design.

“At the consulate, I had read some Norwegian, so I started my Bachelor’s Degree without taking any Norwegian courses. I studied with some amazing computer guys, and both learning the language and the studies were painless,” Maria says.

Painless or not, Maria put in a lot of hard work to get through. She did not apply for loans or a scholarship for the first three years in Narvik. Instead, the dedicated Russian worked at the local grocery store, as a recruiter for female technologists, and at a solar cell factory. Only for the two last years, when working on her Master’s Degree, did she take up a loan so that she could cut down on the working to focus on her studies.

In 2010, after finishing her second degree, Maria started looking for a new job. She thought about Oslo and Stavanger, went to Kristiansand for a job interview, and submitted a CV to ClampOn when she saw information about the company on her college’s intranet. The CV piqued the interest of ClampOn’s Project Department manager, Per Arne Aadland.

“I got an email from Per Arne, who was interested in talking to me. When I got a job offer after the interview in Kristiansand, I let him know. He responded by setting up a job interview over the telephone. It went really well, and I got an offer from ClampOn as well.”

Maria had never been to Bergen. She thought a bit, googled a bit, and concluded that ‘I have never been to Bergen, but I guess it is a nice city’. Then she accepted the job offer from ClampOn. “It was my gut feeling, nothing else, but it turned out really well. I was welcomed with open arms, made new friends quickly, fell in love with the city, and had a great time at work.”

HALF MARATHONS: In 2011, Maria Maksheeva ran her first half marathon in Oslo along with her sister Anna. This year, the two of them will run their tenth half marathon, also in Oslo. “We combine city holidays with half marathons, not to perform well, but to have fun. It is a great way to relax, recharge my batteries, and to spend time with family.”

In the project department at ClampOn, Maria worked with delivery projects, qualification projects, 2D and 3D drawings, material certificates, and testing. The only thing she wanted to explore further was material mechanics, which she had focused on during her studies. After four years at ClampOn, she decided do the exploring at ABB, where she took a position as a Mechanical Design Engineer working on subsea electrification. She returned to ClampOn a year later.

“I got a really interesting offer from ClampOn to join the development department. Making up my mind took a little time, but once again, I listened to my gut feeling. I also missed the ClampOn team. There is a unique work environment here. Everything is professional, yet relaxed, in a good way. We take care of each other. In addition, everything is gathered in one place: Production, sales, logistics, project, development. Communication is easy, and that is important,” says Maria.

In her new position as Development Engineer – Corrosion, she does Corrosion-Erosion Monitor testing, works with materials and design, performs QA controls, supports the project and sales departments, and is part of the team that constantly evaluates materials for ClampOn’s product line. Maria chooses to be optimistic, in spite of the current situation in the oil and gas industry. “The oil industry will not die. Right now, we are going through a major restructuring of the industry, which was necessary, as the costs have sharply increased.”

“I definitely see the need for our technology. Everyone talks about cost reduction and maintenance. This is where we can contribute. Our products have proven quality, and we can help our clients improve and optimise their production.”