Current employer: NYK Line
Current job title: Operations Manager
Current location: Hampshire
“Make as much of your time at university as you can. Get involved with societies and try to find something that differentiates you from other graduates.”
Tell us about your career path since graduation.
After graduating I took a position on the Majestic Wine graduate scheme as a Trainee Manager, but my focus was always on the maritime sector.
I wrote my dissertation on maritime security, and tried to tailor as many of my essays as possible to this topic as I had always held an interest. This helped me to forge a career in the maritime industry and was what helped me get my foot in to the industry.
For just under four years I was working for a private maritime security firm, responsible for a variety of areas within the company, including risk management, licencing and the deployment of personnel and equipment. I started with the company as Logistics Manager and when I left in October 2017, I did so as Senior Operations Manager. Currently, I'm working for one of the major container shipping lines in Southampton.
Has your career path changed since graduation?
Definitely. Through working in the wine industry, to working in counter-piracy and now to the shipping industry it has evolved and changed a number of times. That being said, I am always findings aspects of my degree that apply to each position I've held and so if ever you're wondering if international relations is useful, it is!
In my spare time, I've found ways to enhance my CV outside of work using my passion for the outdoors and adventure. and now write an award winning outdoor and adventure blog. On top of this, I've been selected two years in a row to be an ambassador for Ordnance Survey as part of their #GetOutside campaign and am helping run a DofE centre, alongside teaching Sea Cadets. It's definitely important to not just focus on work 24/7.
What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?
I think learning to manage and train junior employees was the most difficult, purely because I didn’t have much experience doing this. I had taught and managed younger people when I was in the Sea Cadet Corps before going to university, but not adults.
What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?
I think the most fun experience was going to meet one of our clients on his tanker at Fawley Refinery. It was really interesting to look around one of the ships we put teams on.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
I know it’s quite a small area to break into but you’ll have a good chance of making it if you have a genuine interest in the job role, have a good knowledge about shipping and the maritime sector, and a good knowledge about the current threats of piracy.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
I tailored most of my essays – my entire dissertation, in fact – to the career I wanted because I knew I would need something which would allow me to stand out from all of the other graduates with the same degree and grade. As well as this, I was a member and then President of the United Nations Association. After university, I went on to become a member of the national UNA UK Youth Council and am now on the UNA UK Procedure Committee.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth, and why?
I loved Plymouth; being so close to the sea was perfect, it’s an amazing city in which to study, and there’s so much going on. The University is all in one central location and so is the nightlife. Hopefully, I’ll be undertaking a part-time masters degree at Plymouth in two years’ time.
Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?
Make the most of your time at university. Get involved, but also try to find something that differentiates you from other graduates. I threw myself into lots of societies at university, holding committee positions for a couple, and they have all helped in the workplace. It also gives you something to talk about other than your degree at networking events.
Inspired by this story?
For more information about our range of international relations courses within the School of Society and Culture, please visit the school page.
Want to find similar alumni?
If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni are currently doing, please visit the business, law, logistics and management interest area.