Kate Walsh – BSc (Hons) Marine and Composites Technology Graduate

Current employer: BMT Defence Services Ltd

Current job title: Naval Architect

Current location: Bath

“My lecturers were really helpful and I don’t think I would have got onto my placement without them (and it was my placement which was really integral to gaining my graduate job).”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I did a year in Industry at BMT during my degree, and following this I was offered a Naval Architect position at BMT on their graduate scheme. Since joining BMT I have travelled to America and Italy, with further travel organised for later this year. I have also been on various ship surveys around the country. I am currently rotating around the various Naval Architecture teams and I have been on secondment twice in two years to other MoD enterprises. I am now heading towards Chartered Engineer status.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Being the single representative for the UK at global meetings is extremely nerve-wracking. It’s also a lot of responsibility, but equally an opportunity to prove that the faith shown in you was well placed.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

I love getting out onto ships, so any ship/dockyard visit is exciting. I have a dockyard placement next year in Hawaii for three months which I am really looking forward to.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Definitely do a year in industry, or even just summer placements; the defence industry is really small so it is comparatively easy to network. Once you get yourself out there you save yourself the hassle of looking for a job in your final year!

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

My lecturers were really helpful and I don’t think I would have got onto my placement without them (and it was my placement which was really integral to gaining my graduate job). Lecturers are there to support you both academically and professionally, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Definitely! Plymouth University is one of the best universities around with really friendly and helpful staff, an open door policy with regards to services and lecturers, courses which are recognised and sponsored by various institutes. Plymouth is also a great city with a great night life!