"I began my university life on a computing course but soon decided that a life behind a desk was not for me: I had developed a love for travelling and adventure and wanted to take this further and had become heavily involved with the University Yacht Club.
Looking into the possibilities for change, I was drawn to the degree offered by Plymouth due to the wide range of career options that it presented. The possibility of getting sponsored to study was also a big influence on my decision. The degree also enabled me to gain an Officer of the Watch (OOW) qualification.
One of the course requirements was to do 12 months at sea as a cadet to gain the required sea time. I did this over three trips on board a bulk carrier. The time at sea not only served as a requirement for the OOW ticket, but also enabled me to gain extra insight into the modules being studied and underpinned the knowledge required for upcoming modules.
Graduation came during the global downturn, when many shipping companies were getting rid of personnel, so being newly qualified it was proving difficult to find someone hiring. However, my current company actually came to Plymouth to hold a recruitment presentation. I saw this active recruitment, when everyone else was laying off personnel, as a positive position, proving their strength within the market.
I joined my company as a Third Officer and was promoted to Second Officer after six months. The company work in the offshore support industry, with a fleet of close to 100 vessels, which include Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs), Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) Vessels and Survey Vessels. I have travelled all over the world working in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The work is varied, it can be tough and the hours are long. However, the prospect of waking up and looking out the window to see a different view every day is one I would not pass up. The large periods away from home are made acceptable by the amount of leave that is rewarded (two months on board to two months at home) – as well as the good pay scale."