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I graduated from Keele University with a 2:1 honours degree in Geography and History. Although I enjoyed my time at Keele, I wanted a more exciting life than being stuck in the UK at an office job on the 9 to 5 so I investigated how to work on cruise ships, which I used to holiday on.
Finding out I could get sponsored by a well known cruise company, I decided to apply and got the job to train as an engineer and travel the world! Best of all, I would get paid to do it! My sponsoring company sent me to Warsash to start my training, which was three-and-a-half years long, with the summer holidays spent on board ship learning the job I would go onto fulfil.
The course was pretty tough, with a lot of hard work required to do well and pass, however with the summer holidays spent travelling the world, the hard work at college was soon forgotten. The one great thing about going to Warsash was the location, being able to overlook Southampton Water, one of the busiest ports in the world. All the traffic whilst learning to become a ship's officer imagining yourself on those very ships was a fantastic motivation. And when I had qualified to then go up Southampton Water and see Warsash from my ship was a fantastic sight and a symbol of how all the hard work had paid off.
I currently work for a large, industry leading cruise ship company as a third engineer. I applied to cruise ships because I wanted to travel the world and see the holiday destinations whilst having a good social life and, most importantly, working on some of the most technically advanced ships afloat.
I think my previous degree may have helped me to get the job in front of other candidates, but first and foremost it is critical to go into any interview well-prepared and with knowledge of what the company stands for, its objectives, culture and the type of person it would like to become part of its team, so that you can pitch yourself appropriately.
As a third engineer, I assist the second engineer to maintain and run all machinery and plant in a large engine room, supplying not only propulsive power to keep the ship moving, but also keeping all services required to maintain a small town, including ventilation, fresh water, sewage and electricity.
I love engines and engineering anyway so obviously I enjoy playing with a $500m Meccano set! However I also enjoy all the travel and seeing the world - being able to come home and say how amazing Malibu Beach is or how fantastic the Sydney Harbour Bridge looks as the sun sets behind it are experiences few get so young in their lives.
My studies at Warsash help every day at work, the foundations learnt help to diagnose and solve engineering problems as well as having a good understanding of the systems found on board.
As for anyone else wanting to follow me, and why wouldn’t you? Do it, jump in and you won’t look back. Be prepared to work very hard both at college and at sea but the rewards are more than worth it. It is not for everyone, but if you have a excellent work ethic, are good team player and want to see the world for free, this is the job for you!
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