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  • Applying at 27

    Hello everyone.

    This is a rather vague posts but I hope someone could give me some advice.

    I'm 27 and have wanted to be a Deck Officer for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately I've never been in a position to entertain the idea of applying until now. I am going to redo my Maths & Physics GCSE's as I only got a C at school but feel confident I can get an A in both within 2012. I then plan on applying for the 'HND Nautical Science' route. I'm dedicated enough to study for a Maths & Physics A-Level as well but this is yet more time I would rather not have to use up before starting a cadetship.

    Does anyone have experience applying as an 'oldie'?
    And would me re-studying my GCSE's to get better grades be seen as a plus?
    I have a background in engineering and also will be doing some volunteer sea rescue work so feel confident provided I get the required standards.

    Any help or advice would be great.
    Good luck to everyone applying!

  • #2
    Hello! Merry Christmas!!

    Redoing your GCSE Maths and Physics will help you immensely. Some companies may take you with the C grades but to give yourself the best chance redoing them is a good plan. You've got until September or January anyway, though you may wish to apply beforehand. It'll show a huge amount of dedication.

    A-Levels are really not necessary. The HND course gives you all you need, so no point spending extra time when you don't need them. Some companies only sponsor FD cadets but there's only one or two of them.

    Age shouldn't be an issue. Plenty of older cadets coming through, some in their forties. Indeed, some companies really value the extra life experience - older cadets generally work hard, have properly researched their choice and know what they're getting into.

    Hope that helps! Let us know how you get on!
    sigpic
    Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

    Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

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    • #3
      I competely agree with CharlieDelta, age won't be a problem with most companies. With your background in sea rescue, I feel that will definately strengthen your application.
      Early in 2012 start applying to every single company that you can, (list can be found on www.careersatsea.org) and give a good supporting letter explaining how determined and motivated you are, and that your redoing your GCSE's to make you a stronger more secure candidate for the company and you could explain that having higher grades will make you more likely to be sucessful in the course.

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      • #4
        Yup, as above, however apply anyway, and see if they still want you to re-sit the exams, some might take you on the HND as you, as the HND trumps the GCSE...However it proves motivation etc, and they may wait for you.

        Age really is no barrier any more which is nice
        Trust me I'm a Chief.

        Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
        Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
        No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


        Twitter:- @DeeChief

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        • #5
          If anything I think more and more companies are realising the benefits of taking on cadets with a little more experience, I would definitely advise resitting the GCSE's though as there is a fair bit of maths and physics involved in the HND so getting a refresher on these as well as getting your mind back into the way of learning again after being out of a school environment for a while will help.
          Go out, do stuff

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          • #6
            HI Riagan,

            Hi applied in a very similar position to you, Im 27 now and in just a year and a half into my cadetship, like you I had to re-study my GCSE maths and physics. I am also an ex Coastguard so I had watchkeeping/maritime experience (in a sense) aswell as numerous years working for the Maritime & Coastguard agency. I can say that applying with previous experience in employment will be looked upon with great valueso I would make sure you mention it everywhere you can, in fact I remember that got asked a question in my interview a typical "what would you do in this situation" and used an experience I had encountered in work.

            What volunteer sea rescue service would you be considering? Just out of interest?

            By the way, I did an IGCSE in physics which is apparantly a new qualification which is "internationally recognised" (so I was led to believe, google may set you right). I self taught that one but got night school for the Maths. I literally turned up for my physics exam it was so easy, it maybe worth looking for something like that? I used 3a tutors which you can find here http://www.3at.org.uk/

            I got the cadetship before I took the exams for both, but the offer was conditional so long story short yes everything you have mentioned will help!

            Sorry if ive ranted on a little bit, its just your situation was so similar to mine a year and a half ago that I just want to help as much as I can! As it was all guess work for large portions of it for me lol.

            If you need any further information please feel free to PM!
            I wanted to put something profound here...... But then I took an arrow to the knee.

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            • #7
              Thank you for all the positive feedback.
              It's honestly a large weight lifted off my shoulders to know these niggles won't be a major issue.

              I'm now on a mission to put myself in the best possible position to apply in 2 years time when my wife has finished university.
              I'm studying my GCSE's online with ICS. I'm aiming for an A in both Maths and Physics.
              So that'll mean I'll have 6 A and B grades to offer.
              I'm booked on an open day at Warash Maritime Academy in Southampton so I can have a nosey about and talk to some sponsoring companies.
              I got in touch with the 'Jubilee Sailing Trust' and will be doing a few weeks of maintenance work on the Lord Nelson and Tenacious tall ships. I even get to stay on board so I think this will be a great experience. If anybody else is looking to apply I suggest you check their site out now!

              Apart from that, and visiting as many ships in dry dock and museums I'm not sure what else I can do?
              I was also wondering if anyone had experience with going off to college whilst married?

              Again, a massive thank you for the replies!

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              • #8
                To be honest Riagan, i would suggest that most companies will snap you up. The Jubilee sailing trust is a fantastic organisation and not only will any assosciation with them help your application, I'm sure you will find it thoroughly enjoyable.

                Speak to a few of the company representatives at Warsash, let them know of your plans and see what they advise.
                Go out, do stuff

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                • #9
                  I've done a few days of maintenance on board Lord Nelson. It's fantastic experience and you'll find a lot of things will transfer when it comes to deck work, even if it is only how to paint and take pride in the appearance of the ship. My first shipboard training officer called it "ship husbandry". It's an art! :-D With food and board provided, it's a great way to get experience. Bring money for the bar!

                  I have someone in my intake who's married with kids. It's tough but as long as you and your partner know exactly what you're getting into, you'll be fine!

                  Might see you about on the open day - be sure to have a read of our open day guide!
                  sigpic
                  Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                  Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

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                  • #10
                    I'm 27; and I've been offered a cadetship in September2012; and the only experience I have on the sea; is a trip to Ireland on the Mersey Viking Ro-pax, and a terrible 3 hours of sea sickness on an overpriced yacht "charter" in Tenerife. So already you're ticking that box; which is a good metaphorical box to tick.

                    You could get a cadetship on your experience; and current grades. I think your best chances would be with CMT. Give them a try now; and if you don't get anything by September then get yourself enrolled to retake the relevant GCSE's, and you should apply after you enrol. I started my GCSE's in sept 11; and I have an offer under my belt already; providing I get the results. In fact; as the others said; apply for them all. I've said it before; if you throw enough ****; some of it sticks.

                    If you were to retake your GCSE's to get into the higher grades; then you could be considered for companies like Maersk, GPT, Meridian, Bibby, Bp, Shell ETC.

                    Some companies might see you re-taking your GCSE's as a negative thing; as they're swamped with people who have passed them the first time round. Thankfully I found a company that appreciated my situation; and seen the fact that I was willing to go back to college to take 5 gcse's as something to reinforce my application for a cadetship.

                    I applied for pretty much all of them; and only heard back from 4; I had a couple of rejection emails; and wasn't given any feedback (I did ask, but was not offered any)

                    To second what Clanky said; you're likely to be snapped up on current experience/quals. But you would need B grades in Maths/Physics for the companies I mentioned.


                    Good luck

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                    • #11
                      Hi just to follow on from riagan, I'm also attending the Warsash open day before applying to anyone, as I want t see what their opinion is. See you there.

                      And to follow on from bill wills, I only have 4 gcse's all at C, Mathis and English were IGCSE sat in 2011 so I'm banking on my experience to get me in.

                      You mentioned that some companies require or like a grades?

                      Dan
                      "Never trust a skinny Chef..."

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                      • #12
                        With age and experience, many companies can make exceptions so I wouldn't worry too much, particularly for the HND course. Phase one on the HND takes you (literally) from adding and subtracting and covers everything you need.
                        sigpic
                        Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                        Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

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                        • #13
                          I'm lucky that I live in Southampton - right next to the docks.
                          I moved here a year ago so I'd have constant motivation. I can't stop smiling every time I hear the Carnival UK ships depart.
                          The guys and gals at Jubilee seem to be a genuinely nice bunch of people. I'm surprised more people don't volunteer their time to work on the tall ships. I know it's hard graft but isn't that the whole point? And it's a great cause too so all worthwhile.

                          And as for applying early - my wife is at uni for 2 more years and I want to make sure she's all set first.
                          I want to go in distraction/worry free, and hopefully she'll look after me in turn since I'll be a pauper for 3 years.
                          I've got 2 years to do as much as possible.

                          What exactly will you be doing at Warsash on the 20th CharlieDelta?
                          You'll have to forgive me - I've only just realised your the site founder.
                          I think quite a few users of this forum owe you a beer.

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                          • #14
                            Jubilee are great because everything works in a form of symbiosis. The able-bodied crew get as much out of it as the disabled crew, and the focus isn't on the disability at all. Ships are not usually very friendly places for those with disablities, and they provide an opportunity for everyone to enjoy sailing.

                            Finances are always a worry when you're not straight out of school, and it's worth working out your budget to be sure you can live on what you're earning. On the HND course, from phase 3 (year 2) onwards you can apply for student finance which can help.

                            I'm not entirely sure yet, I'll either be on the Carnival stand or just faffing about, but I'll be there!F

                            Free beer, woo! To be honest, the other admins and mods do a hell of a lot of work, I just have lots of ideas that I impose on them!
                            sigpic
                            Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                            Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dsgrnmcm View Post
                              Hi just to follow on from riagan, I'm also attending the Warsash open day before applying to anyone, as I want t see what their opinion is. See you there.

                              And to follow on from bill wills, I only have 4 gcse's all at C, Mathis and English were IGCSE sat in 2011 so I'm banking on my experience to get me in.

                              You mentioned that some companies require or like a grades?

                              Dan
                              Not A grades; most of the companies that I mentioned require that you have at least a B in Maths & Physics, and C's or above in the 3 others (5 in total)

                              Go and chat to them at the open day; best to hear it from the horses mouth. I really want to attend myself; because I'll probably end up at warsash, and I'd like check it out but I live up north.

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