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Warsash Open Day and my degree

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  • Warsash Open Day and my degree

    Hey all! Yet another aspiring Deck cadet for you. Don't ask about the name, the song has been stuck in my head the last two days.

    Anywho, I've been reading the forum the last few weeks, and after seeing the sticky about Warsash's open day I ended up attending.

    My first thought when arriving was "Wow, there's a lot of young slightly uncomfortable looking kids here (I heard many a parent urging their children to "go on, get in there and introduce yourself!" etc)/GCSE students who almost seem to be eyeing everyone else as potential rivals to be beaten", I know I'm only 23, and of course many on this board are older/talk of older cadets, but the youth and amount of competition was rather offputting.

    My second thought came after speaking to the woman from Bibby (I randomly chose it as my warm-up company), who very nearly laughed in my face when I mentioned I didn't have A-Level maths and told me that pretty much no one would want me. Naturally the ensuing thought was "I don't stand a chance". This feeling... never really left me during the course of the day.

    So, my situation: Just turned 23, A-C GCSE's (the only C is in, you guessed it, Maths), National Diploma in the Uniformed Services instead of A-Levels, and a BSc (Hons) in Psychology.

    A few companies were fine with the grades, when I mentioned I would be willing to re-take the GCSE BP especially were enthusiastic about my chances, however, BP and Anglo-Eastern (the only one to actually ask me for a CV) were the only two companies who said my degree wouldn't be an obstacle, every other company pretty much said that because I had a degree the funding wouldn't be there and my chances would either be seriously hurt, or said I didn't have a chance at all (a woman from Viking was happily laughing away and joking with me until I said "I have a degree", at which point here reaction was "HAHAHA... oh, sorry, we can't do anything for you, goodbye").


    So all in all, left the Open Day feeling fairly battered; I know I have a few chances, particularly if I'm willing to re-do the GCSE, however, I can't help but feel the chances are now minimal. Did anyone else with a degree get this same reaction? Or has anyone with a degree had any problems applying? As imperfect as my qualifications are, they are easy to re-do, and I think my general level of confidence/life experience ought to help me against the hordes of GCSE and A-Level students; the degree, however, seems to really be going against me here. =/

    Also (sorry for the long post btw), the (lovely) man from Clyde told me that, whilst they didn't put "A Level Maths" on their requirements, they were, unofficially, really only accepting A-Level Maths for the Foundation Degree. Again, I could easily take the A-Level, but would it be worth the extra cost and time over the GCSE? And would companies still have a problem with a C in GCSE even if I had the A-Level?

    Again, sorry for the inordinately long post.

  • #2
    Hello and welcome!

    Plenty of cadets go in with degrees, but I can see the potential problem. With funding hanging in the balance because of increased tuition fees, I have a funny feeling the industry might move towards getting cadets to fund part or all of the tuition fees via student finance. If you've already been to uni, the chances are you're not eligible. This is, of course, pure speculation and just my thoughts.

    As for Maths, retaking is a great thing to do if you're dead set on this career and can only benefit you. As long as the HND programme is still running, there's probably little point in taking the A-Level. The HND covers all you need and you come out with the same ticket, so don't get hung up on doing the FD. On the other hand, certain companies will only recruit for the FD. There are some other companies who take unspecified A-Levels for the FD courses, though I have a feeling that, like Clyde, they'll all look favourably on those with Maths or Physics.

    Hope that helps a bit and hope you had a good day yesterday!
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    • #3
      Hi Lollipop! Or do you prefer Good-ship? Either way you now have that stuck in my head too. Thanks.

      Sounds like you had a heck of a day there mate. The competition for places has heated up massively in the last few years and with the looming cuts in funding there may well be a decrease in places available too, thereby making the competition even hotter. People who would have got a cadetship a few years back are now finding that they can't get a place because there are more attractive candidates, and the companies can pick and choose. If you're serious about joining up I would suggest doing everything you can to make yourself as attractive to sponsoring companies as possible. If that means doing an A-level, then do it!

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      • #4
        I can't comment on the qualifications aspect, but at our induction day for Trinity House there wasn't man nor beast under 19, and most above 21. I don't know if that's a growing trend or not, but don't worry about age!

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        • #5
          Hi, I'll be an engineering cadet in two days. I'm 22 and just finished studying for my masters degree in September. I only have 6 gcses, and my A - Levels where in Music, ICT and Business.

          I first applied to Carnival who rejected be right away, due to the fact that I didn't have A level maths and that I only studied single award science at gcse level. At this point I thought I would never get sponsorship, as I would be instantly dismissed at the qualifications stage of the application form, even though I held and undergraduate degree and was studying towards a masters postgraduate degree. At this point I began writing a cover letter, explaining why I wanted a cadetship and that I had a strong mathematical background that I developed at university. I think the cover letter helped me get past that first stage of applications, where they just eye ball your application.

          As for not having a level maths, I was in the same boat. I tried to highlight the mathematical and theoretical modules which I had studied at uni, as a substitute to a level maths (which worked). I don't think having a degree will get in the way, it can show you've got the motivation to study on your own and all that.

          Don't worry about age either, I'm starting at Warsash Monday morning.

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          • #6
            I think the problem now with already having a degree is the changes to funding that are coming any time and soon. From my own very limited experience of applications my degree has been a problem In some cases and even the other day I had an instant rejection most probably because of it. At the end of the day if cadets have to start going in the direction of the student loans company then having a degree already prevents from borrowing from them again for tuition fees and I imagine most people don't have access to the amount of money that would be needed to get around this.

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            • #7
              Very good point about promoting the mathematical aspects of your degree. I seem to recall that psycology has a few stats modules that can only help you in your applications.

              As a side note, I was at the open day this year and spent a bit of time talking to potential cadets. I was rather surprised at the number of applicants that were only interested in the "free degree" that is advertised and showed no interest in the career itself or in life at sea. Unfortunately the nature of general university funding will only increase competition like this and make it harder for people like yourself who are genuinely after this as a career rather than free education. Hopefully the government have realised this too, and will have accounted for it in their funding review.

              I wish you the best of luck, and hope that on this occasion having a degree will work in your favour.
              Last edited by kb88; 22 January 2012, 10:06 AM. Reason: Miss-pasted

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              • #8
                A lot of the maths needed can be covered very quickly if you've had a decent grounding in maths previously. On the deck side, the majority is GCSE level and doesn't extend much further than simple trigonometry, algebra (and transposition), vectors and a hell of a lot of interpolation. There's some spherical trigonometry but it's nowhere near as scary as it sounds.

                Originally posted by kb88
                I was rather surprised at the number of applicants that were only interested in the "free degree"
                I got a lot of that too. No real interest in going to sea and generally more interested in what they can do ashore. If you want to work ashore, there's easier ways to do it! That and the huge number that would consider absolutely nothing but cruise ships. They made up the majority of the people I spoke to.
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                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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CharlieDelta View Post
                  A lot of the maths needed can be covered very quickly if you've had a decent grounding in maths previously. On the deck side, the majority is GCSE level and doesn't extend much further than simple trigonometry, algebra (and transposition), vectors and a hell of a lot of interpolation. There's some spherical trigonometry but it's nowhere near as scary as it sounds.



                  I got a lot of that too. No real interest in going to sea and generally more interested in what they can do ashore. If you want to work ashore, there's easier ways to do it! That and the huge number that would consider absolutely nothing but cruise ships. They made up the majority of the people I spoke to.
                  They're missing out if they'll only consider Cruise Ships...
                  Engine Cadet | Phase 5 @ Warsash Maritime Academy

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                  • #10
                    I was there as a twenty seven year old with a degree. I too felt a lot of the kids seemed disinterested. Sat in on both engine and deck talks and both had questions like "what can I do ashore" or "can I convert my marine engineering degree into civil engineering." I spoke to cmt and they weren't put off by my degree or gcse maths c but he said smart is hurting their decision process. The maersk cadet basically said my c will make it nigh on impossible. I guess I just hope recruiters can tell who really want it but the smart situation is making my heart drop.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ramfeild66 View Post
                      The maersk cadet basically said my c will make it nigh on impossible. I guess I just hope recruiters can tell who really want it but the smart situation is making my heart drop.
                      I only got a C in GCSE Maths but Maersk took me no problem, the maths can be tricky but the colleges will help you and there are always people you can ask.
                      If you get turned down by everyone this year don't be disheartened if you want it try again.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MarkW View Post
                        I only got a C in GCSE Maths but Maersk took me no problem
                        Same here (well they are happy to offer me an inteview).

                        Goodshiplollipop, I wouldnt get over worried about the number of people applying for positions as more then half of them wont bother posting the application form off...

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                        • #13
                          It worries me slightly that a lot of people seem to want the cadetship for the 'degree' element rather than a career at sea. It's a bit counter productive to offer it as a free degree for people to dip in, get it and leave again... Apparently we're short of Senior Engineering Officers in Britain (According to my company meeting last week). This really doesn't help fill the 'void'...
                          Engine Cadet | Phase 5 @ Warsash Maritime Academy

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