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September vs January start

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  • September vs January start

    I am looking into applying for a deck cadetship soon and I am looking at both the January and September starts as possibilities.

    Can you think of any differences between the two intakes? Any pros and cons for either? e.g. in regards to social opportunities, industry events, class sizes, general vibes. Would the September start be the main and livelier one as it is the first intake after people finish school?

    If you have any insight, please let me know which college!

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I honestly don't think it makes a difference. I think in general, January intakes are smaller, but that's about it. The classes will be a mix of people from all age groups and backgrounds. School leavers, 20 somethings, guys in their 30's with mortgages and kids etc. You'll find that you will mix with everyone, as that is how it is at sea too.

    I found that the college phases of a cadetship were more of a grind and a slog to get through to the other end, than any great experience. There are plenty of chances to get to the pub after class or taking part in sports, but bear in mind if you get injured, depending on what it is, you might not be able to go to sea until it heals (thinking of a lad in our class who liked a bit of mountain biking and done his leg in after a 'crash'....had to wait a few good months to go back to sea...). Not saying don't have fun! Just that it's probably not like a uni experience where you can slack off loads. You'll have to attend each day or else you can be fired or docked pay etc.

    Your sponsor will also tell you which college you are going to, and if you are in the position where you have multiple offers, then perhaps you can choose which college based on each sponsor. The colleges are much the same from what I've heard though. Obviously up north, the cost of living is cheaper, so that can be advantageous. Most guys took out student loans to make ends meet, or some hardy souls managed part time jobs on the side during college phases. If you go down the student loan route, just be aware and careful because the government has changed the interest rates to a far higher percentage recently, and they can do so at any time in the future too, so bear that in mind. But I found that I had to take out one to make ends meet myself unfortunately...

    But really, the main focus should be getting a good sponsor with strong job opportunities at the end. Nothing else really matters IMO.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Thanks so much, Riker. This is very insightful!


      • #4
        Everything Riker has said really - although if you are heading to one of the college/uni cities (namely Glasgow/Southampton) you'll get all the fresher events in September which may be a good or bad thing depending on your age...


        • #5
          I was September intake in Southampton thinking I would have all the advantages of Fresher's stuff, but the timetable is much more full time than for the other Uni students, so we hardly got to any Fresher's events in the end. I think you might get more attention being in a smaller January intake, but otherwise not much difference.