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  • Greetings

    Good day to you all. Aspiring deck officer here.

    I am Daniel, and I'm 27 and I live on The Wirral. I attended a careers at sea open day in 2008; and consequently decided that a career at sea was what I wanted, and to join the RFA as a communications rating; I went about getting the required ECDL (because I don't have GCSE's)and got a excellent score on the RT; had my self an interview, and didn't get in; so I waited, and I tried again, and was interviewed in OCT last year, and I again didn't get in. I called up for feedback the second time (after getting very positive feedback the first time) and what they told me pretty much vexed me; without getting episodical; I asked them where I went wrong, and they told me that I didn't expand enough on my "working under pressure" question; funny, I can categorically tell you that they did not ask me the question (because the amount of preparation I'd done was huge)- I remember walking out, and thinking "why didn't they ask me the working under pressure question?" I challenged them on this, and they mentioned that I talked about my time working at MBNA. I did not mention MBNA in my 2nd interview at all! I questioned this, and she just said "oh, well you would have been asked it anyway"- I sort of got the impression that the face just didn't fit here, and that's not me being bitter because I didn't get in, I assure you. The budget cuts meant that that avenue is now closed. I gathered my thoughts, and just decided to bite the bullet- I put it to the back of my mind, and got my head down and worked over summer. I'm now back at college taking 5 GCSE's. I have a HNC in Music Technology, and I passed my first year of a Music Technology BSc; but all the companies said I'd need the GCSE's as MT is not science based; which is fair enough. If I'm honest, I'd rather go in as a deck officer, rather than just a communications rating in the RFA. I've put about 9 applications in, for various companies, and training companies over the past few weeks, so now it's just a case of enjoying college, and hoping that I get myself a position for next September. I hope all the time I've invested pays off.

    I'm going to attend my local careers at sea open day, and meet the company reps. Good idea?

    Ta

    Dan

  • #2
    So we now have a plastic scouser around...

    Well, Hello and welcome to site!
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

    All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, a "bin dipper" if you will.

      Comment


      • #4
        edit
        I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

        All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

        Comment


        • #5
          I live in Claughton at the moment; but I'm originally from Moreton.

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          • #6
            edit
            I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

            All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Keep focused and work through your GCSE's, you'll come out on top and with your determination will get a cadetship. Don't limit yourself to the RFA, they have done people well in the past, but I think it's not a great avenue to go down anymore with budget cuts.

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              • #8
                Good Idea? Yes very much so, RFA are what they are, but it's limiting your self, what with the budget cuts etc, although makes a change from limiting viewing to Cruise Ships, which plenty do, have a good look around, somthing will tickle your fancy oh and good luck
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  I went to speak with the RFA yesterday, at the careers at sea open day. I told them I'd tried, and failed twice at interview for ratings positions in the comms branch- and told them I was under application for quite a few of the private sector HNC things, but I asked about their officer places, and they encouraged me to apply; but did mention about the rigorous AIB thing. To be honest, I think I'm going to leave trying the RFA now; the way I see it, is that they've missed out on someone who's on the ball, and willing to work hard practically, and academically to reach his goals. I didn't get a chance to speak to any of the other companies- all my applications are in anyway, and I got the impression that I knew more than the actual university staff there; so I just had a piss about in the simulator, had a chat to a 2nd year deck cadet, and got off.

                  I've got my heart set on the deck route in the private sector. I have a back ground that is plentiful with providing top quality customer service; so I think a cruise company could be ideal; but I'm really not to concerned.

                  Cheers guys.

                  Dan

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                  • #10
                    Hey dan, im currently a cadet on a cruise company, im 20 years old and to be honest i think i would rather be on a tanker or a car carrier or something.

                    The problem on cruise ships is that tehre is so much going on a so much pressure for everything to be working 100% of the time that as a cadet for the first month (and this is fo all cadets in this company) i was made to clean the tank top with the foreman and his team. After putting in extra hours everyday in the control room after an 11 hour shift of crawling around a jungle of pipes -most of which are steam traced so extremely hot- speaking to the 2nd engineers and letting the chief and chief junior see i was interested i was essentially promoted to walking about and making myself familiar with the 300m long engine room (it took me 17mins to walk from 1 side to the other making a video going into every room with significat machingery) then after a week i was put on watch.

                    This company doesnt operate under UMS (unmanned machinery space) so has a typical watch system of 4 hours on and 8 off. One 2nd eng in the control room and two phillipino's (oiler and motorman) down in the engine room with a radio for communication.

                    My problem lies in the fact that im from northern ireland and i like to drink, not abundently but socially, and with all the stimulation from everyone else (dancers, ice-skaters, spa girls, sports staff and the other cadet onboar[deck cadet] i just cimply could not say no)

                    After a few nights out i was pulled in and basically told that i would be cleaning again. So now i have nother month of cleaning which is really stifling my learning.

                    Ofcourse i realise that this is all my own fault but what i am saying is that if i was on a cargo/tanker/carrier or basically any other type of vessel during ym cadetship i would most definitely be getting nmore work done out of my TRB and i wouldnt have been cleaning for the better half of my current sea phase.

                    When i first arrived i showed the chief eng jr (my DSTO [designated shipboard training officer]) my TRB and he basically told my in his broken croation english, "im not going to let you do half of this or touch half of this equipment. Im the first british engine adet that they have had, and with the international cadets they make them clean for 3 months (there contracts are 8/9 months) and then for the rest they work with the 3eng who is basically a diesel mechanic who cleans filters, replaces injectors and makes sure the paint on the 6 engines is not fading or crumbling away.

                    I dont know how it is for other companies but i am with the only cruise company offered by CMT and i would suggest that you do not ask for them.

                    Now i know that you are probably thinkg that i am an engineer and that it will be different for the deck cadets, but my cabin mate is a deck cadet and he is going through the exact same routine, he has been part of the "washing gang" for over half of his contract and is only now just starting -after 2.5months- to move into the bridge where everyone is reluctant to let him do anything.

                    That being said, maybe im just an unlucky one.

                    Dont get me wrong the places are lovely and i know how lucky i aam to have constant company and endless internet aswell as some of the facilities onboard but i just cant stop thinking that somehow my education is being constricted.

                    Cheers for reading if you did.

                    J
                    "My Job"

                    It's not my place to run the boat
                    the fog horn I can't blow.

                    It's not my place to say just where
                    the boat's allowed to go

                    It's not my right to dock the boat
                    or even clang the bell

                    But let the damn thing
                    start to sink AND SEE WHO CATCHES HELL!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And herein lies the problem with the new improved UK flag with all these CEC's about the place we have senior officers who have never seen the Uk training system and dont understand the TRB, they think all those jobs have to be *actual* done by you, where as the actual requirement is you see it done and assist as far as practicle, and the write a report....in fact thats the biggest part write the damn report :-)

                      Just keep on plodding through, learn some self resraint....but you know that already :-)
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That sounds very frustrating. Is there no way you can tell CMT that you're maybe not getting as much of an opportunity as you should be?

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                        • #13
                          It's the same for all cruise ships J, I spent 3 months on a cruise ship in my first phase and spent the 1st month with the deck crew, chipping, painting and washing down, the next month I was put with the safety team, checking the hundreds of fire extinguishers and hoses and the boats. I only got onto the bridge in my last month because they were losing the phase 5 cadet who'd been doing the bridge stuff, I wasn't allowed to touch anything really either, I put positions on the chart, answered the phone and kept the log (in rough first, it was then checked before I wrote anything in the deck log). The other cadet with me only got to the bridge in the week I was leaving. You're not unlucky, you're no different to any other cadet. You start with the basics, and very rarely get to do much, if anything, that feels important in your first phase, however, it is all important! Concentrate on getting the safety tasks signed off, the basic maintenance, ask to get onto the fire teams.... there's lots you can do, but remember that it's not the officer's concern if you don't get these things done, so you have to ask to do them, ask to go and watch the 4/E do his maintenance, all you'll be doing probably is handing him a spanner, but watch, take photos and you'll find you're learning more than you think!

                          Size4riggerboots

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