I transformed my love of sailing to training for a career in the maritime industry!
UKSA can open doors and new possibilities; one course can often lead to another. Now working on the water, where every day is different; her morning latte in the office has been swapped for coffee on deck with dolphins swimming alongside on the passage to the next destination.
Swapping her 9-5, office-based research job in Sydney to start a Professional Yachtmaster course, she has no regrets. “The friends I made will stay with me for ever. I just met up with one of them in Naples on a weekend stopover”; Grace shares her story with us.
“My office job gave me no room for creative scope and no sense of accomplishment so I found myself getting bored. An old colleague who studied at UKSA inspired me to take my next step, so in the space of five months I achieved a lot.
I signed up to do UKSA’s Professional Yachtmaster in October 2017 and completed the entirety of it apart from the Yachtmaster theory and the actual exam. I also did a bit of windsurfing and completed the Superyacht Interior Foundation course.
The variety of courses, from STCW to Diesel Engine Maintenance, available to me when starting this maritime adventure was outstanding. Lecturers were all so talented and unique with different professional backgrounds and experience, so every day was different and mentally stimulating. One of the most memorable parts of the course was the firefighting STCW training; I couldn’t believe I went into a burning shipping container for 20 minutes and navigated myself through pitch black darkness and an incredibly intense situation.
Since leaving UKSA earlier this year, I have completed a yacht delivery from France to Greece followed by landing a job on a 30m private superyacht based near Rome. I’m working as a Deck/Stew doing mostly deckhand work.
My advice to other students is to really research all the courses before you start. Call the staff up and quiz them, I did this before taking the plunge! Trust in your gut instinct and take a leap of faith to change your life for the better!”