Past Pupils - Nautical Science
My name is David O Driscoll, I completed the Leaving Certificate in Scoil Phobail Bhéara in 2016. I decided to study Nautical Science in the (NMCI) National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork. It is important to study what you’re really interested in at third level and not to pick courses purely based on the points system or based on colleges or friends. I was lucky to be awarded the Bantry Credit Union Scholarship for college which helped greatly with my third level education fees. I would strongly encourage students who work hard both in school and in the community to apply for it.
My family are largely involved in the maritime sector so as a result I developed a great interest in a career at sea. Nautical Science is a very interesting course, it has a mixture of both theory and practical based lectures along with short courses which differs from a lot of third level education. These include navigation, seamanship, bridge simulation, sea survival, fire fighting and much more.
The 2nd year of this course is spent at sea gaining experience in the career of a deck officer. Many students who work hard and achieve good results will secure a sponsored cadetship. Sea based training is completed with the sponsoring company and you will continue to work for them once you have qualified. This is a major bonus as some students who qualify in other third level courses struggle to find jobs.
I have travelled the world with P&O cruises and Cunard line as a part of my cadetship seeing areas like the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Norwegian fjords and the United States. Cadets who get sponsorship will usually get paid a small training allowance monthly by their company which is very beneficial for your return to college and college fees may also be paid from year 2 onwards by your sponsoring company provided you work hard and secure a company.
I am now back in my final year of college which is filled with both academics and courses which allow me to practice the skills I learned while at sea and learn a whole new set of skills. Nautical science is very broad but unlike many other courses it trains students into professional officers who are licensed to navigate ships.
College life is great but unfortunately the NMCI is twenty minutes from CIT, its main campus. This makes clubs and societies more difficult to join however it is certainly still possible and students do travel to CIT via organised transport. Finding a good balance between college work and a social life is very important, you’re only young once. My future plans include hopefully progressing through the ranks up to Captain with Carnival UK and eventually becoming a lecturer of Nautical Studies.
My advice to students currently in secondary is to put the hard work in now and you will reap the rewards when you get to third level. It can be difficult to stay motivated at school and it certainly may seem like an eternity but always remember "you can’t control the wind but you can adjust the sails”. Make the most of it.