Where the STEM jobs are
Gradcracker works here's the proof
"I have loved the rich mix of each of my jobs to date and, no matter how busy, have always found time to enjoy what I do."
I left University College London in late 2010 with a Masters degree in English Literature but, after a gap year and determined to avoid an ‘ordinary’ life; I decided to join the Royal Navy, entering BRNC Dartmouth in 2012 as a Training Management Officer.
On completion of my 30 weeks’ initial training, during which I was fortunate enough to spend a week in the Bavarian Alps learning to kayak and rock climb, I spent a short time at RAF Halton completing a series of professional courses before flying to Dubai to join the helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious. Arriving midway through the Navy’s annual large-scale set-piece exercise, I was tasked to lead the educational effort on board. This included invigilating GCSE exams in the middle of the Indian Ocean! After a short time on board, and following Typhoon Haiyan, Illustrious was despatched to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of the Philippines. During this operation, I was part of the Ship’s media team, working alongside British and International news organisations covering the relief effort.
On return to the UK in January 2014, I joined the Naval Education and Training Service (NETS). One of only 6 seagoing education and development specialists, I provided lifelong learning and resettlement advice to naval personnel worldwide, sailing on some of the most advanced warships in the world to some of the Royal Navy’s smallest. During this time I deployed repeatedly to the Middle East and Falkland Islands to visit people on operations in the regions; I was also fortunate enough to spend time in the Caribbean and Far East. A personal highlight was a trip to Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited islands in the world, with HMS Dragon. A qualified coach, the most rewarding part of this job was supporting Ships’ staff in their efforts to increase their performance in training, and ultimately their operational capability, through the introduction of coaching techniques and smarter approaches to feedback.
After 21 months, I left NETS for full-time postgraduate study at the University of Bristol, studying alongside learning and development professionals from across the globe. Sponsored by the Navy, I graduated with an MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) in 2016. My thesis explored opportunities and challenges to conducting online training when deployed on operations at sea. Like all Royal Navy Training Managers, I am now working towards my Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Development, which is fully accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Fresh from my studies, I was selected to join the staff of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Training) in Navy Command Headquarters, where I am involved in the Royal Navy’s training transformation project. This has established an ambitious vision for a modern, flexible and motivating approach to learning, and is setting the headmark for what naval training will look like in 2035. In this role, I also help oversee the Navy’s training innovation agenda, which is aimed at exploiting novel technologies, methods and ideas to improve how we train, as well as co-ordinating the Service’s input into Defence-wide Training and Education research.
I chose to become a Training Manager because of the wide range of opportunities available to make a significant contribution to the development of the Navy’s most important asset: our People. No two Training Managers' careers are alike, and the ability to work in diverse areas across both the Navy and with our sister Services very early on means there is always something new and interesting on the horizon to get your teeth into. I have loved the rich mix of each of my jobs to date and, no matter how busy, have always found time to enjoy what I do.