I have big plans for my shipping future

Mark Dickinson, general secretary at Nautilus International, deck officer cadet Declan Rogers, Phil Smith, senior lecturer at Warsash Maritime Academy and David McDine, cadet training officer at Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd
Mark Dickinson, general secretary at Nautilus International, deck officer cadet Declan Rogers, Phil Smith, senior lecturer at Warsash Maritime Academy and David McDine, cadet training officer at Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd
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Columnist Declan Rogers is a deck officer cadet at Warsash Maritime Academy. Here he reflects on being awarded the Nautilus International 2016 Bevis Minter Award

NAUTILUS International is a trade union and professional organisation representing more than 22,000 maritime professionals in the UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.

The award honours an officer trainee who has displayed particular determination and commitment or has had to overcome special challenges during their training.

I am honoured to receive this award from Nautilus UK.

I tried my best during my training and it is nice to be acknowledged and I am happy that I did what was expected of me by sponsors, Carisbrooke Shipping, Warsash and my family.

I started my deck officer HND programme in September 2013, and I was nominated for this year’s award by staff at Warsash who commended me for being an enthusiastic and engaging student who has worked hard to achieve the required academic standards.

Getting to interview stage at the age of 15 for the deck officer HND programme has been my biggest achievement so far.

I have dyslexia and worked hard to ensure I met the entry criteria for GCSEs.

But I also got involved with sea cadets, the Duke of Edinburgh awards and swam at county level.

I knew that if I could just get an interview with a sponsoring shipping company, they would see I had the attributes to be a ship’s officer.

I’m keen to do well in the shipping industry, and I have big plans for the future.

Once I have accumulated sufficient sea time, I aim to return to the academy to study for my chief mate certificate and ultimately become a master mariner.

n Warsash Maritime Academy provides first-class education, training, consultancy and research to the international shipping, commercial yacht, offshore, oil and gas industries for 70 years.

The academy is part of Southampton Solent University.