Emily Davies, Cadet – Cunard Careers
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Emily Davies, Cadet

Originally from Cardiff, Wales, Emily is now on board Queen Mary 2, completing her first sea phase as a Carnival UK Cadet.

Why did you choose a cadetship?

I never really knew what I wanted to do after school, and university never appealed to me. As soon as I found out about Merchant Navy Cadetships, I knew that it was the perfect thing for me.  A cadetship offers a way unlike any other to begin your career path with its combination of theoretical and practical learning whilst being able to travel the world. By receiving a monthly bursary and the course being fully sponsored, there is also no worry of debt from a student loan later down the line when finishing the course.

Why did you choose Carnival UK to compete your cadetship with?

Working for Carnival UK means the opportunities for progression and personnel development are endless, even at Cadet level. It’s a company known for its inclusion and diversity, working with people from all corners of the world. They bring to life two of the most iconic brands of Britain’s rich seafaring history and are part of the movement of tomorrow using more environmental resources to provide their well-known astounding service. With new ships becoming part of the Carnival UK family, namely our newest LNG ship Arvia and Queen Anne in 2024, the companies’ horizon is only ever broadening, and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. With the constant support available from our training managers no matter the time zone or where we are in the world, there really is no company I’d rather work for. 

There really is no company I’d rather work for. 

What have you liked most about your training so far and why?

The most enjoyable parts of my training have been the practical elements. This is from the completion of short courses, to getting hands on with sextants and even doing some welding for marine structures classes. The most rewarding thing in a learning environment for me is being able to put my theoretical knowledge into play and doing practical activities achieves this. Of course, travelling the world is a bonus, but during my sea phase, I am able to do this every day with my celestial navigation and stability knowledge which is why I thoroughly enjoy it so much.   

What would you say to someone thinking about starting a career at sea?

Take a leap and do it, you really won’t regret it! I left my 2nd year of A Levels mid-way through term to accept my cadetship and since then I haven’t looked back. This career is a marathon not a sprint, but the golden ticket of receiving your Officer of the Watch at the end will make it 100% worth it. If in doubt, speak to as many people within the industry as you can. Do plenty of research into sponsoring companies to see which are suited to you and that you would love to work for. The merchant navy is one big family, and we are always ready to help someone new become a part of it too!

What challenges have you experienced so far in your cadetship / apprenticeship and how have you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I faced during my first phase was finding a balance between college work and socialising with college peers outside of hours. With each subject being delivered by a different lecturer, they weren’t aware of all of the other work we were assigned therefore there was always a pile of work to be done or exams that needed to be prepared for. I felt frustrated at myself as I felt my grades were going to slip as I wasn’t ever able to focus on a task at hand with worrying about what was to do next. In order to overcome this I spoke with my peers to see if they felt the same way, which they did. We then spoke to our lecturers about our concerns to which they responded to and since then they would always ask what other work we had on before assigning tasks. I ensured for the rest of the term to use my week nights to do an extra couple hours of work to keep on top of things so that I could have my weekends to myself and socialise with classmates.  

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

In 10 years time, I’d like to be in the position where I’ve achieved my Chief Mates license and would be working towards my Masters ticket to become a Safety Officer. I’m also hoping to have visited at least 50 countries around the world onboard a ship! So far I’m 14 down so only another 36 to go!  

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