Mum of one Samantha Clinnick loved being part of the Sea Cadets as a child, but after leaving school she decided to study sport rather than pursue a career on the ocean. After gaining a Higher Education Diploma in Sport Development, Samantha worked in retail and hospitality for a number of years before acknowledging her passion for the sea and boats by joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).
Whilst the RFA allowed Samantha to rediscover her passion for boats, long stints at sea weren’t ideal with a young daughter at home. After picking up training as a deckhand and completing courses in sea survival, Samantha found work outside of the RFA as a trainer for others looking to pursue a life at sea. Now working as a Training and Delivery Instructor/Maintainer, Samantha’s role of teaching others how to sail different naval vessels is benefiting from her time spent studying for a Foundation Degree in Marine Engineering.
About her decision to study a Foundation Degree, Samantha, who is studying part-time, said: “Now my daughter is at primary school, I thought it was the best time to start putting a few things in place for the future. There is no requirement within my job to gain this qualification; it’s more of a personal goal and I wanted to challenge myself, but at the same time it’s not going to hurt my career either.
“This course has given me a greater depth of knowledge in relation to some of the practical skills I have learnt in my career. Naval architecture in particular has been really useful in helping me understand why a ship moves in a certain way whilst out on the water. It is a challenging course but also very rewarding, particularly when you put the effort in.
“I looked at another college before choosing City College, but a friend of mine who had studied here as an adult recommended it. I met a couple of the lecturers to talk about my suitability for the course and I felt instantly at ease in their company. I was initially worried that I possibly didn’t have the qualifications – particularly maths as I hadn’t studied it since doing my GCSEs – but the staff took into account the practical experience I have had.
“The staff are all very approachable and it is easy to form a personable relationship with them all. The course is delivered in such a way that it is easy to manage alongside work and a busy homelife. The lecturers understand that we sometimes have other commitments and will help us to find a way to honour those commitments whilst not missing out on the course – that seems to be a common aspect all throughout City College in fact.
“It’s a great environment in which to learn with very supportive staff: if you are put off higher education because you have other things in your life, it isn’t as daunting as you might think. City College is excellent for adult learners and in helping them fulfil their potential.”