Josslynne Masters

Case study: Josslynne Masters

Josslynne is currently a lecturer in Ship Stability, Structures and Maintenance and Celestial navigation at South Tyneside College, where she delivers specialist training to Merchant Navy officers from all around the world. 

From Law to Science

Josslynne initially went to college and studied Law, ICT and Economics for one year. However, inspired by sailors like Ellen Macarthur and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Josslynne’s passion for the sea saw her enrolling in a 3 year course at Warsash Maritime Academy in Portsmouth:

I joined the Merchant Navy as a Deck Cadet training to be a Navigation Officer. […] almost all of our work revolves around science and physics, from working out speeds, turning circles and stopping distances to weather forecasting, chemical and gas cargo care and even fire fighting!

Merchant Navy Deck Officer

The Merchant Navy draws from many different areas and skills as Josslynne mentions:

My role was to ensure the ship, her cargo and all the passengers on board remained safe at all times. I was responsible for the planning of, and maintaining, the safe navigation of the vessel as well as being responsible for the health and safety of everyone onboard. If there is an emergency on a ship you cannot call 999 for help […] When in port I was responsible for the safe loading and unloading of cargo as per company and legal requirements, as well as maintaining communications with other vessels and ports.

Driving Licence for Ships and travelling the world

Josslynne is particularly proud of achieving her qualification as deck officer:

I got a Distinction for my HND (Higher National Diploma) in Nautical Sciences and passed my professional ticket which is a little like a driving licence but for a Ship!

One of the best things about her time as a Deck Officer was being able to travel the world and get paid to do it.  Josslynne has sailed to Asia, remote islands in the Pacific ocean, the Norwegian Fjords and even to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle, the most northern settlement in the world.

Josslynne’s advice for young people

Look around, not just at the ‘normal’ or ‘obvious’. Go to as many careers fairs as you can and listen to the types of careers that are around. There will always be a career that you had never heard of and that one might just be the one for you!



Melinda Baptista

Case Study: Melinda Baptista

Melinda is currently studying for a Mathematics Degree at the Dundee University.

At school

Melinda took maths, further maths, physics and chemistry for her A-levels and she had great support from her teachers and family to explore maths and physics:

“I had a female Physics teacher, which I thought was really cool”

Looking back at her own education she mentions that ” I think science taught me to be more inquisitive […] a lot of people thinks that maths is about finding an answer, but it’s not. It’s about how do you find the answer, and how you can then use that answer in other scenarios.”

Women in Science Society

Her own experience of being the only girl in her Physics class at secondary school led Melinda to join forces with others at Dundee University to co-found a Women in Science Society.  She is happy to take the lead in projects, and is very proud of the society.

We started  last year, and it’s nice to get lots of women in STEM together and talk about the issues we face […] We have a series running called My future self where we have women at different stages of their careers coming in and giving talks about their career progression, where they started, where do they want to be and I think it really inspires everyone to pursue their career aspirations [..] We want to start doing outreach with primary schools and secondary schools in the area to really encourage the growth of science capital.

Melinda’s advice to young people

Keep being inquisitive, keep asking questions and keep making contact everywhere you go […] always writes people’s emails down and try to find out ways to further progress in STEM. […] Ask your teachers if they know of any summer schools or programmes and things [you] could get involved in.

Reading books & travelling the world

When she is not busy with her studies Melinda likes to to spend her time reading and travelling: “I recently challenged myself to read a book a week and it’s going well. I am currently reading a book called algorithms to live by which is about human decision-making and  is really interesting because then you start looking how to to plan your day […]  I live in Scotland which is a really beautiful country and I love travel around the Highlands […] in Europe, Berlin is my favourite city to go to every summer.”