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!

Jacqui Miller

Case Study: Jacqui Miller

Originally from Gateshead, Jacqui describes herself as having been “probably quite a challenging child.” She didn’t complete many qualifications in school, but did learn the benefits of hard graft. That instinct has served her well as she’s helped drive the family business, now based in Cramlington, towards international success.

Miller Engineering supply parts for construction machinery, so Jacqui’s job involves a bunch of international travel. It doesn’t sound like she has much time for sightseeing, however:

“Usually, I travel alone. I believe I’m there to do a job, I have an awful lot of people depending on me to come back with real answers and real solutions, […] you have to be exceptionally focussed, and focussed on what it is you’ve set out to achieve.”

That single-minded determination and drive is clearly a trait that’s helped Jacqui succeed in international business.

“You are presented with a set of challenges, and it’s how you respond to those challenges which makes you the person you eventually become.”

Miller has firm opinions on women working in the STEM sector, too:

“It really frustrates me that we seem to stereotype girls and boys. Nonsense! We should do whatever it is we feel we should do. […] I would love, dearly love, lots more girls coming through into STEM subjects.”