Former student Emma Turner has applied to join the Royal Navy after reviewing her career choices in the light of new information given to her by our careers adviser, Mr Primmett. Emma, who left Brooke Weston in the summer, was originally offered a university place to study chemistry then decided to swap to study material science. However, during her last few days here Mr Primmett told her of a new training opportunity with the Royal Navy aimed at Sixth Form students to train as pilots. This unique programme includes a commission and a degree - she was so impressed that she applied for a place immediately.
Emma went through a battery of interviews and tests and although not quite scoring highly enough for pilot training, was offered the role to become a flying observer. Now she is waiting to see if she will be offered a place, either in the March or September selections this year. If not she will still have a deferred place to study materials science at the University of Birmingham.
She said: ‘The role of observer is like being a co-pilot so you do navigation and weapons operation and you are the manager of the crew in the aircraft as well, so you are in control of the mission. At the selection process you do an essay, an hour and a half interview in front of four officers, psychometric testing, a fitness test and planning exercise. That was over two days at HMS Sultan in Portsmouth and it was very intense. I have to wait until March to see whether I get selected. I have already passed the interview stage and they pick the top percentage of people.
The hardest bit has been the aptitude testing because that is eight hours in front of a computer doing tests over again. It was all maths questions or you had a joystick and pedals had to try and navigate a plane through obstacles. It was all about testing your innate abilities.
I was drawn to the Navy as Mr Primmett showed me their graduate scheme so, as well as your professional flying training you also study for a degree in military aviation and become a commissioned officer. If selected I would sign up for a minimum of 12 years. The observer role would be on helicopters such as the new Wildcat and the Merlin, so there will be a lot of exciting equipment to work on.’