After a career as a software engineer and Chartered IT professional, Kay decided to train as a systems engineer in the RFA!
Name & Professional Registration
Kay Skinner CITP
IMarEST Membership Status (Student, Affiliate, Associate, Member or Fellow?)
Role and organisation
Officer Cadet (Systems Engineer), Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Summarise what you do in one sentence
Maintaining and repairing complex and varied electrical equipment and systems on a ship, including navigational aids, propulsion systems, communication systems, electrical switchgear, distribution systems, PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) control and automation systems.
Which organisations have you worked for previously?
Canterbury Christ Church University; Mid Kent College of H&FE; GEC Avionics
Describe a typical workday
Student studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Phase1), lots of lectures and reading!
Describe your academic/training history and how you got to where you are today.
BSc Computer Science. Currently studying for a Foundation Degree in Marine Electrical and Electronic Engineering
What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
Willingness to learn and adaptability. Capability to tackle a problem and break it down to its component parts
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Learning new topics and being stretched. Fault finding and solving problems. Mixing with new groups of people.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
Taking a completely different direction with my life and career and starting again from ground level, despite being very comfortable and in a good job previously.
Describe a typical career path to your current role. How does this differ to your career path?
A typical career path would be to study A-levels, then apply for a cadetship and attend college to obtain the necessary qualifications. My career path has been as a software engineer working on defence systems, primarily in avionics before becoming a lecturer in computing and latterly an IT trainer, culminating in becoming an IT training manager at a university.
Why did you become a member of the IMarEST?
I am currently a CITP (Chartered IT Professional) and recognise the importance, on both a personal and professional level, to obtain a recognised accreditation of my professional skills. As mentioned above, becoming a member will allow me to access the resources and support to further my professional development, together with keeping up to date with legislation and areas of specialism.
How has being a member of the IMarEST helped you in your career?
I have only recently applied for membership but I was fortunate enough to be awarded with a prize, that was sponsored by the IMarEST, on completion of my INT(RFA) course at BRNC Dartmouth last November; this is the start of my career with the RFA and hopefully my route to ultimately becoming a Chartered professional in my field. With the partnership the RFA has with IMarEST this should allow me access to the resources and support that will enable me to achieve this.
Which professional journals and organisations help you keep up to date with industry news?
At the moment I am still learning and finding out.
Give us an interesting fact about you!
I once flew a Nimrod Mk 2 aircraft at 600’ above the Irish Sea