Christopher McGibbon: navigating his way towards international waters

Inspired by his lecturers while studying BEng (Hons) Marine Technology, Christopher is now determined to reach the top of the marine industry

Christopher McGibbon, BEng (Hons) Marine Technology

Christopher McGibbon

BEng (Hons) Marine Technology graduate 2017 | Five minute read | 1 May 2018 

“Choosing Plymouth provided me with a fantastic understanding of the industry, knowledge of practical engineering design and naval architecture.”

Inspirational Plymouth

After finishing school, my goal was to work in the maritime industry. Choosing Plymouth provided me with a fantastic understanding of the industry, knowledge of practical engineering design and naval architecture, as well as a professional accreditation. While the Marine Building has world class facilities, creating amazing learning experiences and opportunities to discover new research. 

My time living and studying at Plymouth has developed my professionalism and my work ethic. Possibility drives creativeness and studying at Plymouth provided me with endless chances to prove to myself that I can achieve targets and beat expectations placed on me during my past learning.

Originally I was unsure if the maritime industry was the right career path to take. The structure of the course though meant it was easy to move between mechanical and marine engineering. Thankfully, I enjoyed the syllabus and teaching methods, keeping my attention within the marine world and improving my marine knowledge. In fact, if I was to start university again I would now apply for a course representative role, to help the school progress and develop the course structure for future years, encouraging the correspondence between student and lecturer.

My lecturers inspired me and gave me the determination to study a masters in naval architecture – I am going to study MSc Naval Architecture at the University of Newcastle in September 2018, hopefully leading to a career as a Chartered Engineer. My biggest thanks to my lecturers, they were always happy to meet up during their own time and go through anything I didn’t understand.

One day I hope to as be well respected as the lecturers are at Plymouth and get to the top of the industry. My goal is to travel with my work, contribute to shipping projects for international companies, and to help future designs meet the ever-expanding efficiency and pollution targets.

Gaining experience to boost your career

Between term times in the second and third years, I applied for multiple work experience weeks and was successful with three different companies. 

I would encourage all new students to apply for work experience as early as the first year, as during recent interviews I’ve had employers have suggested this is crucial to progress to the interview stage. 

Just two or three weeks a year massively increases your attractiveness to future employers. Plus, during this time I had fun and enjoyed learning and working out the different business models different companies employ.

Working for Condor Ferries during my placement year provided me with a fantastic opportunity to experience the maritime industry practices and real-life engineering design. It dramatically improved my commercial awareness and expanded the theoretical knowledge I’d learnt at Plymouth. It definitely fuelled my curiosity and encouraged me to further commit enthusiasm towards my course and career path.

“Plymouth is surrounded by fantastic scenery, and as a keen sportsman, it provides many opportunities to explore new outdoor sports, especially watersports. I personally became a big fan of mountain biking and loved to take my downhill bike up onto the moors for an adrenaline fuelled ride with my mates.”

Mountain bike on Bodmin Moor
3D propeller of a yacht with DOF effect. Image courtesy of Getty Images.  

Follow in Christopher's footsteps at Plymouth

Do you want to help shape the marine industry of tomorrow? Develop a comprehensive understanding of both marine engineering and naval architecture on a course that will ground you in nautical design and mechanics. On our unique degree title, professional accreditation means further training can lead you to gain Incorporated or Chartered Engineer status. When you graduate you’ll be primed for a wealth of careers within the marine industry.

Study BEng (Hons) Marine Technology