Navy Petty Officer gets start at NSCC
Amy Durrah says that she “fell into” her career as an Electrical Technician in the Royal Canadian Navy. “I was at a really low point in my life when I applied to NSCC. I lacked self-confidence and direction. I was overwhelmed and lost. I needed a change.”
Though she had never picked up a screwdriver, or a wrench, Amy applied to Marconi Campus and the Electro Mechanical Technician Program. “I wanted to do something new. Something that would challenge me. I felt it was what I needed to pull me out of the rut I was in.”
Amy soon discovered that in addition to being the change she needed, the program also helped her learn about herself. “I realized that though I was considered a good student in high school, I was really just good at memorizing information. These concepts though, you had to be able to understand and apply. It was a struggle for me at first.”
The College saved my life. It opened up a world for me. I was so shy and had really low self-esteem. During the two years of my program, my fear just dissolved. I worked so hard and it paid off. I wouldn't be here if I didn't start out at NSCC.
With support from her instructors and classmates, Amy says she soon started to develop skill and confidence in her new abilities. “I had zero experience, and I needed a lot of help. My peers, instructors, everyone was really helpful – phenomenal – it helped me come out of my shell. As the course went on, and I started to see that I could achieve things, I started to become really proud of myself.”
Soon after graduation, Amy signed a four-year contract with the Royal Canadian Navy. In addition to being well prepared for her training, Amy also received a signing bonus because of her diploma. “So many people I knew were leaving the province for work. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to be near my family, and I knew the navy was somewhere where I could use what I’d learned.”
Today, well beyond her four-year contract, the Canadian Armed Forces Petty Officer Second Class says that while she didn’t plan on a career in the navy, she’s realized that it was exactly what she needed. “When I began, I was really focused on being close to my family. But I’ve also found that I am part of this family now too.”
Amy adds that she’s doubtful she would be where she is if it wasn’t for NSCC, “The College saved my life. It opened up a world for me. I was so shy and lacked self-esteem. During the two years of my program, my fears just dissolved. I worked so hard and it paid off. I wouldn't be here if I didn't start out at NSCC.”
Amy is currently serving as an instructor at CFB Halifax. She has also served aboard H.M.C.S. St. John’s and H.M.C.S. Montreal during missions to the Caribbean, the Arctic, Iceland, Panama, Mexico and Venice.