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A day in the life: Chelsea King

Get to know Chelsea, Marine Navigation Technology student

Name: Chelsea King
Program: Marine Navigation Technology
NSCC Campus: Nautical Institute, Strait Area Campus
Class of: 2025

What brought you to NSCC and to this program?
After finishing the Bridge Watch Rating program at NSCC in 2020, I was working as a deckhand and wanted to learn more about the marine industry. I had heard about the Marine Navigation Technology program from friends who had completed it and decided that it would be my next step towards becoming a mate.

What’s something that has surprised you about NSCC?
NSCC offers a wide variety of events and accommodations for students like activities on campus, student food pantries and tutoring. All year long it seems like faculty works around the clock to ensure everyone has a great experience while attending NSCC.

Is there funding available to students enrolled in a marine program?
There are student awards, scholarships and bursaries available to students enrolled in marine programs. I receive the Ocean Dream Award which covers approximately 90 percent of my tuition. The award is available to women and Indigenous Peoples in marine programs.

Where is your favourite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is, by far, the wave pool. Doing drills in the life rafts while using the wave machine makes it feel like the real deal.

What has been your most memorable NSCC moment so far?
Last year during the Marine Skills Competition, I volunteered with the electrical board team. We had to hook up lights and a fan. My partner and I did well and completed the project within the given time. At the end of the day, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.

What do you love most about your program?
I love how fast you become family with your classmates. This alone makes the program so much more enjoyable and easier to finish. We keep in contact throughout the summer during our sea phases comparing notes and photos. There is a great sense of community within our program.

What is the best advice you’ve received that’s helped you during your time at NSCC?
The best advice I’ve received is “As long as you want it bad enough, you will get it”. Sometime, when the workload is heavy, it may feel like you can't keep up. Just remind yourself how hard you’ve worked and try to stay focused.

[Interview has been edited for clarity and length.]

Chelsea King, Marine Navigation Technology student speaks with a judge while participating in a contest in the engine shop
Chelsea King, Marine Navigation Technology student answers questions from a judge during the Marine Skills Competition.

A day in the life


6:30 am – I wake up, get dressed and ready for school. The Marine Skills Competition is taking place on Campus today, so I head in a little earlier than usual to meet up with my team.

Typically, a marine navigation student spends a lot of time in class learning math, physics and marine safety, for example, but today, we get to showcase our skills!

7:30 am – Students gather in the cafeteria for Tim Horton’s coffee and snacks provided by our Student Association. It's extra busy on campus today with lots of student and instructor involvement. There are lots of recruiters from the marine industry here today as well!

8:30 am – All competition participants, as well as instructors and volunteers meet in the theatre for a brief welcome and introductions by our Academic Chair.

9:15 am - The first contest kicks off! We showcase our skills on the bridge simulators where we do most of our hands-on training. 

10:15 am - It's time for a quick break where I regroup with my team and get ready for the next challenge.

10:30 am – We head to the engine shop where our team works on a 3-phase motor! We get to put it together and connect the configuration. 

Marine students stand in a row with their thumbs up
Marine students give a thumbs up after participating in the Marine Skills Competition and finishing the last contest of the day.


12 pm - It's time for lunch! I typically go home to eat but decide to stay on campus today so that we can plan for our next contest.

12:30 pm - The competitions are back in full swing. We head to the wave tank which is my favourite place on campus to compete on vessel safety. We are timed on how quickly our team can get into our life-vests and in the water to retrieve a lifeboat.

1:45 pm - We start the last contest of the day, seamanship. We showcase our knowledge on pilot ladders, which is a form of rope ladder that’s used to embark or disembark pilots from vessels. The judges are impressed and ask lots of questions.

2:30 pm – Our last contest ends. Our team gives a high-five for a job well done today.

3 pm - I head home to get ready for the evening gala where they will announce the winning team!

4 pm – I get dressed up in more formal clothes and head to the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre for the gala dinner and awards presentation. 


5:30 pm – I arrive at the Civic Centre where students, instructors and industry partners are dressed up for the evening gala.

6 pm – There is a meet and greet and I take the opportunity to introduce myself to as many industry representatives (future employers!) as possible.

7 pm – I find my team and we head to our table for dinner. It was a salad to start, and then turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and all the fixings and apple crisp for dessert.

9 pm – The awards are presented then the event comes to a close. It's been a busy but fun day participating in the skills competition and meeting potential employers in the marine industry. 

9:30 pm – I arrive home after a long day and get ready for the Marine Career Fair which is taking place on campus in the morning. I’ll be there bright and early so that I can attend the industry partner presentations and career fair. The career fair is a great opportunity to speak one-on-one with company representatives from the marine industry and hopefully line up my next onboarding experience or even a future job!”