Q: Amy, New Stewardess, 20:
“I’ve just found out about the superyacht scholarship, but I’ve missed it this year! Are there any other scholarships available in the industry? I’ve only just decided to start looking for work as a yacht stewardess, but is it too late now? When’s a good time to come to Antibes, and can I start looking for work from South Africa?”
A: The Crew Coach:
Hi Amy, you’ve asked lots of great questions so I’ll answer them in order. Firstly there are some other cadetship schemes available in the yachting industry but they are more aimed at deck crew (see end of article for information). Our scholarship was the first of its kind ever run in the yachting industry, which is just one of the reasons I’m thrilled to bits about the huge response! I’m sorry that you missed out this year but it’s definitely not too late to pursue your goal of getting a job as a yacht stewardess.
As for your preparation, I assume you already know that you need your STCW courses to get your first job in yachting? Also, having some extra courses under your belt can prove really helpful when you’re competing with other new people for limited roles, so it’s worthwhile having a look at some of the interior courses available. Make sure you undertake a GUEST accredited Level 1 course as this is recognised as the yachting industry standard and is a guarantee of course quality. Super Yachting South Africa are great and may not be too far from you.
Now that you’ve found my blog, I really recommend that you go back and read as many of my past blogs as you can about dockwalking, interview techniques, and even what to pack. While the job-hunting blogs are probably most suited to you right now, have a look at some of the others to give you an idea of what crew life is like once you work on board. If nothing else, familiarity with all the job titles and some of the jargon will make you sound a little less ‘green’ when you do arrive in Antibes.
You could also consider undertaking our new comprehensive online course: Yachting 101 which will give you all the background and inside information you need in order to decide whether yachting really is for you, before you invest thousands in training, courses and travel – and if you do decide to go ahead, it includes all the essential information and steps you need to take, to make your dream a reality, including our best selling Ultimate Yachting CV Toolkit as a free bonus when you complete the full Yachting 101 package.
As for timing, no—it’s definitely not too late! In fact, now’s a great time to head to the Med as Easter falls early this year so some yachts are crewing up a bit earlier than usual for Easter charters. Either way, you need to get on a plane and get over here so you can start dockwalking. Most yacht crew agencies won’t place you until you at least have a little dayworking experience, so it’s best to start early. On that note though, bring as much money as you can to last while you’re job-hunting: to play it safe you should aim to have enough cash to last you at least two months, if not more – around €4,000 minimum.
The truth is, you need to get to the Med (either Antibes or Palma in Spain) as soon as you can, because you can’t job-hunt for your first role from South Africa. You can get all your courses done, perfect your CV and register with agencies while you’re at home, but when it comes to job hunting It just doesn’t work that way. Crew agents have to meet you before recommending you, and Captains or Chief Stews definitely have to meet you before hiring you. Being a yacht stew isn’t just about skills on a CV, it’s about personality and attitude: things that don’t come across on paper. Remember the Captain has to believe that you’re not only the right person to look after the yacht’s VIP owner, but also the right person for the existing crew to live and work with. So interviews tend to be face-to-face, and this is definitely the case with new crew such as yourself.
I’m going to be running free talks for new crew in Antibes every Friday at 2pm from the 25th of March to the 13th of May, introducing new crew to the tactics of successful job-hunting and the realities of working on luxury yachts. These talks have been incredibly successful over past years at getting crew on the path to their first interviews and jobs, and are a brilliant networking opportunity too. Click here for more information and make sure you get yourself along to one of these when you arrive as I also have amazing giveaways for everyone who attends.
A side note for prospective Deck crew: For information about the UKSA Professional Yacht Cadetship Bursary Scheme click here.
Wishing you all the very best and I look forward to meeting you in Antibes!