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A heavily laden cargo ship sits under cranes by the dockside

Course reputation helped me break into the marine industry

Published: 4 April 2022

Former Ship Science (MEng) student Umberto Varbaro gained a place on a graduate development scheme after leaving Southampton. Hard work was crucial, he says, but so was his course's excellent reputation.

Tell us about your current role

Since 2020, I've been working at energy and marine consultants ABL Group on the International Engineer Development Scheme, which includes 4 one-year placement rotations in preparation for Chartered Engineer status.

I've been involved in projects covering areas from naval architecture and ship design to offshore wind and floating solar renewables.

How did you get into your current position?

I got to know ABL Group and the career opportunity for which I applied through the University of Southampton careers fair.

My ship science course really helped me to get onto the ABL graduate scheme, as it has an excellent reputation in the marine industry. The extracurricular activities I took part in at Southampton, and the interpersonal skills I learned, were also important.

Ship science student Umberto Varbaro tests a model ship in the towing tank
Ship science student Umberto Varbaro works on a project in the towing tank.

Was there a moment you realised all your hard work was worth it?

Having the chance to sign a contract for an exciting and motivating job before finishing university made me realise more than ever that the efforts during my studies were definitely worth it.

How much of an influence was your time at Southampton?

Multiple experiences at University of Southampton have influenced me: the technical knowledge I gained of engineering topics, group projects and collaborations with my peers, the conferences I attended, my semester abroad in the USA, and the student community and the friends I made.

What are your plans for the future?

My goal is to improve my engineering hard skills, as well as my commercial and soft skills, in order to become a well-rounded engineer with an important managerial position.

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