You’re in the army now

Many students are finding it difficult to get part-time jobs to fund their studies because of the recession. One University of Lincoln student has taken an option many students will not have considered and joined the Territorial Army (TA).

Philippa Whybrow, second year student at the university, went and signed up.

“I wanted to join the army, but still do my degree at the same time. On the advice of a family member, I went along to an open day for the University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) which is the closest thing to joining the Armed Forces without actually doing so”, said Whybrow.

The UOTC is a scheme that works alongside universities, and includes military training, community projects, and expeditions, whilst mirroring the values of the British Army. But there is no obligation to join the army after you have finished your course.

The Corps have finished their recruitment for this year, but there is also the option to join the Territorial Army part time. If you’re considering applying to the UOTC next year though, Whybrow warns that it is not easy, especially the selection weekend that follows the open day.

“My selection weekend began on October 9th, and it was for three days. As soon as I arrived [at] the army base I was given a numbered bib. From that moment on I was being watched and judged. On Saturday morning there was a 5:30 AM wake up call and I took part in command tasks, survival tasks, an interview, and a presentation on a chosen topic. The whole experience was very mentally challenging but it was the most rewarding weekend I’ve ever experienced,” she said.

Whybrow didn’t make it into the UOTC, however there was a silver lining, as presentations following the disappointment provided a new opportunity to join the TA.

Paul Charman, a careers advisor, has come across students before who have worked in the TA whilst at university. He advises students that it can be a great chance to earn some money whilst getting some useful skills to enhance your CV.

“It is a nice idea but remember to explain in your CV how your experience in the TA has taught you some valuable skills. For example, the team building and leadership skills would be useful within most career paths so explain how you can apply them within the job you are applying for,” said Charman.

In Lincoln, the local regiments include the infantry, medics, and engineering, which all have specific requirements.

Also, Nottingham is not far away, where the UOTC centre is, and there’s also the opportunity to join the Royal Signals Regiment of the Territorial Army, the route Whybrow is now taking.

Although you have to sign up for 12 years, one month notice is all that is asked for, and you can resign whenever you want to. So in other words, the perfect job that goes nicely with your studies.

One Response to You’re in the army now

  1. Keith Brown says:

    Sounds like a good idea; do some interesting, get paid for it and gain useful work experience…