Welbeck DSFC - account of application

Discussion in 'POC Section' started by MTotman13, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. MTotman13

    MTotman13 New Member

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    It’s been a few months since I received the letter offering me a place at welbeck DSFC as a Royal marine so I thought I’d take this opportunity now I’m back home from College for the first time to write some advice I have on the application process in case there’s anyone thinking of coming in the future so they can have a helping hand I lacked.

    First off I’ll explain the current situation as far as I know with entering the Royal Marines through welbeck and what it’s really like. I had to go through the whole of the Royal Navy officers selection process from RT test to AIB but I should stress that Royal marine candidates can’t do the POC until their 18th birthday at welbeck. Successful completion of the POC and three D grades at A level guarantee a reserved place in the officer intake. Mine being in 2020. If a candidate were to be unsuccessful at POC they would either enter the navy as a warfare officer or have to pay their way off of the scheme. It’s important to note also that while at welbeck Royal marine bursars are treated just like the Royal Navy and wear their uniforms rather than the Royal marine ones. Also welbeck is very academic based so don’t expect anything like lympston because it’s just unrealistic. Welbeck is the best place to get good A levels and prepare to join, with a high level of sport and fitness required as part of the daily life as well as gaining skills such as ironing to a decent standard, sewing and generally living without your mum. Overall it’s a very good college which is more or less a very cheap private education that will prepare you for officer training with a few skills as a head start. It has the best facilities possible and when I say this I don’t kid, the rugby pitches are like a carpet. So I definitely recommend trying to apply. If not for the place in training but he opportunities the college offers.

    Now down the the application process.

    First thing to note is that it is on the online application form but it was literally the last option when I did it so don’t be put off if it’s hard to find. Everything else is straight forward.


    With the RT I would recommend buying the practice book off of amazon if you’re not confident and putting the work in to do well because if you fail this you can forget welbeck due to the time you have to wait to retake it. With actually doing the test I’m sure there is a thread for that but all I can say is don’t be complacent for this one and practice.


    The next step was the medical which is probably the reason most people who apply to welbeck don’t go. Make sure you know your history and don’t be silly ticking the head injury box for knocking heads in the playground at school one time. The rest is fairly easy just don’t lie or be too honest if you know what I mean.


    The PJFT is the first physical test you will do and is important to do well in because it is a very good measure of your potential. It’s not too hard and you should pass if you train but don’t take it for granted and work hard. Before you do it don’t get too excited because they tested my blood pressure and almost didn’t let me do the runs because it was so high due to adrenaline. Also I recommend being fit and well when you do it because I really suffered with the flu the week I did my PJFT and felt it on the runs. Take your time on the first one and you’ll thank yourself even if you find like I did that the pace is boring. Then on the second run just push through for a good time. Just be smart and you should be fine. Again there is probably another thread for this but for welbeck be assured there are no concessions for your age so try hard.


    For me personally I found the sift interview the hardest. Maybe because I underestimated it but I think mostly because of how thorough it was. For mine I had a former Royal marine who worked his way up to warrant officer and then commissioned into the navy as a leftenant. So fair enough to say he knew everything. As a result I really got a grilling and every piece of corps knowledge was drained out of me for the next three hours which was a shock to me as I only expected it to be an hour tops. Not only that but the fact my guilt was building as I kept my mother waiting for me to finish. Something to note is that for welbeck candidates are usually expected to go in with their parents but I would recommend against this because you want to seem independent and confident as well as remove the temptation to hide behind your parents during the interview. Also during the interview remain confident even if you can’t answer something, offer what you do know but say if you don’t have a clue because they will respect the honesty. Also remember to say Sir because basic manners are really nessisary for these type of things. Finally really revise at least a week in advance because you need good knowledge of the Navy. Again put the effort in and you’ll be fine.

    Very soon after the sift interview I had an email with the details of my AIB briefing which was in London. Make sure you’re punctual and switched on for it because the advice is very useful. A few things I found was helpful advice was bringing two suits, because one will be trashed on the first day which leaves one nice for the assessment day. Practicing planning exercises with the books you can get off of Amazon was also invaluable and having mock interviews was incredibly useful. For example I had one with my head teacher which I recommend because it was from a position of authority rather than just a family member or friend which made it more realistic. In general take notes and really get to understand what you will do. No question is a stupid question except the one you don’t ask so really use the time to ask them because google won’t be as useful afterwards. The most important thing I learnt was that the essay is no longer used and that the knowledge of the navy is no longer assessed at AIB but is still useful so don’t forget it all.


    Now I would recommend you get used to putting a small amount of time into preparing for AIB ever day rather than rushing in one go because I managed to fit it around school and revision this way. Personally I would recommend practicing one component of the AIB on a different day in order to cover it all effectively. For example a practice planning exercise on Monday, interview practice on Tuesday, PLT and leadership practice on Wednesday, aptitude tests on Thursday and a 1.5 mike run on Friday. This way you can fit it all in and cover it effectively. Finally just put the time and effort in when it comes to preparing because otherwise it will definitely show.

    Now I’m not going to go into all the details of the AIB simply because there are plenty of threads already on it. However there are a few pieces of welbeck specific advice I feel I can give.
    Starting with the arrival. Be smart and early as first impressions count and make sure you’re polite to the staff even if they’re not assessing you as you’ll find they will give you tips along the way.


    With the planning exercise make sure you get through all the information and don’t worry about taking too many notes, only the essential ones for forming a plan as you won’t have time to refer to them much during the questioning. Just memories them as much as possible. Make sure you speak up which I found was difficult for everyone on my board due to the fact the whole situation is very alien from what you will experience at school so can tempt you to become quiet. Be confident and start by coming up with something feasible and developing it into a presentable plan. Don’t worry about it being perfect because it will be torn to pieces anyway. With the questioning during the planning exercise it is vital that you have confidence as two guys on my board really flaked out and became quiet with little conviction which looked bad. Accept that the questions will be fast and hard and that some of your answers will be wrong. Try to answer well and pick up any questions that people get wrong for extra brownie points. I would recommend being a Cadet if you have time as this really helped me to have confidence when being questioned by officers and is the reason I think I stood out on my planning exercise.


    The best bit of the board for me was definitely the PLT, as long as you learn the techniques and shout at the top of your voice you will be fine. Again don’t panic like the others in my sindicate did on the team task. Hold your nerve and think with what you have. I was very fortunate that this panicking led to myself being put directly in charge of the group task through the choice of my own team. Which was very good for me but poor for them so try to avoid losing your head. With your own task be fast and confident and really lead the group, if I’m honest you shouldn’t have time to realise that your plan isn’t going to work so long as it isn’t totally rubbish but if it isn’t ASK the team! This is an important leadership skill which they like. Overall it isn’t too hard and I found the CPL running the tasks was very helpful.

    My task was:
    Get your team the barrel and the Jerry can from platform A to platform B. The barrel should be the first target equipment to platform B.


    Boat hook
    4 ft plank
    8ft plank
    Jerry can

    The barrel is suspended in a rope and 2x11ft spar in ropes and one platform half way.

    The method will be clear once you are taught but nothing is beyond doable.


    Finally the interview is crucial as it is the best opportunity to appear face to face with the assessing officers as a mature adult figure with officer potential. It is vital that you do this rather than seeming like a school child like some of my board did. Who unfortunately weren’t selected. Make sure you talk about meaningful example for instance I talked about my qualifications, cadet experience and time working as a lifeguard. Rather than things focused around school or trivial certificates. As I know this will set a poor impression. Try to really sell yourself and make sure you know how to answer the “Tell me about yourself ?” Question properly as it’s right at the start and a basis for most of the interview. They understand that you are young and will be friendly but again don’t expect and concessions just because you’re 15/16.

    Finally you will not get a debrief after the AIB because there technically isn’t a pass fail criteria only a selection around the 17th of July. But beware you need to meet the standards otherwise you won’t be considered.

    Overall I’d say confidence is key and performance on the day is what really counts so put everything in to it and you’ll do fine.

    As one final note I would be careful with who you make friends with during this process as there is only one Royal marine spot available which is reliant on spare places so if you see another candidate for the Royal Marines like I did, use that as motivation. I couldn’t stand the thought of coming second to them which really helped me perform. Have healthy competition but don’t make it personal and remember that you aren’t friends at the end of the day so if you want to make it in the selection. Ensure you stick out in front for leadership tasks.

    Sorry this is so long but it’s all the advice I could come up with specially for welbeck. Most stuff can be found here on other pages if I haven’t covered it. If any of you are applying to come in 2019 I hope I see you in September otherwise good luck.
     
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  2. boysinbluenew

    boysinbluenew New Member

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    Out of interest what was your timeline throughout the process? E.g How old were you at various points throughout, which months did you start and finish?
     
  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker .

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  4. boysinbluenew

    boysinbluenew New Member

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    Saw that today, very disappointing :(
     
  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker .

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    Statistically most RM Officers join as graduates but it is more to do with mental and physical maturity rather than academic attainment.

    The degree itself is not required but mental and physical robustness includes familiarity with life experience, familiarity with communal, independent living, familiarity with separation, personal organisation and administration skills, self discipline, motivation and leadership experience, aptitude & potential.

    Can it be done at 18? Absolutely. Is it regularly achieved, not as often.
     
  6. boysinbluenew

    boysinbluenew New Member

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    Yes that makes a lot of sense, thanks for the response. I suppose average age on YO intake is 21/22 then? Practically ancient to my 15 year old -banghead- ha!!
     
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  7. MTotman13

    MTotman13 New Member

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    I was 16 throughout the whole process.
     
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  8. boysinbluenew

    boysinbluenew New Member

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    Well done, you must have impressed throughout. As mentioned above it appears you will be one of the last few being able to take this route into RM. I wish you well.
     
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker .

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    Being selected for Welbeck, sixth form scholarships or university bursaries doesn't always work out as planned for the individual or the service.

    We had a forum member who enjoyed five years educational sponsorship via the Corps who wrapped four weeks after joining RMYO Training.

    In short, the POC & AIB element of selection is not infallible
     
  10. boysinbluenew

    boysinbluenew New Member

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    I am sure that went down like a lead balloon! I imagine that the AIB must have had in the back of their minds that we have invested tens of thousands in him and need to give him a go?
     
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker .

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    Numbers-wise I think the sponsorship scheme is an excellent recruiting tool as it draws in large numbers of enquiries and subsequent applications.

    In truth, only a handful are actually awarded but the hook attracts applications regardless. Arguably, if every bursar or scholar wrapped, the investment will not have been lost as there will have been literally dozens of applications submitted for every penny actually spent.
     
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  12. boysinbluenew

    boysinbluenew New Member

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    How many standard RM bursaries for A levels are offered each year?
     
  13. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker .

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    Generally no more than six Sixth Form Scholarships (try saying that whilst eating a pastie) a year.
     
  14. boysinbluenew

    boysinbluenew New Member

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    Ha had to read it twice 6 sizing form o_O