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Offline nlara

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NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« on: Apr 03, 2018, 09:07 »

Hi everyone,


I recently passed my phone tech interview for the Navy NUPOC program and am going to DC for the rest of my interviews on April 29. I'd just really like to hear some thoughts about the prototype instructor position if anyone has any experience with that.


For background:
  • I'm a sophomore and have a 3.58 GPA from the University of Illinois in Nuclear Engineering. I'm not too happy with my GPA and I would like to have it be higher for the program (especially for instructor), but my recruiter seems to think it's competitive enough since it's from a Tier I school.
  • I originally wanted to join as a SWO/Sub but got medically disqualified. My recruiter was able to get me a waiver for shore duty. I really don't mind either way, but I've been reading a lot of posts lately and it seems like a lot of people seem to kind of look down on the shore duty officers, and a lot of people think it's basically a worthless job. Thoughts?
  • I have an internship for the summer with Exelon, which operates the largest commercial nuclear fleet in the country. My university usually has the most students interning at Exelon in the country, and I've basically been told I'll have a guaranteed full-time job upon graduation if I don't mess up at my internship.
  • I already have full academic scholarships and I would not like to pursue a masters degree, so money or the GI Bill is not an incentive.
Just reading a lot of the stuff online has me thinking if instructor is what is right for me. I know I'll end up working in commercial nuclear power at some point, it's what I want and the options are there for me, so I see this as a chance to do something different. And I know a lot of former nukes that work for Exelon and know they like to hire out of the nuclear navy so I'm not worried that I won't be able to get a job in the industry.

What I'm really not sure about is if being an instructor is really even worth that much, mostly because over half of what I read online is people saying it's the worst job in the Navy. I like to do different things and I don't think I would mind spending 5 years of my life working for the Navy while I'm young and healthy before I go to industry. I'm not naive enough to think I'll be on some grand mission to serve my country, but as someone who really does love my country I feel like this is one of the best ways I can give back as well. I'd really appreciate some feedback on what people think about this position, and what my chances would be about getting it. I think I would have been fine for SWO/Subs, but I don't feel as confident that I'd be smart enough to be an instructor.

Offline scotoma

Re: NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« Reply #1 on: Apr 04, 2018, 08:55 »
You are obviously smart enough to learn. Instructors are given a lesson plan to teach and must follow the plan. I'm sure that you would have the knowledge to do that. The problem is that you would have no on the job experience and people would perceive that as not having "paid your dues". If you have the experience, you have learned how things really happen, the unexpected. You have developed a sense that you don't get from the classroom. You have stories to tell that add flavor to the teaching. Get out there and get dirty and you will get more respect. Sit in a classroom or an office only, and people will think that you have the "Ivory Tower" syndrome, isolated from reality and therefore not able to understand how it really is. Good luck in your pursuits.

Offline PostShiftSupLife

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Re: NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« Reply #2 on: Apr 04, 2018, 10:28 »
You would be teaching at Power School, I presume, not at one of the prototypes (I'm not aware of any Direct Input Instructor positions at the Prototypes, just Power School). So you'd be teaching basic classes to students with little to no background in Nuclear Theory, at a pace that forces them to memorize rather than truely understand the material. As scotoma said, it is a highly prescribed lesson plan without terribly much leeway for your own additions.

If I were you, I'd stick with Exelon and depending on why you were medically disqualified for the Navy, and your interests try and go into Operations. As you know, there are a ton of plants in IL so you'd be close to home and be making more money than you would be in the Navy.

My background: I worked at the Navy Prototype in NY for 6 years in Operations/Training and now am in SRO License Classes at Exelon.
S8G Prototype 2011-2017 | SRO ILT 2017+ @ Exelon

TVA

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Re: NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« Reply #3 on: Apr 04, 2018, 05:24 »
My favorite part is his thinking the commercial nuclear industry thinks he has any skills

Offline ComradeRed1308

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Re: NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« Reply #4 on: Apr 04, 2018, 10:16 »
Nlara, you would certainly have the skills and ability to a power school instructor in the Navy.  You don't show up day one and start teaching, they will teach you everything you will need to know.  Will students give you the same respect as the LTs would did a sea tour?  No, but in the end it really doesn't mean anything.  As for civilian side, you would have enough skills to be an equipment operator which pays pretty well and has a pretty natural transition path to Reactor Operator/Senior Reactor Operator and beyond.  I would rather be an equipment operator over a reactor engineer any day of the week as it pays more and is much easier to get promotions.  (many equipment operators don't even want to promote.)

Offline nlara

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Re: NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« Reply #5 on: Apr 04, 2018, 11:51 »
Thanks for the replies, it's been really helpful to put things in perspective. Most people have told me to go into industry because it'll pay more, but money isn't really a powerful motivator for me. I got medically disqualified for eczema so it's dumb to me that my options in the Navy got reduced for something like that. I'd prefer going out to sea over the "cushy desk job", but things don't always work out how you want.

Offline BrianScott87

Re: NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« Reply #6 on: Nov 30, 2018, 12:39 »
Sorry I'm so late to this thread. 

The earlier posts are not accurate if you're talking about the prototype instructor role.  You would have day-to-day operational experience on one of the moored training ships (MTS) in Charleston.  You would be actively operating, training, and overseeing maintenance on a reactor as a core part of your job.  If your goal is to work in civilian nuclear power this is a great fit. 

For Nuclear Power School instructor roles, it would all be theory and lesson plans as they stated. 
"That's what it is to be a human -- to always do the best you can, no matter the circumstances."
-Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

https://nupocaccessions.blogspot.com

Offline gb54123

Re: NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« Reply #7 on: Nov 30, 2018, 05:01 »
Nlara,

If your goal is to try and find a path to be an unrestricted line officer in the Navy, it would make sense to be a prototype instructor but only because they medically disqualified you. Having said that (and I have zero experience for medical disqualifications for prospective officers) eczema seems like made up reason to prevent you from being an officer.

If your goal is professional development, money or prestige, I think that you're better off going commercial. Prototype is a training command and it has very weird priorities that don't relate perfectly to operating submarines at sea or operating commercial nuclear power plants. Everyone will know that you're not a real sailor, and they'll tend to treat you that way. You may learn a lot, but it is no where near the same experience as being on a submarine at sea.

My recommendation would be to go commercial nuclear. If you really have a desire to serve, I think that it will be easy to get past a medical condition like eczema and shoot for being a line officer.

TVA

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Re: NUPOC Prototype Instructor
« Reply #8 on: Dec 01, 2018, 05:28 »
I have yet to see any medical issue as easy when it comes to the Navy

 


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