University (Alongside Apprenticeship): BPP Law School
What motivated you to pursue the career in law?
Law is an unavoidable part of our everyday life. It has been used for thousands of years to promote societal values and has now become intrinsic to modern living.
With law effecting so much of life I developed a natural interest towards the mechanics behind it. I learnt that law can be, and usually is, a positive influence and that it is a very interesting subject.
When leaving my sixth form there were only two factors that effected my decision of what I was going to do next: I wanted to be academically engaged and have a good impact on my community. I needed to be learning new concepts on a continual basis, whilst being in a position to help the people who need it most.
When I came across the apprenticeship with Dentons and saw the good work they are doing on a global scale, I had found a pathway that ticked both boxes.
How did you get involved in the apprenticeship route?
I had made the decision long before I reached sixth form that university was not a personal goal. The debt burden would have been too much for me, and I refused to push it onto my family. Yet I still wanted to be learning and developing my skills. It seemed clear that an apprenticeship was the best way forward.
During the last year of sixth form, I was applying to several apprenticeships when I came across the one with Dentons. I had never heard of the new ‘trailblazer solicitor apprenticeship ‘ scheme so I was surprised. It looked very interesting and I had thought about going into law before so I applied.
Have you experienced any difficulties when applying?
I found the application to be quite straight forward. Whilst certain aspects of the process where very new to me (like a video interview) there was plenty of information available to help. I had a very clear idea as to what each stage was going to be like and what I could expect from the tests or tasks I had to perform.
The last two days of the interview, where you are invited to the office and get a tour, were very informative. The HR team at Dentons were keen to ensure that even if we did not get an offer for a job, the process will still have been worthwhile.
They helped me develop new skills and spoke about how to handle one-on-one interviews. Overall, it was a very useful experience as a part of my own personal development.
In terms of the skills you have developed so far, which ones do you find most valuable?
Resilience – in any job – is always going to be valuable. There are going to be times where it does not go the way you expect but it is important to not give up. Sometimes things are difficult, but you can learn from that.
A strong commitment to the learning process is necessary for your own development as a professional and as a person. The apprenticeship is a very challenging experience, but that is something that should be embraced.
What advice would you give to someone starting their apprenticeship programme?
The biggest advantage being an apprentice has is that it gives you the opportunity to work alongside some very accomplished people.
Your colleagues will have a vast wealth of experience that can prove to be invaluable. They can help you develop your practical skills at work and offer advice on more general aspects of life. Through them, you can understand how to use other skills more effectively such as time management and how to make a good impression.
It is this experience that really sets apart an apprenticeship from straight academic study – the ability to learn through others.
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