A big part of development at university, I believe now, is to take advantage of extra-curricular opportunities that are offered. One of the vocational offers at the university that I took advantage of was the Employment Engagement Intern role. This involved working for the College of Business, Law, and Social Sciences, underneath the Employment Engagement Lead, Bev Crighton.
At the point of applying, all I had was four years’ experience working as a railway engineer. Luckily enough from all the candidates that applied, I was selected for interview then subsequently offered to work a day with another candidate and from that was selected for the role. I was somewhat surprised as I had sent off a number of internship applications for the summer in the hopes that one would stick.
I started the next week and from that day till my last, three months later, I received an incredible level of value. From day one I was dealing with writing event text for marketing purposes and meeting with people who own some of the best and brightest business owners in the local area and abroad. Furthermore: I was afforded the opportunity to write bids, conduct business research, assist in providing media support for an international business summer school and sit in a board meeting and away day for a department at the university.
For me as a law student, I was somewhat out of my comfort zone as, while I met a lot of lawyers, the majority of what I was dealing with was business focused. Having not even studied business at GCSE or A-level this was somewhat of a shock.
That shock was something that I treasure now, it has allowed me to deal with adversity and things I’m not used to. It’s provided me with a drive to step outside the comforts of law and learn as much as I can. From that I’ve developed skills in mathematics, languages, computer coding, finance, marketing, HR, learning & development, and lastly instruments to name a few. I felt a ‘click’ in this role and from that it has become clear to me not only what employers want, but what I want from my career and personal life and in the current employment climate the two are becoming increasingly linked.
One of the biggest benefits of this role was provided by the lawyers that I met. They were more than happy to give me their time and as a result I was able to secure almost a month’s work experience, some of that being paid.
I honestly cannot think of a more varied and valuable way that I could have spent the summer that followed my second year. I know for a fact that had I not undergone this or a similar experience, I would not be in the position I am now to launch my career and achieve all the things that I aim to.
What has become apparent to me is something Bev said to me: ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get’. I hope to get as lucky as I possibly can.
So to anyone readying this, I would wholeheartedly advise to step outside of your comfort zone and try those things that will not just make you a better lawyer but a better and more effective person.