What's your background?
I commenced my apprenticeship in September 2015. I am based in the social housing team of the real estate group and deal with a variety of different work on a day-to-day basis.
Prior to my apprenticeship, I attended my local sixth form where I studied geography and business at A Level and applied law.
When faced with the decision as to what I wanted to do post-sixth form, I realised that I wanted to start my career from scratch. I wanted to learn new things in a practical sense rather than just through a textbook. Although I was capable of going to university to study my degree, I couldn't afford to go due to the ever-mounting costs that are associated with it – the cost meant it wasn't really an option for me. Instead, I decided that I wanted to develop myself, and my knowledge, all in one – and that is exactly what my apprenticeship allows me to do.
I love being based in real estate - my mom is a trained building surveyor so I've always had a huge interest in the built environment. Combined with my love for geography, real estate is my perfect sector. I love learning new things and my team are super supportive to help me develop my knowledge and skills.
Why did you choose to work here?
Gowling WLG came across as a supportive, well-respected and impressive law firm from the outset – I researched the firm in depth prior to my interview and the opinions I made based on what I found were completely correct. From my first day in the office, I realised that the people who work at Gowling WLG enjoy what they do and love where they work.
I accepted my apprenticeship offer based on three factors: the firm, the course and the career. I realised that the apprenticeship would not limit my ability to progress further in my career if I wanted to; instead, it would give me the right platform to progress, which is exactly what I wanted.
What makes Gowling WLG different to other firms?
I believe that the culture at Gowling WLG stretches from colleague to client. Everybody I work with has an evident enthusiasm and sense of enjoyment for their job and I feel that this really shows through the relationships we have with our clients. The work I have been involved in is always carried out to a high standard and I feel that this is because we all work hard as a team and enjoy what we do. This is really important as an apprentice too – being part of a team that is so supportive and interested in each and every person's development means that the firm only ever wants you to do well.
What was the recruitment process like?
The recruitment process for an apprentice can appear daunting because it is likely one of only a handful (if any!) formal assessments and interviews that you will have been through as an individual. However, it is not something that should be feared at all.
The great thing about apprenticeships is that employers understand that you haven't come straight from university with a degree in your hand – they understand that you are new to the industry and want to learn. So don't panic, take the recruitment process in your stride and just make sure to let the employer know that you want to work for and with them – a smile and a handshake is a great way to start!
Be yourself throughout any applications, interviews or conversations that you may have as a result of your decision and enjoy your journey. It is amazing to be able to look back at where I started and see how far I have progressed.
What has been your highlight so far?
I have had numerous opportunities during my time at the firm – from learning different types of work, meeting and working with clients and dealing with my own matters. However the biggest opportunity that I have had during my time at Gowling WLG is definitely my recent offer of a place on the six-year Solicitor Apprenticeship with Gowling WLG as of September 2017 – an opportunity I could never have imagined would arise. This means that Gowling WLG will be supporting me to study my LLB at City Law School as well as supporting me through my solicitor qualifying exams. This acknowledgement from the business is incredible and just goes to show that you aren't 'just an apprentice' for two years – you are a growing member of the workforce. And with that comes opportunities for your success.
What's the most surprising thing you've learned about working here?
How sociable the firm is! There is always plenty to do – whether it's a team quiz night or fundraising event, joining a sports team or the choir; the firm is eager to encourage everybody to enjoy themselves, which definitely makes the office a friendly environment.
What do you do outside work?
Outside of work you will find me spending time with family and friends, exploring new cities or playing my piano... one of the three!