My journey began with many hardships, as I attended a secondary institution quoted as being ‘below floor standard’. I am also a first generation student, previously a free school meal candidate and from a background which saw dropping out and getting into crime as the norm. However, after dedicating my efforts into my A-Levels, I achieved exemplary Sociology exam papers, selected as AQA A-Level Fine Art ‘Curriculum Certificate Winner’ and gained a place at the University of Birmingham to study Political Science and International Relations. I first stumbled across corporate law through a university careers fair where I met Linklaters’ graduate recruitment team and decided to apply for their Pathfinder scheme. After being successful in my application and enjoying my time on the scheme, I knew this was the career for me and applied for as many open day/insight schemes at numerous firms to learn more about the industry.Participating in multiple programmes with Linklaters throughout my time at university assured me that Linklaters was the firm for me, so I applied for the Winter Vacation Scheme and was subsequently offered a Training Contract in my penultimate year.
My experiences as a STRIVE candidate have been nothing short of excellent. The workshops, mentoring and networks provided were extremely useful in me securing a winter vacation scheme. Personally, the 1-1 mentoring was my favourite aspect as I was able to build a great relationship with my mentor – she provided great insights and advice as she is a future trainee at the firm I wanted to train with. I have found my experiences with STRIVE, compared to other organisations, have been much more personal. The smaller cohort allows for genuine connections to form and any queries are dealt with within a few hours. From my mentoring relationship, self-belief and determination are the main lessons I will be taking away, as I am constantly being encouraged to break any self-made ideological barriers and strive for progress.