“Studying Law doesn’t mean you have to be a lawyer. As obvious as that sounds, it took me years to fully come to terms with the fact that if I didn’t become a lawyer I wouldn’t be ‘wasting my degree’.” Here’s Warwick law school alumna and journalist with the Coventry Telegraph, Antonia Rose Bannister, on the subject of alternatives to legal professional careers.
“I wish events like the alternative career event were available when I was an undergrad – then I don’t think I would have felt so guilty for as long as I did. You see what this event did was show that people who choose not to work in the legal field can be just as successful!
Six people, including myself, spoke at the event and covered a wide range of careers – journalist to civil servant, Aldi area manager to academic.
We proved that the fear of leaving law was unfounded.
Over twenty people came along to hear us speak about why we turned our backs on the profession, how we got our jobs and what the future holds for us now. Those people left with a healthy dose of knowledge that not many seek out in the law school.
Now I’m not going to discuss why I chose to become a journalist and business owner (you should have come to the event to find out why).
Instead I want to give you some advice on how to make the most of careers events like this…and what you can learn from people who followed other career paths that may make you stand out.
1.Go to as many career events and talks as possible
I wish I had made more use of the service Claire provides. There are a wealth of events and speakers that are willing to come onto campus and share their journeys and career advice with you – however you have to make use of these events. You never know, you may discover more about a career you’re interested in, or find something that excites you more than Trusts!
2. Ask questions
No question is a dumb question, however that’s something a lot of people still haven’t grasped even in their twenties. If you want to know what a person’s CV looked like when they applied for a job – ask. If you want to know about work/life balance – ask. If you want to know about work place dress codes – ask! There are also a lot of questions I recommend people put down on their list:
What was your application process like?
What was your interview like?
Do you have any tips on how tout in group interviews?
Is there anything you wished you knew about your career before you began work?
They may seem obvious, but they never get asked!
3. Make contacts
It’s very rarely that anyone will ask me for a business card. A lot of people don’t want to be journalists – and I get that – but people forget that everyone knows someone. Ask for contact details of people who come to speak; you never know, they may help you with an application, help you find a house or help you find a job vacancy in the future.
4. Ask for alumni details from Claire
A lot of people will be interested in a certain career path, but don’t really ever think to get in touch with the careers department for more information. There is only so much you can find out on the internet. Real people are far more candid and useful. Ask Claire for the contact details of alumni who are in the field you’re interested in – and actually contact them! They may have some handy insider tips and contacts.”