LLB student Megan Domas is in her third year at QMUL. Last year she was a Student Adviser in the Legal Advice Centre, and below she tells us how gaining work experience has helped her prepare for her future career.
As a student, it is very easy to get caught in the bubble of university life. Focusing on the demands given by our tutors and lecturers that often means spending hours in the library whilst juggling sleep, household chores and a social life at the same time is an essential learning curve in its own right. Reaching a good balance makes for a rich experience and allows you to excel at university. But what about afterwards? It is true that good grades can open opportunities for you but in the competitive world that we live in having work experience shows that you have more than just good learning skills – it means you have the practical, essential skills needed to help you in any job.
That is why as a law student I decided to apply to be a student adviser at our university’s Legal Advice Centre. This role entails being assigned to my own cases and going through the process of interviewing a client, researching their legal issues and then writing a solution to their problems in a letter within a fortnight. Understandably, this was completely different to studying and preparing for coursework but was key in highlighting the difference between actually practising the law to studying it. This is an important learning step for a lot of students, in many different subjects, who go straight from university into a job completely unprepared and as a result find the transition extremely difficult.
The most difficult part of my experience was trusting myself in the advice I gave. The implications of giving advice that was potentially wrong was always at the forefront of my worries whenever corresponding with clients. The experience did help me improve my practical application of the laws I had studied in lectures and having the supervision of practicing lawyers at top firms in the city gave me the confidence to suggest and explore different solutions. This also helped me in my studies because my reading was longer just isolated learning and instead became more interesting and interactive.
Work experience has helped me prepare for the working world and has given me useful indicators to show to future employers during interviews that I have the skills they want and need for me to excel. For anyone, work experience is important for the reasons mentioned before but perhaps most importantly it is also a personal gauge that this is the type of job you can see yourself enjoying and doing in the long-term.
To find out more about becoming a Student Adviser (this opportunity is only available to LLB students), and many other work experience opportunities, see here: careers.qmul.ac.uk/workexperience