Like many graduates of my generation, I left university with a strange mixture of optimism and uncertainty. I was confident that the right opportunities would arise, but I certainly didn’t know how or when they would come about.
My brother was working in Greece as an English teacher at the time and suggested that a teaching qualification might open some doors for me. It sounded like a great chance to see more of the world and, at the very least, it would buy me some time to think about my future.
And that’s how I ended up back in Swansea. Not in some far-flung province of China, not on a beautiful Pacific island, not even somewhere remotely sunny…I was to return home to the place once infamously described as ‘the graveyard of ambition’.
Despite the initial ‘tail between the legs’ feeling of going home, it was definitely the right decision. I loved teaching! Although it was daunting at first, teaching students from around the world was an eye-opening experience. One of my students came from one of the most dangerous and deprived favelas in Rio, yet had managed to secure a prestigious engineering scholarship.
It was hard not to be inspired around such determined young people and it made me think about my long-term plans. I decided to convert to law and maintain my teaching commitments in between my studies. Fast-forward through numerous difficult exams, training contract interviews and teaching trips abroad, I found myself starting at Taylor Vinters.
Walking in on the Monday I felt just as I had when I stood in front of my first class of bright-eyed students – unbelievably nervous! I knew I had the necessary qualifications to do the job but would I be any good at it? Would I settle in? More importantly, with a year between my last LPC exam and the start of the job, would I remember enough of the law to feel comfortable in whatever seat they put me in?
The sense of doubt I had that morning was well and truly gone by the end of my first week. Not only did the induction at Taylor Vinters reassure me about my ability, it introduced me to some really friendly and welcoming people. I was excited to learn that I would be starting my first seat in Commercial Technology. One of the new associates introduced me to the team and soon after I was handed my first task.
After four weeks in the seat, I can report back that my work has been interesting, international and incredibly varied. I have attended client meetings, drafted some agreements and conducted legal research for some rather unique clients. On top of that, I have met lots of nice people across the firm and cemented my place as a regular in the Taylor Vinters football team.
I know there will be lots of challenges ahead during my training contract but I am glad to say that my early career change is already looking like a good one.