Hi I’m Meghna and I’m a second year law student at the University of Kent. I just completed my first year. I spent the first few months on campus but after I recovered from COVID, I decided to stay at home for the rest of the year. In general I had a lot of spare time on my hands and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I read classics and watched Netflix originals but I still felt incomplete and unproductive.
That’s when I decided to properly explore my university’s career service. I’m so grateful that I was able to talk to a careers adviser about my potential options after I graduate and what I could be doing to improve personally and professionally. When I started university, I was afraid and embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know what to include on my CV. I didn’t understand the different types of selection tests out there and I was nervous that I was unprepared for the working world outside academia. I used to be stressed about the concept of virtual interviews but I learned to maintain eye contact and keep practicing to reduce my nerves. I spoke to different advisers and I received a lot of guidance on what my next steps should be. It is crucial to have someone check your application before you hit send and help you make realistic choices that will influence your future career.
I strongly recommend applying to work experience, co-curriculars, essay competitions, extra modules, placement years, internships, semester abroad programs, leadership positions (from societies to Student Ambassador initiatives), online courses, volunteering schemes, summer schools, insight days and career related workshops alongside your studies. Career fairs, webinars and employer presentations showcase what recruiters are looking for and supports your understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. I attended as many virtual law events as I could and it allowed me to think deeper about my career choices through completing case study exercises. You can always make the most of your limited experiences if you believe you have gained lots of useful and employable skills from them. These experiences don’t necessarily have to be applicable to the role that you want.
However, having a variety of different experiences assists you in finding out what you’re passionate about. It can be tough to manage these commitments alongside your studies so be careful that you don’t do too much. Grades should come first yet these experiences are essential for career development. Dedicate a small amount of time every week to build skills for your resume will definitely be worth it in the long run!
Dealing with rejections and setbacks can be scary to deal with but you gain so much just by giving it a go! I competed in a Negotiation competition with the Kent Temple Law Society and I learned so much about lawyering skills despite losing in the second round. So reach out to your Careers Service so you can learn where you went wrong. Maintaining a growth mindset and putting your plans into action will benefit you more in the long term. So be proactive and apply but remember there are plenty of resources out there including signing up to the Gapwhiz mailing list so you can look out for potential opportunities that fit your requirements.
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