When joining the College, I distinctly remember feeling the need to step out of my comfort zone and gain a level of independence that I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed on at my school’s Sixth Form. College not only offered that level of independence but a wide range of subjects that I was interested in.

I look back on my time at College fondly and completely embraced the experience. Integrating with students from other schools helped me form a wide social network and improved my confidence dealing with new working environments.

My teachers were extremely supportive of my chosen career path – I need to give a particular shout out to my law teacher Ray, who always taught with enthusiasm and encouragement, making the subject fun!

Initially I aspired to be a solicitor and secured a degree apprenticeship placement at a law firm in Tunbridge Wells. Starting as a Paralegal, I successfully completed this portion of the apprenticeship in 2021, before moving on to my Level 7 trainee solicitor apprenticeship.

It was during this time that I came to the decision that this path was no longer the right choice for me: While I very much enjoyed the legal environment and working with lawyers, becoming one myself was no longer what I wanted, so I decided to make a career change into events management.

Having always been involved in events through volunteer and charity work, I wanted to make a permanent career move into this sector. So now I’m working at the leading London law firm Farrer & Co. as a Junior Events Executive. Since starting in 2022, I’ve already had a promotion and I am keen to continue my career development within the company’s events team.

I particularly enjoy building relationships with fee earners of all levels and assisting in the continued development of the firm, working on large drinks receptions, international seminars and corporate conferences. My job also brings me into contact with a whole range of colleagues in marketing, business development, finance, HR and IT too.

I’d encourage current students to seriously consider apprenticeship opportunities alongside applying to universities. It was only by applying to both university and apprenticeship schemes I found that the apprenticeship route was the one I was better suited to.

Although I decided to end my solicitor apprenticeship after three years of study and work, I stand by my decision to do this rather than a university degree. My experiences in a corporate environment and the skills I took away from those three years were invaluable and put me in really good stead to work where I am now.

I’ve learnt that it’s okay to make career changes and try out things that may not be right for you in the end – it all helps to give you the transferable skills and valuable experiences for your perfect role.

Mia Hardiman
Reigate College: 2017-2019

Higher education: Level 3 Paralegal Apprenticeship, BPP University
Currently: Junior Events Executive, Farrer & Co.

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