Kate Sharp (BA Human Resource Management 2009)

Kate Sharp

I decided to spend my third year in industry in the hope that it would give me a clearer idea about which career path to follow after university. I also wanted to take the opportunity to get some relevant work experience, something which is invaluable when facing tough competition for graduate jobs! After several applications and a few assessment centres, I was offered a placement with Lloyds TSB, in their HR Legal department. My role was similar to that of a trainee solicitor, which is not a standard management placement, but I liked that it was a bit different. The team in which I worked was part of the wider HR department, but dealt with legal queries relating to employment law, and was responsible for defending Employment Tribunal claims. 

I was given responsibility and was fully involved with the team’s caseload right from the beginning, everyone was very welcoming and friendly. Although I did not have an extensive knowledge of law, coming from a business background, my team were always keen to help, and I was able to learn on the job as the year progressed. I now feel that my knowledge of the law has increased greatly, along with my self confidence and team working skills, as I had to work with a wide range of different people on a daily basis. These skills are certainly proving useful now that I am back at university as I feel more comfortable with group work and giving presentations in seminars.

Although I did not gain a great deal of course specific knowledge as my role was legally based, I feel much more focused and motivated to do well in my degree. I think that working full time for a year has changed my attitude towards work and managing tasks, and I have also seen more of what is available to graduates with a good degree!

As a result of my placement, I have now decided to go on to do further study after I graduate in order to pursue a career in the legal profession, something which I would probably not have considered doing if I had not spent the last year on placement. I would certainly recommend spending a year in industry as it is such a great experience, and relevant to any student whether they have decided what to do after university, or are still unsure like I was.