Recently, I recorded a podcast for ‘Trainee Talk‘ with Jaysen Sutton, the founder of The Corporate Law Academy. The episode (#18 in their series) has just gone live, and I’m really pleased with the result, and hope that it provides help in a rather different medium to my norm. We cover topics ranging from self-criticism and imposter syndrome, to how to approach your first year at university, through to applying for jobs, and my top tips on realising and reaching your potential. I also talk about things I’ve never really touched on on the blog or online – including my own personal path and history – something I have always been hesitant to do for a multitude of reasons, but that feels appropriate in this context.
I was rather nervous, being brand-new to the podcast world, but Jaysen put me at ease, asked some fantastic questions and I hope the resulting conversation provides help and hope for both your career, your well-being and your studies. It’s never the most comfortable to talk about yourself for an hour solid (or for me it’s not!), so I must thank Jaysen for making it a painless and enjoyable experience, and for asking such insightful questions.
If you have a particular burning question you wanted answered and don’t want to listen to the whole 60 minute episode (although we think you definitely should), then for ease I’ve listed below the topics we discuss and the corresponding time-codes so you can skip around the episode.
- 1:55 – my background and journey to law as a mature student
- 3:44 – the trigger for becoming a lawyer and why I felt it was possible even with hurdles
- 5:45 – responding to concern from loved ones before embarking on studies
- 7:35 – where drive and determination can come from
- 9:02 – how I ended up at King’s, including my experience on an Access Course and taking GCSEs in my twenties. I also touch on getting rejected from universities and taking a year out and reapplying to universities
- 14:29 – how taking some time and saying yes to the best choice for you, not the first offer you get is sometimes worth the risk
- 16:32 – why I was apprehensive about starting university and that pesky thing called ‘imposter syndrome’
- 19:01 – how to overcome and deal with self-criticism and imposter syndrome
- 22:37 – why it is vital to be your own champion
- 23:23 – advice for mature students or those with non-traditional backgrounds/qualifications, and how to use your experiences as an asset
- 27:02 – recognising your innate value, embracing your differences and presenting yourself even if you don’t have legal experience
- 29:45 – making the most of your university experience and why going with your excitement and energy may be a great approach
- 34:00 – networking as an introvert
- 35:10 – my application journey, how many I sent and the results
- 40:14 – writing good applications and how to approach them – and why you shouldn’t do it how I did
- 43:02 – what makes a good answer
- 44:40 – how to present mitigating circumstances in applications and interviews
- 48:50 – don’t be put off by a “computer says no” message
- 51:30 – the vital art of finding balance, maintaining wellbeing and being able to take time out
- 55:10 – advice on how to look after yourself while juggling studies and application
More about Jaysen Sutton: Jaysen completed his undergraduate degree in law at the London School of Economics, before pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge with a specialism in corporate law. He began his career as a trainee at the US-based law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges prior to founding The Corporate Law Academy.
More about The Corporate Law Academy: TCLA is an online careers platform to help aspiring lawyers secure training contracts and better prepare for a legal career.
More about ‘Trainee Talk’ the podcast series: Each episode, one of the TCLA team speak to future and current trainee solicitors to find out how they got to where they are today. They dive deep into the journeys of guests and show that there are multiple ways into the legal profession. The podcast also hopes to dispel myths surrounding the profession and show listeners that it’s okay to talk about the highs, as well as the lows of the training contract journey.
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