How Can Networking Transform Your Career?
The Law Of... networking for successIn this day and age, professional networking has become somewhat of an art form. Knowing how to network effectively is a skill in its own right, and if you want to get ahead it is important that you understand how to navigate your way through the process.
Ramune Mickeviciute, Medical Negligence Paralegal at Simpson Millar
, shares her experience of how networking opened up career opportunities and helped her to gain the position she has always wanted.
Why Did You Study Law At University?
I always knew that I wanted to become a successful lawyer; however, I wasn't sure about what it would take to achieve this. I thought that being a good, ambitious student would be more than enough, but in hindsight I think that was wrong!
I studied my law degree at Kingston University, and I really enjoyed it right from the very start. Generally, I have always been a good student and worked hard but I soon understood that to become a great solicitor I needed much more than just good grades or a degree.
Did You Take Part In Any Work Experience?
All of the students on my course were encouraged to obtain work experience alongside our studies.
Kingston University's employment team was really encouraging and supportive. They held quite a few events and lectures in order to advise us on, for example, where to look for work experience, how to write a good CV, etc.
Do You Have Any Tips On Networking For Aspiring/Existing Solicitors?
In my opinion, the most important advice that I have ever received is to make sure that I network with professionals in my industry.
I initially thought that networking would be really hard to do, because even though you study law you do not necessarily know who you should network with and where you can do this.
In spite of this, I was confident enough to try networking out. I used some personal contacts to help me meet new people, and that allowed me to get some varied work experience at different law firms.
Kingston University was also very helpful, and organised some networking events that I attended. Each networking event was different, and it is important to remember that when you attend these events you should not expect to always meet important people and get an internship straightaway.
However, if you are patient enough, you will find yourself in the right place at the right time.
Can You Describe How Networking Has Helped You Progress?
My lucky day came when I attended one of the law events organised by my university. During that event I got the chance to meet a solicitor who is actually now one of my colleagues. As I was charmed by their discussion on Medical Negligence, I decided to speak to them at the end of the event in order to ask some more questions.
I also used this opportunity to apply for some work experience at the firm, Colemans Solicitors, which is now part of Simpson Millar.
I was told that they accepted students for work experience and that students from Kingston University were particularly welcome. I managed to secure work experience lasting a week, which was going to take place a few months down the line, so I did not have to wait very long to start.
Why Did You Specialise In Medical Negligence?
I really enjoyed my work experience at the Kingston office. I spent the week working in 4 different departments, but enjoyed working in the Medical Negligence department in particular. As someone who does not like being in a set routine, I knew that if I could come back and work for the Medical Negligence department I would never be bored as it was very dynamic and interesting.
Why Did You Decide To Work For Simpson Millar?
Soon after I graduated, I wanted to get some more experience first before continuing with my studies. I wanted to find a workplace in which I could learn and progress.
When I found out that Colemans Solicitors had merged with Simpson Millar and is now part of a bigger group, I very happily applied for a new Paralegal position in the Medical Negligence department. It was good to see that the law firm I would like to work for is also rapidly progressing.
As my application was successful, I can proudly say that I am now a part of the Medical Negligence team at Simpson Millar
! I am still extremely excited about my position and the company as I think it is a great place to start my career.
I have already begun working on very interesting cases and I am excited to say that I have also had the chance to advise on cases that are now under my name.
What Advice Can You Offer Others In Your Position?
It does not matter where you work or what your position is, I would encourage you to be more ambitious and open to the idea of networking.It seems to me now that if I did not have the drive pushing me to attend law events and confidence to speak to different professionals, my story would definitely have had a different ending.