Alumnae Focus: Olivia

A-level subjects:

History, French and Maths, Latin AS (2013)

I left Tormead to study Arabic and History at University of St Andrew’s; then
GDL at BPP University and the LPC at BPP University. Spent 6 months travelling,
including around China and South Korea. Finally, I started as a trainee solicitor
at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in August 2020…I’d definitely drawn out my
education for as long as possible so it was time to face the world of work!

My career highlight has been working on two legal matters that have separately
been featured on the front page of the Financial Times. My personal highlight has been
playing a round of golf on the Old Course in St Andrew’s in my final year of uni. It’s
where golf was invented and the whole town is basically built around golf. I’d spent
my four years at uni trying to learn how to play, which included many tantrums and
thrown clubs, so it was a very proud moment when I finished my first ever round on
the Old Course.

I’m sure a lot of people are in similar situations, but starting work remotely has
been really challenging. It feels very strange working for people that you’ve
never seen in person! It’ll be very odd going into the office and meeting all
these people that I’ve only met on Teams.

Plans for the future: I hope to qualify at Freshfields, having completed my training
contract. I’m not sure into which area I’d like to qualify but I’d love to move out to the
Middle East for a few years to use my Arabic.

I never thought I’d say this as a solicitor, but I’m so happy that I did Maths for A
Level because you’d be surprised at how often I’m staring at Excel spreadsheets!
Also, I’m glad that I always tried to do a wide-range of extra-curriculars, as I’m sure
that it helped to develop my time management and organisational skills.

My one piece of advice would be to always stay in contact with people you’ve come
across in life. I think this is even more important in Covid times, but it helps a great
deal to have a broad network around you. Just arranging a coffee or catch-up with
people every few months will definitely pay off.

I’d tell my 16 year-old self to throw myself into every opportunity…
no matter how intimidating it may be!