Why Bethan returned to help students figure out their career paths

Bethan, former Copleston High School student, tells us why she volunteers her time to help current students.

I joined Copleston High School in 2002 and completed my GCSEs in 2007. I built a good rapport with the teachers and this, coupled with the reputation of the SETEC sports department, persuaded me to stay on at the Sixth Form to complete my A Levels.

I enjoyed school; nothing made me happier than getting a good grade in class! I am lucky to have very supportive parents who were always on hand to help with homework and did all they could to help keep me engaged with my schoolwork. Early on, I showed an appetite for learning and always worked hard. The teaching staff were also always on hand to provide me with any support I needed.

I suffer with chronic brittle asthma and during my time at Copleston I had multiple hospital admissions each term which varied from 1 – 7 days admittance each time. This meant that I had to spend a lot of time out of school and Copleston liaised regularly with my Mam, to make sure that I had all my homework and reading materials sent to the hospital. Without my Mam’s tenacity and Copleston’s willingness to provide extra support, I honestly don’t believe I would have got the grades I required to get into University to study Law.

After my A Levels I did a law degree at the University of Southampton and then went on to do my Legal Practice Course at Anglia Ruskin University at their Cambridge campus. Whilst doing my LPC, I worked for a construction company in their in-house legal department and just before I sat my LPC exams, I was offered a Paralegal role at Ellisons Solicitors. Off the back of the Paralegal role I was offered a 2-year training contract and qualified in February 2016 as a Solicitor into the Commercial Property team. What I love most about my job as a Commercial Property Solicitor is that no two days are the same; I get to deal with a variety of clients; I am challenged; and every day I learn something new. It’s wonderful to see how much effort Copleston put into helping their students and supporting them to find rewarding careers. Upon being asked to volunteer, I knew it would be something I could help with. A lot of students had an interest in studying Law, but they didn’t necessarily know where to start. Since signing up to the Future First alumni network I’ve also become a governor of Rosehill Primary School which is linked with Copleston. I recently went back to Copleston for a working lunch session which involved talking to a small group of Sixth Form students. These individuals were high achievers, academically, but unsure what route they wanted to take after school. I gave them an overview of my personal journey in Law as well as an overview of the different routes available to them. The advice I’d give to Sixth Form students is to keep their end goal in mind. Year 12 and 13 are exciting years but they are also the most important years to sculpt yourselves as students and future employees. Sign up here to volunteer at your old school or college.