Tom's role as a new father led him to a new career path as a practicing lawyer
Seven years ago, I was working in an office at a local college. I was 23, the job was fine and life was sailing along well enough. Then my daughter came along.
Becoming a parent made me realise that I didn't just want a job that was comfortable. I wanted a career with stability and possibilities, where I could fulfil my potential and provide.
It quickly became apparent, finding that kind of job meant getting a university education and that wasn’t a decision to take lightly, what with my new responsibilities. So I weighed things up and in the end realised that I had to think long term and take a calculated risk. It was now or never and I decided to back myself.
For someone like me, who needed this degree to help me get on and get a job, that focus on employment was huge.
After considering which course to study I settled on Law. I’d like to say ‘I’ve had this passion for law since I was 12 after seeing this or that happen’. While, yes, I saw it as a potentially exciting and rewarding lifestyle, really the choice was mostly down to my situation and needing to think practically.
Studying Law would give me a distinct career path: degree, law school, training contract, job. It would be years of hard work, but if I knuckled down and followed that path then eventually I’d get to where I needed to be.
The thing that attracted to me to Portsmouth initially was the Law course’s balance between academic study and practical application. You wouldn't just learn all the technical things you needed from a book and be done with them, you’d also be taught how to apply them to real life cases that you might encounter down the road. For someone like me, who needed this degree to help me get on and get a job, that focus on employment was huge.
It was now or never and I decided to back myself.
As predicted, it was a lot of work, going straight from degree to law school to training contract. The years have ticked by and now I look back and can’t believe I’m here, qualified and working as a lawyer.
Some people might see having a young child as a roadblock to going to university. In truth I wouldn’t have gone to university at all, let alone worked so hard, if it wasn’t for having her. It’s taught me that it’s never too late and it doesn’t matter when you start, so long as you’re starting something that feels right for you.