A year in to my untraditional legal route

After sitting two exams this week (contract law and employment law) it suddenly dawned on me that I am now half way through my apprenticeship and a year through my time at City & Guilds, and I'm left asking myself where the time has gone!

A year ago, I was nervously starting my first week at the City & Guilds Group in the legal department. Getting lost on the way into work, feeling incredibly shy and also feeling very excited at the prospect of the start of new and exciting chapter of my life. Luckily, the elements of getting lost and feeling shy have gone (mostly!) but the element that still remains is that distinct feeling of excitement.

Coming straight from college, it took time for me to feel confident in my job role, the structure of the business, the office environment and learning to engage with different members of the business. Even plucking up the courage to answer the phone was a huge step for me.

A year on, I have since been working on familiarising myself with all areas of the business by attending a number of training sessions, brown bag lunches and communicating with all different members of the business. All of which has helped me to develop a deep understanding of the business and build strong working relationships.

Within the legal department, I feel I have progressed significantly in understanding the function of our department, managing my own workload, conducting and applying legal research to matters, liaising with my team and different members of the business and learning to work efficiently and independently.

These are just some of the skills I feel I have developed, I think the most notable is how my confidence has developed over this past year. A year ago, I refused to answer the phone or go anywhere out of my comfort zone at all. The thought of speaking to someone on the phone, sharing my thoughts in a meeting or having to stand up and talk in front of a group of people was my worst fear. I was receiving all sorts of training on our contract process, our contract register and our group legal structure and feeling completely overwhelmed with these reams of confusing information. Nowadays, I frequently speak on the phone, deliver legal updates to my team, assist with conducting contract process/register training sessions and just today I delivered a presentation to 100+ school students about the benefits of apprenticeships and my own personal experiences.

I never would have foreseen that I would be speaking to students, whose position I was in a year ago, about my employment journey and my future plans. I will now eagerly await my exam results, continue to work on my apprenticeship assignments and develop my skills within the legal team. I couldn't be happier with my progress so far and my lovely team who continue to help and support me immensely. I look forward to the future.

 

Nicole Guttridge - Legal Apprentice

Nicole Guttridge a Legal Apprentice at the City & Guilds Group. Whilst completing her apprenticeship, she supports her team on a number of different tasks such as drafting contracts, conducting legal research, delivering training and updating her team on developments in the law. Nicole also supports her team with administrative tasks such as filing contracts, processing invoices and taking minutes at meetings.