Stacy Hawker
LLB Graduate

Graduate Life

It has been a while since I last posted, I think my blogging duties must have gotten a little lost along the way in a sea of law books, dissertations and deadlines. BUT I have finally GRADUATED from Queen Mary with my Law degree and have successfully made it to the other side. The grass isn’t that much greener over here…

I am currently involved in what I like to think of as the Hunger Games for new graduates. We are all warned how tough and competitive the graduate job market is, but I don’t think it is possible to realise just how tough it is until you make it into the arena. I have applied for over 60 jobs at my last count and I have had 9 interview invitations. I have made it to the final 4, the final 3 and the final 2 (!) but I am still waiting to find the right opportunity for me.

I have predominantly been applying for jobs working for a Member of Parliament. My law degree taught me many things, including that I am not passionate about a traditional legal career. I have also applied for the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme, and beat out 600 other contenders to make it to the final 2 for my matched Member of Parliament, only to fall at the final hurdle. I also made it to the Assessment Centre for the National Graduate Development Programme before falling here too. It is extremely tough, but I am convinced it will be worth it in the end. Plus, every interview and assessment centre is experience gained and makes the next interview (slightly) less nerve-wracking.

It has only been two months since graduation, so I’m not resigning myself to the graduate scrapheap just yet! Hopefully my next blog will be about my first week in my wonderful new job!

First Year Examination Survival Guide

1. Make a revision timetable and Sellotape it to your desk. Law students are given roughly a month off but for the best results start as early as possible. Make your notes for tutorials in the style of revision notes to save yourself major time!

NB – When you are given tutorial problem questions to do, DO THEM. I saves a lot of time when it comes to past papers and it is very easy just to do the reading and not the questions.

2. Devote the most amount of time to the subject you find the most difficult or like the least. You will retain information easier if you find the subject interesting or straightforward and so you need to concentrate on your weaknesses.

3. Ban yourself from time consuming or distracting things. I had to ban myself from both PlayStation and TV or hours would disappear before I knew it. Get your flatmates to enforce this against you and disable your Internet to stop you “just browsing” Facebook for an hour or so.

4. Look at the past papers on QMPlus. Granted, there are not many but the examiners tend to recycle questions with slightly different wording. It is better to spend three hours working on a question on a Saturday night that to spend the whole three hours of the exam trying not to cry.

5. The best tool you have for revision is each other. Start a study group, go through past papers with friends, open a group Whatsapp convo and ask questions on the First Year Law Facebook page. You can guarantee the problems you overlook will be the ones that you have to deal with in the exam!!!

6. Take a photo of your revision timetable and set it as your screensaver on your phone. You will always know where your exam is, what seat you are in, what day it is on and if you start to slip onto your phone, it will prevent you procrastinating.

7. Most importantly, just grit your teeth and try your absolute hardest. Nobody ever regrets hard work, you will only regret not trying. Once it is over, it is over. You can then enjoy five quiet months off before you have to do it all over again!

Life in London

The best thing about being in the City is that it opens doors to a whole different kind of lifestyle. When I’m taking some time out from studying, I head to Oxford Street via the Central Line, armed with my student discount for some well-earned retail therapy. There  is so much choice for food, including an amazing American diner called Ed’s Diner down the road from Bond Street. Bond Street also hosts an incredible waffle stand right next door. You cannot miss it as the delicious smell will draw you in like a moth to a flame. Covent Garden off the Picadilly line offers the same calibre of shops, but quieter (as far as London goes for quiet). Maxwell’s Diner is the place to eat in Covent Garden, where you can choose anything from fajitas to BBQ ribs, and is right around the corner from the famous Rokit Vintage store! If shopping is not your thing, London is bursting with galleries and museums.

I recommend the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, both of which have student-friendly free entry and plenty of fascinating displays to sink your teeth into (not literally, they frown on that). If you are still stuck for ideas of things to do, there are theaters, cafes, cinemas, charity shops, restaurants, libraries, monuments, statues lining the streets, there is something to see at every turn.

When I want to find something new, I just pick a place at random off the Tube map and go exploring! There is never a dull moment in the City.

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