Current Employer/Organisation Name
Penningtons Manches Cooper
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
I graduated from Exeter with BA history and French (combined honours) in 2013 after 3 fantastic years at Exeter and 9 months in Paris. I left to complete the Graduate Diploma in law at Oxford Brookes (2013-2014), and then after securing a training contract with Thomas Cooper LLP, I completed the LPC at University of Law in London (2016). I now work as a shipping solicitor in the Marine Trade and Energy team at Penningtons Manches Cooper, having qualified in 2018.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
I wanted to give rowing (oarsman, not arguing) a go after Exeter and Oxford Brookes had a lottery funded rowing programme. In doing the Graduate Diploma in law whilst rowing there I discovered shipping law and found it really interesting so at the end of the year pursued a career in that field (having realised I had taken my rowing as far as I could).
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
I rowed a lot with EUBC and still have many great friends from my time there. I was also a member of the history and French societies, although with less involvement. My housemates set up the Exeter Slacklining society, which I was a also a part of.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
On the history side, I really enjoyed studying about British naval history. On the French side I was able to study some very interesting French philosophers and literature (although, I must confess, I did not manage to read many of the texts in French at the time and still haven’t to this day!).
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
Student life as a whole. I have made a lot of lifelong friends (having just returned from a week in St Ives with old housemates and two separate weekends away for various Exeter rower’s 30th birthdays) and have so many great memories from my time there. Exeter is a beautiful campus with a lot of greenery and the completion of the forum project meant that for my final year after the year abroad we had that space to enjoy.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
They were the best ranked University to let me in!
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
Hard work, attention to detail and analytical skills, communication (particularly of complex legal issues explained in easily understandable and concise advice) and good interpersonal skills and an ability to get on with most people.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
It can be quite tough to get a training contract (I was very naïve at the outset but soon realised this). Don’t be disheartened by rejection. In my experience the application process is a numbers game, if you stick at it and keep applying and most importantly tailor each application to the firm you are applying to, you will eventually get an offer.