Trainee solicitor urges students to gain work experience during studies
Wilkin Chapman trainee solicitor, Danielle Sakseide
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 27 Oct 2017
A former student who is now a trainee solicitor has urged pupils to gain valuable work experience in order to "get ahead" in the job market.
Those who attended Caistor Grammar School’s recent careers evening have championed how work experience can be the best way to stand out from the crowd when looking for that all-important first job.
The bi-annual event saw professionals and companies from a whole range of businesses give advice to more than 250 students and parents, from Year 8 upwards.
They included accountants, chartered surveyors, marketing, engineers, vets, dental care professionals, solicitors and architects.
Trainee solicitor with leading regional law firm, Danielle Sakseide, joined her HR colleague Danielle Melhuish to give advice a whole string of students interested in a future in law.
Wilkin Chapman, with seven offices in Grimsby, Lincoln, Beverley, Louth, Horncastle, Alford and Sheffield, was recently judged as ‘the best firm in Lincolnshire’ for trainees to work for.
Students are being encouraged to gain valuable work experience
Danielle, 23, of New Waltham studied at King Edward VI Grammar School before embarking on a three-year law degree at Newcastle University, and a further 10-month Legal Practice Course, (LPC).
After a spell working at North East Lincolnshire Council, she was offered a training contract with Wilkin Chapman, joining as a Paralegal before taking up the traineeship. She is currently in the firm’s Louth office, working within the Private Client team.
Her advice to students at the careers evening was clear: "Obviously you need good GCSE and A-level grades, but running alongside that, you need to look at getting as much experience as possible", said Danielle.
She added: "I sent a number of letters out and as a result was offered a placement with Wilkin Chapman during the University summer break, which was a fantastic opportunity.
"I spent time in various departments, and was given the opportunity to draft letters and get engaged in the work. The more work experience you can get, the better."
Caistor Grammar School
Wilkin Chapman was a Lex 100 award winner in the work/life balance, friendliness and inclusivity categories. In awarding the firm the hat-trick of top spots, Lex 100 stated how the firm was ‘experiencing strong growth', which instilled a confidence in the trainees that there would be plenty of scope for job opportunities and progression’.
Danielle's advice was echoed by James Lockwood, director of Grimsby-based ID Architecture.
A former student at Caistor Grammar, James now enjoys working with a team of eight people at the firm’s base, in Wilton Road.
And a prime reason for being at the careers event was to look for architects of the future.
James, said: "We like to see a good stream of students come to us for work experience, who could go on to be future employees.
"We are always looking to recruit and it can be difficult. While we all appreciate that some young people may wish to move away and experience other things, it is also important for them to be aware that the grass is not always greener.
James Lockwood, director of Grimsby-based ID Architecture.
"The Northern Lincolnshire area does have a smaller pond when it comes to the world or architecture, which can often mean you get more chance to be part of some very exciting projects."
Delighted by the attendance on the evening, both from students, parents and businesses, careers co-ordinator at Caistor Grammar, Rebecca Turner, said: "This is a very good way of getting young people to engage with firms and organisations at an early stage, often giving them a valuable insight into what they could do in the future.
"We would like to thank all those who have attended and given their time up tonight to help our professionals of the future."
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