Written by Samantha Oates-Miller, Careers Insights and Graduate Support Assistant at the Careers Service
Interview with Avni Devgan, LLB Law with Politics, 2015
We interviewed Avni, a 2015 Law and Politics graduate from The University of Manchester about how she found searching for work in the legal sector during the pandemic while studying for her Master’s degree.
Where are you in your career currently?
Avni: I am currently studying. After completing my Law with Politics degree at The University of Manchester in 2015, I completed my MSc in Law, Business and Management from the University of Law in 2020. I am an incoming LLM student for the 2021-2022 academic year. However, I have a job lined up for 2023 when I finish my LLM, as a Trainee Solicitor at Baker McKenzie, London.
What is your top tip for graduates?
Avni: Networking is absolutely crucial because it helps you build connections with people who could be your colleagues, bosses or clients one day. Do not let the lack of face-to-face interactions in the pandemic prevent you from networking. Attending webinars is a great way to learn more about the industry you are looking to build a career in or the organisation where you want to work. Always follow up with a message to the organisers and/or panellists to thank them and express your interest in their organisation(s), and leverage your interaction with them to make strong applications.
How did you find applying for jobs during the pandemic?
Avni: With fewer opportunities for face-to-face interactions in the pandemic, I realised that research was crucial. One way I could stand out was by clearly conveying my knowledge of the role, organisation and industry. My top tip for graduates would be to research using a variety of resources, including the organisation’s website and social media, rankings, testimonials, and industry specific news.
Because I was applying as an international student, when I was applying for jobs, I always crosschecked the organisation against two criteria. The first criterion would inform me of whether my salary at the organisation would be above the threshold for a Tier 2 visa, and the second would inform me about whether the organisation I was interested in applying in was listed as a Tier 2 visa sponsor on gov.uk. By doing this, I ensured that my time was being best utilised, by applying to only those organisations where I had a genuine chance as an international applicant.
For tracking the progress of my applications, I would use a table to organise:
- The organisations I applied to
- The dates I applied on
- The key contact(s) I had at the organisations to follow up with
- The outcome of my applications
This helped me to keep up to date and organise my time.
How did you deal with rejections?
Avni: Treating rejections as redirection helped me. I would reflect on each rejection, evaluate and incorporate any lessons into my strategy, and then move on to the next application. Doing this was not always easy and I would find myself taking rejections personally at times. However, I found that relying on my friends and family for support and telling them how I was feeling helped reaffirm my faith in my abilities and motivation for a career in law.
For more information on and support in finding a job, check out the Careers Service website. Here you can find support with finding a graduate job, applications advice, and interview preparation, as well as online employer sessions and other careers events. You can use the Careers Service for two years after finishing your degree, including careers guidance appointments with a Consultant.