After leaving Heathfield, and with the kind sponsorship of the Fellowship’s travel bursary, I embarked on a gap year spent on a tiny island off the coast of Honduras taking part in a coral reef conservation project. Having dragged myself away from daily scuba diving expeditions in the tropics of Honduras, in 2000 I headed off to the distinctly chillier climes of Durham University. The years that my English teachers at Heathfield had spent instilling within me a passion for Dickens, Shakespeare and Milton paid off when I achieved a 2:1 in English Literature.
During my final year at Durham I secured the sponsorship of a city law firm to study for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Law and then the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School, London. Upon graduating from law school with distinction in 2005, I commenced life as a trainee solicitor. I qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and, after 3 years working in commercial property law, I moved to Allen & Overy, LLP’s real estate team, in 2010.
It strikes me that being a Heathfield pupil was the ideal preparation for my chosen career. Heathfield taught me to work hard but balance it with having a lot of fun in the process; to maintain a sense of humour at all times (invaluable at midnight in the office when the computer crashes); to have the courage to try anything once (though I wish I hadn’t tried scuba diving in the North Sea in December), and to believe that any ambition is attainable given a bit of effort. Heathfield also gave me amazing friends without whom nothing is possible!