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University is an education in the broadest sense. Our University section will enable you to make the most of your time at University and take advantage of all of the opportunities available to you.
Making the most of your time at University
In this section you can find all the advice and guidance you need as you apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.
In the Recruitment section there is a wealth of information about completing applications forms, online tests, and the various stages in the recruitment. Whilst the Disability section provides advice on how to manage your disability during the recruitment process including information on how to inform an employer of what you require and referring to your disability during an interview.
Managing Your Disability
The Organisations section is where you can find out about various organisations, the opportunities they offer and their individual approach to disability.
Profiles / Stories
It’s always great to hear from those who have been successful.
This section profiles many individuals, working across different industries, at various stages of their careers. Their interviews demonstrate that is possible to have a successful career regardless of whether or not you have a disability. They also illustrate the adjustments that can be made in the workplace.
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I was drawn to law five years ago whilst in the first year of a Geography degree at King's College London. After losing my sight at the age of 18 studying for a medical degree, I decided to radically change direction. I felt that many of the qualities required in the field of medicine translated well to becoming a lawyer.
I knew there was a concentration of lawyers in the city who were visually impaired and set about approaching them for work experience. I managed placements at a Barrister's chamber as well as a small city law firm, before realising the excitement of working on larger deals was something that attracted me. In my third year, I undertook vacation schemes with a few silver circle firms which allowed me to gain great insight into the inner workings and deals that large city firms get involved in.
After interning at Ashurst, I was offered a training contract with the firm starting in September 2015.
Open and effective communication is key when negotiating the many challenges a visual impairment brings in a law firm. It's important for colleagues to understand the extent of my vision as well as the accessible software installed on the system. That transparency translates itself in others being able to effectively take your needs into account when allocating work. That is not to say anything is made easier, but instead tasks that may require a higher degree of sight can be delegated to another trainee.
First and foremost, a culture of inclusivity and diversity is one of the key reasons I chose to apply to Ashurst. That culture permeates throughout the firm and in every respect, they have been able to smooth my transition into the office.
Through access to work, they have installed and trained me on accessible software. I use a combination of powerful magnification software and speech software and this has been installed and tested heavily on the firm's systems. Furthermore, the firm have welcomed a disability awareness trainer to assist with my transition into the firm. The slight social awkwardness a disability propagates has, as a result, been dissipated completely.
Ashurst have a strong track record in hiring a diverse workforce. They have made great strides in the last few years on the front of LGBT, female retention and disability awareness. On weighing up offers initially, Ashurst's knowledge in the field of catering for a trainee with a visual impairment was the key factor in my decision to train with them.
It's important to mention that the field of Law in the city especially, is some way behind the more innovative industries of Consultancy and Investment Banking when it comes to disability inclusivity. That said, I've personally witnessed a paradigm shift in the last five years when it comes to attracting and retaining top disabled talent.
At work as in life, it's important not to take yourself or your disability too seriously. It's always worth laughing off the painful situation of walking into the wrong room, sitting down and trying to work at the wrong computer.
Secondly, make sure you disclose your disability as early as possible. Gone are the days where a candidate with a disability was a rarity in applying to a city firm. Ten percent of the population fall into the category of having a disability under the Equality Act 2010, therefore, graduate recruitment teams are highly accustomed in providing the reasonable adjustment necessary in helping a candidate with a disability through the application process and ultimately, successfully progress through their career.
Year Joined / Path : 2015
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