My Co-op journey started straight after I finished college, when I’d decided that university wasn’t the right path for me. I’ve always preferred to apply myself in a practical environment, learning on the go by testing myself in real-life situations. I needed to find something that allowed me to do this, and a Co-op apprenticeship proved to be the perfect opportunity.
A strong foundation for my career in law
When a team from Co-op Legal’s Stratford Upon Avon office visited my college to promote apprenticeship opportunities, it was clear to me that Co-op was a place where I could make real progress towards a career in law. I was really encouraged by the information they shared during the visit and couldn’t wait to find out more. This curiosity eventually led to me completing a short spell of work experience at Co-op Legal, followed by an interview and, before I knew it, I was a Level 3 Paralegal apprentice.
As an 18-year-old who’d never worked in an office environment before, it was quite daunting walking in on my first day – not quite knowing what to expect. Thankfully, any nerves I had were settled instantly by the warm welcome I received from my new colleagues. They made me feel like I was a valued member of the team and that my input was always welcome.
I’m supported every step of the way
The Level 3 Paralegal apprenticeship at Co-op takes two years to complete. During a typical week, I’ll spend around 20% of my time focusing on theoretical learning, with the other 80% spent putting this into practice under the guidance of expert mentors, tutors, and colleagues.
During my time on the programme, there have been certain challenges I’ve needed to overcome – like trying to grasp the complex legal jargon associated with my role. My colleagues have been on-hand to offer support and guidance whenever I need it, while also reassuring me that these difficulties are a natural part of the learning process. I’ve no doubts the supportive environment at Co-op Legal has helped me to become the best version of myself, allowing me to build a strong foundation for my future legal career.
Embrace new challenges, and always believe in yourself
My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship at Co-op would be to go for it, as there’s so much to be gained by simply putting yourself forward. The main thing my apprenticeship has taught me is that you should always embrace new challenges and experiences, even if they seem a little daunting to begin with.
I had fairly average BTEC results, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find an opportunity that would allow me to progress in my career, but Co-op made sure that this wasn’t the case. The experiences and friendships I’ve made over the past 18 months will be invaluable for my future, and I can’t wait to see what it holds!