Journalism work experience thanks to the BKEW bursary

As my MA Journalism degree requires us to study a number of modules involving law, our trip to the House of Commons and the Supreme Court proved to be an insightful experience. Alongside being able to see the day to day and inner workings of the House of Commons, the tour helped to solidify knowledge of various laws and political workings by seeing how they work in practice. For example, seeing how the House of Commons is organised before Prime Minister’s Questions, and how it works in practice proved particularly insightful. Similarly, seeing the House of Lords and how they operate proved equally helpful in solidifying knowledge in how they work.

The visit to the Supreme Court was also very helpful, especially as we were able to sit in on an actual trial that we had recently been following in the news. Not only did it provide a first-hand account of how a Supreme Court case plays out, it also provided insight in what might be expected of a journalist who has been asked to cover a Supreme Court case. All in all it was a very interesting and beneficial day, which has only enhanced my knowledge of journalism law and what is expected of an actual journalist when reporting.

– Daniel Otway is studying for an MA Journalism at the University of Kent

The trip to the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court on our class trip to London was very helpful as it further aided my understanding of law. I have a law essay and a law exam coming up within the next couple of months so it gave me insight that I can then put into practice within these tests.

On the trip, we managed to sit in a case taking place at the Supreme Court and got first-hand experience of what happens in such a trial. The case has been well documented in the press and so I was already aware of proceedings going into the trial which made it easier for me to follow and gave me greater understanding of what I was witnessing.

The trip to Parliament was exceptionally interesting as it was somewhere I had never been before. The tour guide gave us a thorough history of the building as well as of the various Members who have sat there throughout the years. It was also very interesting to see the House of Lords in person and see where many life changing decisions have been made.

Overall, the trip helped my understanding of English law and furthered my education on the history of the law itself.

– Grace Gausden is studying for an MA Journalism at the University of Kent

Have you found some unpaid work experience? You could be entitled to the BKEW bursary – apply today!


Work experience at a Solicitor’s Office

Having been fortunate enough to be offered a further legal work placement in a London law firm, the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary made it far more possible for me to take up the opportunity and commute in and out of the city. Living outside of London meant I had to look to means of transport in order to reach my place of work. The easiest and fastest being the train. The bursary allowed the train tickets to be far more affordable, as without the contribution from the scheme, it is unlikely that I would have been able to purchase the transport tickets for the 2 week period.

During my time at Darlingtons Solicitors I found myself completing work and tasks for a number of lawyers and partners in the firm over a variety of floors. I initially completed work regarding a probate matter, following this I had a meeting with the lawyer in order for me to explain and/or justify my findings and conclusions. Following on from this, I was taught by the conveyancing team and was given the opportunity to perform a completion, lease extension and a number of client letters. I was also given the responsibility of calling and emailing clients, other solicitors, estate agents and banks. Further to this, I carried out standard office admin tasks such as copying and scanning documents. I also worked within the litigation department, and the family matters team as I completed research for cases, prepared correspondence for court proceedings, and sat in on client meetings.

On a day to day basis I would arrive at the office at around 8.30am. I initially worked in the litigation area, then moved to conveyancing, and in my second week I moved back to litigation where I was stationed at a desk in the partner’s office. A usual day would comprise of being given a case, reading through the correspondence and document files, filing any addition documents, and then asking questions after the matter having been summarised to me. Following this, I would usually be given 3 or 4 tasks to complete for the matter, some with deadlines. I would work at these tasks as independently as possible and would carry on with them after lunch should I still be unsure of any issues. It was common that after lunch I would have another talk with a lawyer about what I had found or completed so far, I would potentially be given more guidance at this point or slightly different instructions. I aimed to complete all tasks within the working day, but some took a number of days to finalise. I would tend to leave the office at 5pm, at times 6pm if I had pressing work that needed to be completed before 8am. I would then commute back home.

I found this experience to be extremely genuine and an accurate and fair reflection of what life is like working in a small to mid-size law firm. I was given tasks that suited my ability, some of which were easier than others but I was always intellectually stimulated, sometimes returning home after work to continue researching matters. This work experience has therefore not only improved my legal skills and employability but has given me a real insight as to what I can expect working life to be like.


The most beneficial aspect of this experience has been the future career prospects that have arisen. Whilst undertaking my work experience, I was encouraged to apply for a training contract within the firm. I did so and within a few days was informed that my application had been shortlisted and I was to be interviewed with the idea of beginning my training contract in 2 years’ time after having completed the LPC. I was thrilled at the news and have yet to be interviewed but am currently preparing for it and am hopeful. Regardless of whether I am selected for one of the 3 available contracts, the process has provided me with further practical experience of legal interviews and applications that will undoubtedly be useful in the future.




The office dog!

Had it not been for the Kent Bursary Scheme, the opportunities that have been a direct result of my work in the firm would not have presented themselves. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the firm and have learned a great deal about a number of areas of law, further aiding me in deciding which field to later specialise in.



Welcome to the theatre

This work experience bursary not only gave me an insight into the career path I want to take, but also allowed me to spend 3 weeks with the fantastic theatre company, that is Fingersmiths. This theatre company creates unique, bold and incredible pieces of theatre, connecting with audiences through multi-layered approaches to language and physical expression, with the aim to attract new Deaf practitioners, audiences and participators.

Throughout my time, I was luckily enough to work with some incredibly talented actors and director’s who all have experience in theatre, TV and film. I was able to gain an insight into how the theatre company works when rehearsing for their seasonal shows, picking up on some British Sign Language, which enabled me to communicate with the deaf actors, which was a personal goal of mine. I was given the opportunity to shadow both the Company Stage Manager, in which I gained knowledge into all the ‘behind the scene’ preparation that was needed for the show, and the Director, acknowledging what rehearsal styles and techniques were used in order to create a captivating and unique performance.

This internship has now enabled me to come away from Fingersmith’s and given me the passion to research into the accessibility within theatres and find ways of how we can all make ‘theatre for the masses’ and without this bursary none of this would have been possible. This internship has opened my eyes to a new type of theatre, I only vaguely knew about, and this theatre has now become something I want to pursue in my future career.

– George Callcut is a 3rd year Drama and Theatre student

Work experience in Property Law

I found this experience to be extremely valuable in helping me to determine my future legal career path. Prior to undertaking this experience, I was unsure as to whether I wanted to be a barrister or a solicitor. This was my first experience within a solicitor’s firm so it helped me to understand the type of environment I would be working in, as well as the type of work I’d be expected to carry out. This allowed me to draw a comparison with the mini-pupillage I undertook earlier last year. Additionally, the firm I chose specialises solely in Intellectual Property Law which relates to the optional module I chose to study this year. I could therefore apply my existing knowledge and develop a further understanding of this area law in practice.

I sat within the secretary and paralegal department which allowed me to learn the mechanics of the office. On my first day I was introduced to everyone in the office which was effectively a great networking opportunity, particularly as I followed up by making connections via LinkedIn. I was given current case files to read in preparation for client phone calls, where I shadowed Partner’s advising their clients and discussing plans of action. I was also given the task of researching for various cases, for example comparing client and competitor patents in order to establish whether there had been infringement. In addition, I drafted a client’s cease and desist letter from scratch for trademark infringement, which was accepted with very minor amendments.

Overall this experience will prove to be invaluable, particularly as it demonstrates my interest in the field, and will ultimately be a significant addition to my CV when applying for Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts this year. The skills I have learned will put me at an advantage when applying for further work experience in the legal field too. Finally, it has cemented my desire to go pursuing a legal career and given me an introductory insight into the profession. I have also made very useful connections, should I decide to pursue a career in Intellectual Property Law specifically.

– Emily Morgan is a 2nd year Law student at the University of Kent

Questions of science, science and progress

I was lucky enough to get further work experience at the UK’s largest NHS trust. For two weeks I moved around the haematology and blood transfusion departments beginning in blood transfusion. Having previously been in the clinical biochemistry department it was interesting to see how there was greater urgency within the blood transfusion lab. The phone was constantly ringing as blood was requested for emergency and routine transfusions. One thing that stunned me was the price paid by the NHS for each blood pack being over £100.

Later in the week I moved to coagulation, the department responsible for monitoring and identifying patients that have abnormalities with clotting. The diagnosis of severe haemophilia patients in this specialist department was rare, with around 3 cases per year. On my second day in this department a doctor reiterated the importance of the results produced by biomedical scientists as they believed a patient had severe haemophilia but relied on coagulation to identify which clotting factor was abnormal, so they could efficiently treat the patient and prevent a life-threatening bleed.

Unfortunately, I was unable to handle the samples due to caution of Hepatitis B, a robust virus which can survive on surfaces for up to 3 months and often survives after the surface has been bleached. However, I was still able to take so much information from this work experience, including slide making techniques, malarial testing protocols and blood typing protocols.

After graduation, I must complete a portfolio approved by IBMS in order to officially become a biomedical scientist. Whilst on work experience the difficulty in finding a year placement was reiterated again and again. These warnings did not put me off working within a lab, but instead further motivated me to apply to as many trainee positions as possible and push to get a placement; even if that means moving out of London. Comparing both my experiences within a NHS lab, I have decided I would be more likely to go into a role of haematology rather than clinical biochemistry as I enjoy the fast paced, hands on role it offers.

The bursary really aided me within these 2 weeks. London travel is not cheap and furthermore I wanted to look my best to make a good impression. The bursary allowed me to do just that.

– Jasmine George is a 3rd year Biomedical Science student at the University of Kent.

Crème de la Crème

Psychology is becoming an increasingly popular career choice with young people today. There are lots of keen applicants ready and waiting to pounce on any advert that could secure them their dream job. One of my colleagues recently advertised an Assistant Psychologist Job – the position I will be trying to compete for after I finish my degree – and they received over 140 applications. That is the fierce reality I am up against the minute I finish university.

I was fortunate enough to secure a year-long work placement in the NHS during my sandwich year at Kent and this has substantially improved my employment prospects. My placement year gives my job application something to separate me from the other 139 potential applicants, something that will hopefully make an employer take a second look, even invite me in for an interview. Today with such fierce competition one of my colleagues said to me the NHS will only hire the crème de a crème because with so many people competing, the industry can afford to be picky.

So far during my placement I have shadowed a Clinical Psychologist, gained an in depth knowledge about Autism, learned about the current treatments for feeding difficulties, anxiety and anger in children as well as being given the freedom to create resources for some of these children.

The bursary provided by the University of Kent gives me the chance to compete for my dream job by supplementing my funding on this amazing placement. It means I can afford to get experience that will benefit me in the very near future by making me a realistic candidate for highly sought after jobs, and for that I cannot thank the university enough. To make the most of my placement I am required to travel to different branches of the NHS trust in Kent. This week alone I travelled to Canterbury for a two hour sleep workshop on Monday, then to Ashford on Tuesday to help run a group for children with Autism, and back to Canterbury on Wednesday to help organise another group we plan to run next year all while I’m based in Folkestone. The bursary allows me to travel across Kent and make the most out of my placement. I have become better educated from the many workshops I have attended, I have become a better communicator through the groups I am able to help run and most of all I have been able to observe good clinical practice which will make me stand out as a job applicant, for that I cannot be more grateful.

– Samantha Bewick is an Applied Psychology with Clinical Psycholgy student, currently on placement.

Together in electric dreams

Today I am going to tell you the story of how I got offered my dream job. But first a little introduction. My story starts two and a half years ago when I first came to the University of Kent. I was keen and passionate fresher that couldn’t wait to start learning about film, but I was clueless when it came to how I was going to get it and who was going to give it to me. It is basically the endless dilemma of the chicken and the egg; you need experience to get a job, but you get a job if you have experience, which you can only get if you have a job… You understand the problem, don’t you?

But that still doesn’t explain the dream job thing does it? Well, this is how I did it. A few years ago I watched a film, I enjoyed the film and googled the production company, I promptly foundthem on FaceBook and liked their page. (The seed was planted.) After a year I contacted the company for an internship, I called them up on the number on their website and got the email of a producer. I emailed them and told them who I was and asked if I could intern there. I was rejected. Obviously this seemed like the end of the world at the time, but as the world has a habit of doing, it kept going. My already budding love for documentary pushed me to go to a Documentary Film Festival, the largest in the UK; looking over the program I came to a realisation, one of the films being shown was from the production company I had contacted so many months ago. So what did I do? I emailed the producer, because rejection number one should never make you
lose hope. I asked them how they were and said that I was also at the festival. They happily set up a meeting; and I realised that employers are human after all. We had a great chat and they invited me to contact them after the summer to arrange work experience. I made sure to do just that. We set dates and I went off to London and had one of the best experiences of my life; learning the ropes, researching, pitching ideas, editing in mandarin and drinking strong coffee. I worked
on two inspiring projects and got the contacts that will help me out after I graduate. In fact, one week after I got back to ‘the real world’, one of the directors contacted me to offer me a place to work on their next film; It is still in very early stages, but this is how I got offered my dream job.

Who got me the job? Well, I need to thank my family and friends for always encouraging me. I need to thank the Careers and Employability Services for giving me the confidence, improving my CV, and giving me professional and caring help and advice, I need to thank BKEW, because travelling in London is expensive, and knowing that my experience was important enough for them to fund made me work all the harder. And finally I am the one that got myself the job. You are always the harshest judge of yourself, if you put in the work and demonstrate your passion, you can do anything.

– Elena Morresi is a final year Film student at the University of Kent