Picture this: You've made it through all the auditions on your country's most loved talent show, your name is trending on Twitter, even Simon Cowell loves you! What more could anyone ever dream of?
I must say, that's how I felt at first. We were all told our lives would never be the same again - fame had flooded into our lives overnight. However, it was on the set of our first music video that it hit me; this wasn't who I wanted to be; I could do so much more with my life; I could help change people's lives; I could be a solicitor.
My fellow band mates understood when I broke the news to them, they knew I'd always been more of an academic at heart - singing was to be reserved for the shower once again.
So I embarked upon my long journey to reach what I had studied so hard at school for. As my time in the world of fame was short lived, it didn't take long for my celebrity status to disappear - but that's how I wanted it. Although it wasn't an easy ride I can honestly say that my time at university was an absolute ball and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. I made friends for life, lived in Spain for a year and learnt how to manage my finances (almost!). I was then lucky enough to land myself a position as a trainee in a firm I really wanted to work at - a task I would put almost on a par with winning the X-Factor!
I would say, there is no point in applying to a firm if you are not sure you would be happy working there - after all, it will make up a large part of your life for at least two years. If you enjoy the environment you work in, the type of work you are doing and you get along with the people you work with, you'll have a much better traineeship experience.
My top reasons for applying to Morton Fraser were:
- They offered me experience in the areas of law I am interested in;
- I had heard very positive comments about the work environment and ethos;
- The firm's website was approachable and I liked the branding; and
- They are a reputable law firm who I wanted to associate myself with.
People often ask me if I regret walking away from the life of fame and my response is this: Do you think you ever taste the true delights of a £1.50 cider cocktail or donner pizza with brown sauce when you're a popstar? Point made.
On a more serious note though, having a law degree demonstrates to employers that you have discipline and determination to succeed. You learn negotiation and reasoning skills, especially in the Diploma year, which stand you in good stead for situations other than the court room - such as convincing your interviewer you should be their next trainee! A training in law also means you will never be bored; it's such a diverse subject there is sure to be at least one area which interests everybody. It may even surprise you: When I began my traineeship at Morton Fraser I worked in the Corporate division - an area of law which daunted me at university - and I loved the work I became involved in.
I came to realise that life as a lawyer would be much more rewarding and fulfilling than being a popstar ever could be: at work every day I help my clients and colleagues which gives me a real sense of satisfaction and I am constantly learning about the law that governs every aspect of our lives. 1D might have the fame and fortune, but I don't regret my choice for an instant!