by Hoda Abid, Coventry Law School Alumna
At the start of my law degree, I never imagined that I would pursue a career change at the end. Like most people on the course, I planned to follow the traditional route to becoming a solicitor or barrister. However, in my placement year, I realised that a different career interested me more.
In the placement year, I had the great opportunity to work at Citizens Advice. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there and found it very rewarding. Each day was different and presented new and exciting challenges. I particularly enjoyed the face-to-face contact I had with clients as it gave me the chance to build a rapport and show them that their needs were being listened to.
Though it gave me the chance to work with a range of clients from different backgrounds, there was an evident similarity between them. A vast number of the clients disclosed that they had mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Due to the nature of their issues, it was understandable, as they would often seek advice regarding debt, bereavements, relationship difficulties, job dismissals, and evictions. Although lending a listening ear and providing them with advice was gratifying, I felt helpless knowing that I could not support clients with their mental health. This feeling motivated me to deepen my understanding of what affects our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
In my search, I found myself enthralled by the intricacies of the human mind and how learning about these can help an individual understand others. During this, I started to feel that I was better suited for a career in mental health. I had gained soft skills such as compassion, empathy, and good listening working at Citizens Advice. Additionally, in my law degree, I had gained transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, research, analysis, and problem-solving. Although these skills equipped me for a transition into psychology, I felt discouraged to pursue a career in the field. I was worried that it was too late to make such a drastic change as I had already invested four years into a law degree. I also assumed that I would need to complete another undergraduate degree to become a psychologist. Due to funding limits, the option of studying for another undergraduate degree was not feasible.
In the quest for a solution, I researched alternative routes into becoming a psychologist. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that there are accredited conversion courses available. These conversion courses are the psychology equivalent of studying a Graduate Diploma in Law if an individual is a non-law graduate. The conversion course I have chosen to pursue is a Master of Science in Psychology which takes one year to complete if studied full-time. As it is a master’s course, there is postgraduate funding available.
In the future, I aspire to become a counseling psychologist, and completing a conversion course will act as a foundational stepping-stone on the way to this goal. After completing the course, I hope to gain relevant work experience and subsequently apply for doctorate-level training.
Interested in finding out more about our LLB Law course and the different careers a law degree can lead to? Head over to the Law LLB course page and find out more.