When trying to decide on universities, Olivia Hardiman put Worcester as her insurance choice. Now, as she prepares to graduate four years later, she admits she should have made it her number one.
“Although it was my insurance choice university, in hindsight it should have been my firm choice because I could not imagine achieving what I have done at Worcester, anywhere else,” she says. “From as early as the Applicant Open Day, I felt a glimpse of the sense of community that generally permeates the Worcester student body.
“The Head of the School of Law at the time, greeted me as I stepped foot into the School of Law for the first time and following this, he later remembered my name on my very first day of studies. This moment demonstrates the care that many of the teaching and non-teaching staff took in supporting my undergraduate journey, without which I do not think I would have succeeded as I have done over the past four years.”
Olivia joined the University of Worcester straight after completing her A-levels in her hometown of Walsall. When she didn’t quite meet the grades for her first choice, she was automatically offered a place at Worcester on A-level results day.
“On results day, I woke up to a congratulations email from Worcester and I felt nothing but relief that I had secured a university place,” she said.
“I chose to study Law because I knew that I wanted to work in a profession that would allow me to help and advise people on a daily basis. While I hoped that studying Law would satisfy my curiosity about the rules that govern us as a society and the systems that facilitate this - both the good and the questionable.”
Olivia said her time at Worcester, which included spending a year in Finland on a study exchange, has helped shape her as a person and given her the springboard to an exciting new career.
“I also attribute my success to the support of the Worcester Students’ Union, who have reminded me through the years that extra-curricular engagement is not a distraction to academic success, but in fact a necessity to look after our wellbeing and to learn how to be active contributors to society,” she said.
Olivia was one of the dance captains of the Saints Dance Society in her second year and Chaired the International Students' Network in her final year.
She added: “As graduation approaches, I am feeling a lot of excitement about celebrating the end of this chapter with my peers. For my cohort especially, there has been a lot of uncertainty along the way due to the pandemic, so now that we have come out the other side, I think with have a lot to celebrate. On the other hand, I feel overwhelming gratitude for the people who have been with me as I have completed my degree. My family and friends have been there through the all-nighters and the moments of doubt, as well as the moments of goods news and celebration.”
Olivia is now continuing her studies to complete the Bar Practice Course with an LLM, with the end goal of becoming a barrister.
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