I joined Hogan Lovells two years after completing my degree. I came across law as a profession while working overseas as a translator and English teacher, did a distance learning course on the fundamentals to make sure it was the profession I wanted to go into, and have never looked back. After I’d taken the GDL and the accelerated LPC, I felt up to speed and ready to get started at the firm. And when you combine those qualifications with the commercial and strategic knowledge of experienced partners and associates, you have a lot to build on. My degree has been really useful though. Not only did I spend six months seconded to our Paris office where I used my French both socially and with clients, but I regularly use both French and Russian in the international work we do. My degree also instilled a great deal of cultural awareness which is essential as we work with colleagues and clients from dozens of countries around the world. A firm like ours is defined by how it interacts with its clients. You soon learn not to view them in isolation, but to understand their worlds so you can express yourself in their terms, rather than in legalese. In my time here I've immersed myself in industries as diverse as open-cast mining, teleshopping, life insurance, vehicle leasing, TV rental and heating components to appreciate what's important to clients from each of those industries and what makes them tick. Hogan Lovells gets you thinking in a client-focused way from the very start. I’ve attended all sorts of events with clients and they often say how unusual and refreshing it is to see junior lawyers there, rather than letting them be a name on an email account or a voice over the phone. You get comfortable speaking to clients, and it nurtures your business development skills which become so important later in your career.