• Kirsty Findlay (Class of 2007) on life after a politics degree

    VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100 I studied Law and Politics at Lincoln where I graduated with a 2:1 honours degree in  2007. My goal throughout my time at University and after graduating was to get a  training contract and qualify as a solicitor. I have since learnt that life doesn’t always  go to plan! My first ‘proper’ job was with a charity performing statutory advocacy  services for vulnerable adults. I thoroughly enjoyed my position as it was Law  related but also rewarding on a personal level as I was helping to represent  vulnerable people. The experience I gained in a niche overlap area between Law and  Social Care actually led to me being invited back to the University of Lincoln to  deliver guest lectures and seminars to Social Work and Nursing students – it was certainly a surreal moment being stood at the front of the lecture theatre looking out at all those faces where I once sat!

    After a few years I moved on to working for Lincolnshire County Council as a Principal Legal Officer advising on Adult Social Care law. It was a fantastic experience and I gained an insight into not only legal but political aspects of running a local authority. I was also a step closer to that ever elusive training contract. It was whilst working there that I met my future husband and life took an unexpected turn. He was offered a job in America that he could not refuse and the only way to avoid a long distance transatlantic relationship was if we got married in order for me to get the visa to allow me to move there with him. We did just that, 10 months after we met! We moved to Indiana in 2012 and have been living there ever since.

    I now work as a Behaviour Specialist in a special education school programme for children with behavioural issues in Indianapolis. I had never planned on working in a school or with children, but I love it. It can be intense and challenging but I have realised that making a positive difference to and working directly with people beats a desk job any day! I wanted to be a solicitor since I was 14 but reflecting on my path since leaving university until now, I have always chosen jobs in the public sector. I have no doubt that studying Politics at Lincoln played a major part in this. The broad range of fields that the study of politics intersects – political systems and behaviour, sociology, law, philosophy, ethics, public policy, history and psychology – are fascinating to me and I do not want my understanding of these areas to halt simply because I am no longer a student; the ability to pursue lifelong learning through access to challenging and thought provoking employment opportunities is one of the great gifts of higher education.

    I never got that training contract, but I met and married a wonderful man in less than a year and I am now living in the American Midwest. I would never have guessed any of this when I walked across the graduation stage at Lincoln Cathedral 7 years ago, but the crazy unpredictable curveballs that life throws at you are what makes the journey fun…I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

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