Trainee legal executive Georgina Freeman is the first legal apprentice to sign up for a student membership with the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Georgina, 19, turned her back on university and a career on stage to follow the apprenticeship route into law.
She started an apprenticeship scheme with Chadwick Lawrence in Wakefield in 2013, moving straight from Sixth Form.
“I applied for university but always had some doubt in my mind as to whether it was right for me. I declined my place on results day and started the apprenticeship,” said Georgina.
“I liked the idea of more practical-based learning. I wanted the experience rather than being talked at in lectures. I also earn while I learn.
“Apprenticeships help you to grow professionally and socially and you’re learning every single day on the job.”
Georgina is also a talented actor and dancer, appearing in professional shows. She had an opportunity to attend a London theatre school but chose to focus on law.
Georgina hopes to achieve her Level 3 qualification this year. Her apprenticeship will lead to a degree-standard Level 6 qualification and a Diploma in Law and Practice.
Her main duties at Chadwick Lawrence include letter writing, drafting legal documents and supporting fee earners with their work. The firm has around 200 employees across its six West Yorkshire offices.
She joined the IoD after meeting regional director Natalie Sykes. “I started to attend the IoD’s Wednesday meet-ups to get to know more about how it will help my career.
“There are fantastic opportunities associated with membership. For example, I was invited to attend a speech by David Cameron and George Osborne in Leeds in February.
“Chadwick Lawrence is very supportive of the membership and how it will help my professional development.”
IoD student membership is designed to help young business people to develop their business knowledge and make connections. Benefits include a Guru Panel (access to business mentors), information on internships and workshops, invites to networking and events and practical advice about starting your own business.
Natalie Sykes, regional director of the IoD in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “More employers are realising the benefits of apprenticeships to nurture a skilled workforce for the future. Our student membership equips young people with trustworthy advice and access to inspiring events with exciting business leaders, as they build their careers.”
Georgina is also an Apprenticeship Ambassador for the National Apprenticeship Service.