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LCN Says

Why I turned down university offers to start an apprenticeship

updated on 31 May 2019

I started my conveyancing career much earlier than most, working from the age of 14 at Angela Viney Conveyancing Services.

All my friends had part-time jobs and I was keen to supplement my pocket money. So, when my uncle, who worked at the firm, needed some administrative help one day a week, I jumped at the chance. Soon, a couple of hours every Wednesday after school to do the post became most days after school, working on a variety of tasks. I didn’t realise it then, but my conveyancing career had begun!

I remember feeling a great sense of responsibility, particularly when I started to do the banking side of the role. Yet, it was a responsibility I was keen to take on and I wanted more.

I continued to work at the firm as often as I could throughout my GCSEs and A levels. I was then planning to go to university to study business studies. In fact, I had five offers, but I turned them all down in favour of an apprenticeship at the firm. It felt like a natural progression from what I had been learning over the past four years.

My school was a little surprised at my choice, I remember. For them, it was all about university, but I had had my eyes opened to a great career at an early age and after learning more about the study options to become a licensed conveyancer, I made the choice to join Angela Viney as an apprentice.

For me, I don’t see it as turning my back on studying. Instead, I am learning and earning. Plus, there’s the added benefit that all my studies are paid for by the firm, which wouldn’t be the case if I had gone to university. It has also made a big difference to my life. I was always a very quiet person, but the skills I have learned being in a professional environment have given me a great deal of confidence.

It’s not easy though to balance work and study, particularly when it’s been a very busy day at the office and you have to then go home to study, but I am only 20 and live at home, so I figure this is the best time to get the qualification before other responsibilities get in the way.

I am fully focused on gaining the Level 4 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice to become a conveyancing technician and I want to go straight onto the Level 6 Diploma to become a licensed conveyancer.

Fortunately, the firm is really behind people who want to get qualified and are currently fully funding me and eight of my colleagues to become licensed conveyancers. The training provider, Damar Training, comes into the firm every couple of months to do some face-to-face tuition, which is then supplemented by weekly webinars and self-study. The firm also allows us time to study and it’s great that other people here are studying too, because there’s always someone to go to for help. I also have one colleague who is at the same stage as me and we study together. 

The role itself is just brilliant. There’s so much to conveyancing that I think people don’t always realise. I certainly use my brain every day and I can’t wait until I am fully qualified and able to run my own caseload. I hope I will achieve this by the time I am 23, in just a few years.  

Courtney Box is an apprentice at Angela Viney Conveyancing Services in West Yorkshire. The firm operates across four offices and has 25 staff.