An evening with the younger generation

I was invited by the Lady Nafisa Secondary School to speak about my career path since leaving school. The event was meant to inspire and engage students to learn about different professions and vocations. Although, the event was postponed, I thought it would be an interesting topic to write about and form the basis of my article. 

Since, leaving school with A Levels in economics, mathematics, english and urdu, I pursued a degree in Economics at SOAS, University of London, achieving a First Class with Honours. My ambition to study more about central management and the positive role governments adopt in managing a country steered me to study for an MPhil in planning, growth and regeneration at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge.

I worked at various economic consultancies following this and whilst my work with Roger Tym and Partners was based on socioeconomic and economic analysis of labour market data, travel to work data, the economic characteristics of different areas, economic trends in an area and microeconomic analysis, the subsequent employment I pursued with Oxford Economics enabled me to analyse macroeconomic data, not just in UK and Europe but across countries. I reported on employment, inflation, interest rates and its impact on households and reported it in the firms weekly economic outlook. I also reported on the UK and international aerospace industry. 

My work at APACS, now Pay UK, enabled me to analyse banks’ pool of debt and work closely with major banks and analyse its data such as card expenditure statistics. Flexible work arrangements enabled me to complete an evening MSc in finance program, at Birkbeck College, University of London, while working at APACS. 

However, my interest in working for the betterment of the unprivileged in society and understanding more about the UK justice system along with experience at my subsequent workplace, West London Solicitors, galvanised my interest in the legal profession and with the support and encouragement of my family, I pursued a graduate diploma in law at the University of Law. This was an ideal study arrangement for me as the fortnightly weekend classes fitted into my work and family life with two children.

A desire to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales prompted me to pursue the legal practice course part time over the weekends, again with the University of Law. The lack of expertise with my firm for private client work – drafting wills, arranging for lasting power of attorney applications, estate management and arranging for probate, a process where assets pass from a deceased’s estate to his beneficiaries, was an area that the firm required more insight on. Hence, I studied these areas through an elective during my legal professional course and after qualifying as a solicitor in January 2022, I have continued to practice within this field.

The opportunity to interact with clients who may have health, or  financial worries and to get to know them over months and years is a very rewarding experience. My work has made me realise the importance of an integrated and well-functioning family is integral and its importance manifests itself even more at the latter stages of life. We see this when clients come to solicitors to draft wills, prepare their lasting powers of attorney applications where their attorneys may look into their choices and carry their health and financial decisions for them when they may be struggling with capacity to manage their own affairs. Applying for probate also reminds one that life is ephemeral and while death is a fact of life, old age is bound to make people humbler as they become increasingly dependent on others. Interacting with elderly clients also enables one to appreciate the experience and wisdom that often comes with age. 

Steering one’s career at mid-path can be a challenging experience and it was by no means easy. However, I hope my journey can inspire youngsters who feel they have reached a plateau and want to make a mark in a field where they feel greater self-satisfaction. With self-belief and a ‘can-do’ attitude, one can achieve anything that one sets goals for themselves. Moreover, many of the tools one learns studying economics and working in that field are transferable and augment our legal skills and knowledge too.