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A world of opportunity: An interview with international alumni ambassador for Cyprus, Christos Heracleous

Christos Heracleous had dreams of working in law with international clientele in his home country of Cyprus. To gain the experience required to achieve his goals he joined ULaw as an international student. Christos signed up to the Legal Practice Course in 2014 at our London Bloomsbury Campus and is now our International Alumni Ambassador for Cyprus, assisting the University at international fairs, offer holder events and alumni networking events. We caught up with him to ask how studying at ULaw has helped his career.

Besides being a long-established and renowned institution, I chose to study at ULaw because it had an exceptionally high graduate employability rate. The highlight of my studies was utilising my acting skills during the interviewing assessment based on the given scenario.

I feel that all the tutors helped me during the course, but the most inspiring tutor for me was my International Mergers & Acquisitions tutor. Before attending his class I never thought this area of the law could be so challenging and interesting.

My first job as a trainee lawyer was with the same law firm that I currently work as an associate. I applied at that law firm for a trainee position and was invited for an interview. During the interview I remember being asked about what I’ve done so far and the skills that I gained, why did I choose to apply there, what I believe to be the characteristics of a successful lawyer, where I see myself in the next few years, and some personality questions. When I was offered the position, I was given only a day to reply. Fortunately, there wasn’t much to think about, as I was really excited at the prospect of working there. I'm also an accredited mediator with the Ministry of Justice for civil and commercial cases.

When looking to secure your first job identify what really interests you and why. Think about your skills and experiences and be ready to talk about them, maintain your motivation and never stop applying until you succeed.

The highlight of my career so far is representing the former Mayor of my district before the Courts in a high profile case. Legal proceedings were brought for the recounting of preference votes and the annulment of the latest municipal elections due to irregularities that were observed during the election process.

ULaw’s approach to learning is practice-focused, which means that you are better prepared in how to actually do the job. Working in groups during workshops improved my interpersonal and team-working skills, which are vital in the workplace. Also, learning how to get organised and handle a considerable amount of information helped me in time-management and being efficient while working under pressure, whilst commercial acumen and critical thinking acquired during discussions and legal analysis showed me how to differentiate myself and go the extra mile.

Courses at ULaw are very well organised and well structured. This allows you to have a truly enjoyable time there, whilst fully preparing you for the transition in the professional world. Most importantly, you feel right at home.

Whilst studying at ULaw, I became a student director of Amnesty International. I presented cases of human rights violations in legal writing workshops to other students of the University in order to raise awareness and encourage them to take action.

If you are interested in becoming an International Alumni Ambassador for the University of Law please contact the international team at international@law.ac.uk to find out more.