We continue our series of graduate profiles by catching up with Kate Logan, who graduated from Liverpool with a degree in Hispanic Studies in 2008.
Having been raised bilingual by my French mum and Irish (English-speaking) dad, my interest in languages started from a young age. I completed my undergraduate degree in Hispanic Studies in 2008, studying Portuguese alongside Spanish. I split my year abroad between Havana, Cuba, and Lisbon, Portugal: a semester at a local university in each. I found it was a great way to experience a bit of both Latin America and Europe, and improve both my Spanish and Portuguese language skills – plus I made some wonderful friends from all over the world! After graduating, I moved to London to study law, and was lucky enough to get a training contract at Slaughter and May, one of the elite ‘magic circle’ of international London law firms. I qualified as a solicitor in 2012, specialising in competition law until I moved to the Government Legal Department in 2014, where I have since worked as an EU advisory lawyer. As you might imagine, my role has become even more interesting since the EU referendum last year.
Studying languages was great preparation for going on to qualify as a solicitor, and I am hugely happy with my choice of undergraduate degree. Enjoying the subjects, combined with great teachers, was my recipe for success. Studying languages also gave me a valuable extra skill that I believe has given me an edge in numerous professional roles. As part of my two years of legal training, I spent six months on secondment at a Spanish law firm in Madrid, during which time my fluent Spanish came in particularly useful! As an EU lawyer, my French has been put to good use on trips to Brussels and Luxembourg, and occasionally when judgements are published first (or only) in French.
This year I will be taking a career break from government law to explore alternative jobs, as well as to spend more time with my one-year-old daughter – and am considering studying for a translation qualification. Nowadays, our working lives are long and the idea of doing just one thing seems outdated and, well, a bit boring! I would also love to live and work abroad again, something I don’t think I would be as likely to do had I not studied languages and had the mind-opening experience of my year abroad. The combination of broad module choices, diversity of year abroad options and fantastic teachers not only made the University of Liverpool a brilliant place to study, but has provided me with the option of exploring different career pathways.