“I only graduated in 2013 and since then the facilities have been developed and transformed even more. I would recommend the University to anyone.”
Joanna Gras was no stranger to higher education when she enrolled at Edge Hill University. She already had a Masters in finance and banking from a university in her native Poland.
She had been working in banks as an accountant but decided she wanted to travel, moving to the UK nine years ago. It was while living here she decided she wanted to go back to the classroom to study for pleasure. Since she came to the UK, she has been running her own business, also worked for a Polish magazine ”Nasz Kontakt” and helped in a Polish Advice Centre in Liverpool.
“I came for fun,” says Joanna, “and, initially, only planned to stay for three months, then I just decided to stay longer and longer. It’s home now.”
Joanna had a personal fascination with history – a subject far away from her usual maths and science interests – and decided to make that the focus of her degree.
“When I went to see the campus at Edge Hill everything looked great,” she says, “and after I spoke with the tutors, I knew it would be a place where I wouldn’t be an unknown person.
“We were taught in small groups, the staff never said no if you asked for help, and two of them in particular, Roger Spalding and Alison Brown, were the best tutors you could have. I only graduated in 2013 and since then the facilities have been developed and transformed even more. I would recommend the University to anyone.”
Joanna is now working for Mary Monson Solicitors, based in their Salford office, as a criminal paralegal.
“I knew I wanted to work for a law firm,” Joanna adds, “and I was fortunate to get a job with a great company.
“My role essentially involves doing everything that the lawyers do, apart from representing people in court. I am preparing cases and reports, liaising with clients and the police, and advising clients on their cases.”
“I really love it. It’s very varied – from defending people charged with driving offences or sexual crimes, to assaults or drugs offences. People make mistakes and we’re here to help.”
Joanna is planning more studying, eventually hoping to complete a two-year conversion course which will qualify her as a solicitor.
She adds: “It shows that you don’t have to do a law degree to go into this profession. You can start work and then progress in your career.”