A key factor employers look for in individuals applying for jobs is experience.
SHU Law is a prime example of this, set up and funded by Sheffield Hallam University to provide all of its law and criminology students with real life experience.
When I received an email offering students the opportunity to apply to take part in a course with the Society of Mediators, I knew it would be an invaluable opportunity I could not ignore.
I was successful in my application to participate in the course run jointly by these organisations and led by the Society of Mediators. This was at no cost to me as it was an extra curricular activity.
In the legal world, mediation is becoming increasingly important as an alternative dispute resolution due to access to legal aid being so limited and events such as the pandemic exacerbating the already backlogged cases waiting to go to court.
The course offered was a 40-hour week intense course, delivered by some passionate, dedicated and very successful individuals from the Society of Mediators of 218 Strand, London.
On the Monday morning, all participants were promised to have their mind set changed for life. For almost all this sounded like some hyperbolic advertising technique – a mere puff. Yet – by Friday evening every single participant had eaten their words and this promise had very much become the truth! Not only has the course given me experience to transfer in employment, but skills to use in everyday life.
The days were filled with teaching of skills, case study work, demonstrations and most importantly multiple opportunities to try mediation ourselves. I was lucky enough to have four attempts at mediating – despite being daunting, I was pushed and encouraged to give it a go.
Taking part in these mediation activities was a massive challenge and completely pushed me out of my comfort zone. A sufferer of anxiety, I am constantly keen to get things ‘perfect’, and feel frightened of not knowing what I am doing in front of others. The most positive and encouraging part of the course that I found was the environment created by the mediators. A respectful and safe, environment was established and maintained until the end. This aided my peers and I to put everything into obtaining mediation skills.
I am absolutely delighted and very proud to have received my accreditation in civil and commercial mediation training. To become eligible for membership with the Society of Mediators I am in need of three hours of observation of mediations of which I am very keen and actively in search of.
It is vital to reiterate the invaluable nature of this opportunity. I know how fortunate I am to have accessed the high level of teaching, resources, experience and networking which this course afforded me. I urge other students to take up as many opportunities offered to them as possible too.