Name: Lisa Vine
Degree and university: Sociology, Loughborough University. Lisa was chair of the university’s LGBT Association.
What do you intend to do when you graduate and do you have a job lined up yet?I am a finalist and am going to take a year out before starting a law conversion course to become a solicitor or barrister. I do not have a job lined up yet; however I hope to secure a training contract before I start my postgraduate training.
Were you always interested in this area as a career? Yes and no. Before I started university I contemplated law but was too afraid to make a set decision on a career. After my first two years at university I now know for sure it is what I want to do.
How did you find out about this particular career/job? A family friend is a lawyer.
Have you ever experienced any prejudice regarding sexual orientation? If so, how did you deal with it? Not personally but I have seen it happen. I was chair of my university’s LGBT Association and have heard stories of violence and of people being sacked due to homophobia. Homophobia is hard hitting but can also be petty, yet it still hurts. Name calling and the use of ‘gay’ and ‘queer’ as derogatory terms is offensive and too many people turn a blind eye to it. I always confront it in the hope that one day people will stop using them.
Why did you choose to study at Loughborough? I walked on campus and got a feeling it was where I wanted to be. I did not have this feeling on any other campus around the country. It’s a very special place.
What has Loughborough done to address sexual orientation issues? Loughborough has an equal opportunities policy as well as being somewhere that promotes homosexuality. It celebrates LGBT history month and has its own staff and student LGBT network. Bullying of a homophobic kind is not tolerated and if a complaint is made it is taken seriously. Within the town the police are hot on homophobia and recently contacted me so they could talk to students at the LGBTA about hate crime and how to report it. Unfortunately there is still homophobia at the University and in the town from locals and students.
What do you think are the most important skills/strengths you need to make a success of what you do? You have to care about what you do. If you have the passion and drive to do something I truly believe you can achieve it. You have to be a good communicator as well as being neutral and be able to fight both sides of anything. Also knowing that you are right and fighting for what you believe in gives you the strength to go forward into a career or life that you want to be in.
What would be your best piece of advice for graduates? If you get an opportunity grab it with both hands. It may never happen again.